21Mar
03/21/2017
Mark Dill

Do you know who Colonel Albert Pope was? You certainly would have if you had been around at the turn of the 20th century.
 
Pope was a classic specimen of the American work ethic, diving onto the lowest rungs of the Boston-area workforce when his family met financial hardship when he was a teen. When the Civil War erupted, he enlisted in the Union Army and quickly rose through the ranks.
 

Mar.21.2017
3026
18Mar
03/18/2017
Mark Dill

This photo is of 1912 Indianapolis 500 Champion Joe Dawson getting some fresh air on the roof of Methodist Hospital in 1914. It was recorded several weeks after his devastating accident where his Marmon special barrel-rolled during that year's Indianapolis 500.

Mar.18.2017
3025
14Mar
03/14/2017
Mark Dill

Advanced historians of American motorsport and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway know that the first motorized competition at the famous track was a motorcycle race. Did you know that the date of the track action was August 14, 1909, and was only one day of a week-long celebration of the two-wheel machines?

Mar.14.2017
3022
10Mar
03/10/2017
Mark Dill

First Super Speedway's Mark Dill had the opportunity to interview John Surtees in 2008. With his passing today, it seems fitting to revisit the resulting article.

Mar.10.2017
3020
07Mar
03/07/2017
Mark Dill

Okay, so who was the only driver to compete in both the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911 and also the first Vanderbilt Cup in 1904? Stumped?
 
His name was Herb Lytle.
 

Mar.7.2017
3019
04Mar
03/04/2017
Mark Dill

The story goes that Kaiser Wilhelm cabled the man he called, "a daring Yankee" when he received word on March 23, 1910, from Daytona Beach that Barney Oldfield had just shatt

Mar.4.2017
3018
12Feb
02/12/2017
Mark Dill

Check out this presentation profiling Loni Unser, the latest generation of America's most famous auto racing family, and her efforts to carry that famous name forward to new achievements! Loni is the daughter of five-time Indianapolis 500 veteran Johnny. Her uncle Al Jr. won the Indianapolis 500 twice and her other Indianapolis 500 veteran uncle, Robby, won Pikes Peak nine times and most recently scored a victory in the SVRA's Brickyard Invitational Indy Legends Charity Pro-Am!

Feb.12.2017
3013
11Feb
02/11/2017
Mark Dill

There has long been confusion over exactly when the first sanctioning body-endorsed point system for an American auto racing championship was established. In early days, circa 1909, trade publications announced their pick — not unlike the old AP polls in college football or the Time Magazine “person of the year” choice that still exists today.
 

Feb.11.2017
3012
30Dec
12/30/2016
Mark Dill

"Barnstorming," in general, is about theatrical performers or daredevils of one sort or the other traveling to rural areas to stage entertainment, many times with the purpose to thrill. In the early days of the racing cars, a tour of drivers presenting high-speed contests to people, many of whom had never seen an automobile before, was a natural fit.

Many of the barnstormers labeled their rural audiences as "weedbenders," in reference to their farming profession. They probably were a naive lot as they witnessed auto races for the first time.

Dec.30.2016
2993
24Dec
12/24/2016
Mark Dill

This editorial cartoon from 1909 appeared on the front page of the Indianapolis News. Taken out of its historical context it may be a little confusing.
 
Like today, the world was in massive disruption as the industrial age was in full force. People of older generations, who matured from childhood without the advances of machinery powered by engines, were struggling to maintain their position and pride in society.
 

Dec.24.2016
2991