The great Los Angeles-to-Phoenix off-road race (more commonly known as "The Cactus Derby") was another of the terrific classics from the sport's early days. In its 1914 edition, track racing legend and barnstormer Barney Oldfield entered the same Stutz racer he had piloted to fifth place in that year's Indianapolis 500.
"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.