The First Races at the Indy Speedway

These articles were originally published in the August 14, 1909 Indianapolis News. This package contains one article of one newspaper column in length and another very brief item of two paragraphs. The longer article provides a nice description of the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Because this was the city's evening paper, it went to press prior to the races actually starting, so no results are covered. What is presented are some very interesting facts about grandstand capacity, positioning of the press/officials stand and the appearance of the track. Interestingly, the article matter-of-factly presents the view that the Speedway, despite Herculean efforts by management and workers, was not as conditioned and therefore not as safe as it was expected to be later. An outrageous assertion is made that the stone track would dry within 15 minutes after a rain shower.
In a prophetic moment in which the author could not have imagined the magnitude of his understatement, the article suggests that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway "is expected to be world famous." Overall, this is a great article to help get a grasp of what the new Speedway looked like in August 1909.
The brief article is important to understanding the nature of motorcycle racing in the day. The Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) leadership reached a decision to establish classes of riders: professional, amateur and trade rider. This was done to provide a better entry point for new riders into the sport.

news81609 3.pdf11.28 MB
IMSNewsmoto081409.pdf4.9 MB