Brickyard Preview - May 1910

The attached article orginally appeared in the May 22, 1910 Indianapolis Star as part of the build-up to the May 1910 race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This was the Sunday edition of the paper just five days prior to the beginning of the meet and as such was packed with articles concerning the event in anticipation of subscribers spending more time with the paper over coffee on their day of rest. Because this article was previewing the May 1910 "national championships," a newly-announced distinction by the American Automobile Association (AAA) for select race meets, car manufacturers were keen to make a great showing. 
This article, written by C.E. Shuart, is a summary of the preparations for the upcoming event, mostly about the activities of the AAA and Speedway management. There is a call-out at the start of the article that lists the officials and their responsibilities. Here they are:

  • Fred Wagner (Starter)
  • Louis Speare (Referee & president of the AAA, Boston)
  • Sam Butler (Chairman of the AAA Contest Board)
  • David Beecroft (Handicapper/Tech Chair, AAA board member from Chicago)
  • O.J. Temmy (Clerk of Course from Chicago)
  • Ernie Moross (IMS Director of Contests)
  • Tom Hay (Chief Announcer from Chicago)
  • John S. Cox (Chief Scorer from Terre Haute)
  • C.H. Warner (Electric Timing from Beloit, Wisconsin)
  • Captain Carpenter (Commander of Speedway Guards)

The article highlights the expected participation of the super star drivers of the day:

The media darling of the day, Caleb Bragg, is a noted entry due to his sensational match race victory over Barney Oldfield in the Blitzen Benz at Playa Del Rey - America's first board track for auto racing. This tells me that Oldfield had not yet finished negotiations with organizers concerning prize money for time trials. He did eventually come to the Brickyard's big event.
There is an interesting passage concerning the trophies. The article claims they were the most valuable collection in the world and that was probably true. The Speedway was in the process of "calling in" all the trophies, in accordance with their deeds of gift that allowed recipients to hold them temporarily. Most of the time they were put on display in manufacturer showroom floors, some touring the country or regions therein. You can find a similar list of these awards with a little more information elsewhere on First Super Speedway. The trophies called out:

  • Wheeler-Schebler Trophy ($10,000 value plus $1,000 cash award)
  • Overland gold-plated car for fastest mile
  • Speedway Helmet ($50 weekly salary to winner until next race for the award)
  • Remy Brassard ($50 weekly salary to winner; $75 if he used their magneto)
  • Remy Trophy ($2,000 value to be given the car manufacturer)
  • The G&J Trophy
  • Assorted plates, medals and cash awards.

The article also presents a schedule for the meet, starting May 27. Before you consume the lists below note the presentation of AAA classes from the 1910 rulebook that is found elsewhere on First Super Speedway.
May 27:

  • Record trials: one quarter mile, one kilometer
  • Five-mile race, cars under 160 cubic inches.
  • Five-mile race, 161 to 230 cubic inches.
  • Ten-mile race, 231 to 300 cubic inches.
  • Five-mile race, 301 to 450 cubic inches.
  • Ten-mile race, 451 to 600 cubic inches.
  • Five-mile free-for-all handicap race.
  • Five-mile amateur stock chassis race.
  • Five-mile free-for-all.
  • 100-mile race, 301 to 440 cubic inches.

May 28:

  • Record trials, one mile.
  • Ten-mile race, 301 to 450 cubic inches.
  • Five-mile race, 451 to 600 cubic inches.
  • Ten-mile free-for-all handicap race.
  • Ten-mile race, stock chassis Class E.
  • Five-mile race, 601 to 750 cubic inches.
  • Ten-mile free-for-all race.
  • 200-mile race, 600 cubic inches or less (this is the Wheeler-Schebler Trophy).

May 30: The article says exactly this: "Championship races of five and ten mile for cars of all classes, divided into twelve events: fifty-mile race for cars with 231 to 300 cubic inches, stock car race for touring machines carrying four passengers, fastest mile."
The article also includes a delightful summary of the musical entertainment with a list of bands provided. Note that within the list there is mention that one band leader, L.J. Moreman was a disciple of the famed John Phillip Sousa. Here are the bands:

The article reports that "Society" (with a capital "S") would be in attendance. These were the socially prominent by achievement or birth. People of national attendance were allegedly attending - in the same manner of the Kentucky Derby or New York-area horse racing - and had reserved box seats. Special railroad rates were planned from with 150 miles of Indianapolis as well as between the Hoosier capital and large metro areas like Detroit, St. Louis and Cincinnati. Overland was organizing road trips from Detroit and Chicago. The Chicago Auto Club also organizing a touring car drive. The EMF Company organized a road trip with W.E. Flanders, Leroy Pelletier, Paul Smith, W.W. Heaslet, George Bowerman and B.W. Twyman were some of the men included.
Several drivers had already begun practice at the Speedway. The Buick team was expected to arrive from Detroit no later than the day after this amazing article was published.

IMSofficials052210.pdf2.07 MB