Oval Vs. Road Racing

This is a unique reference piece published in the March 26, 1909 Indianapolis Star. It is a calendar of upcoming racing and racing related events around the world extending through October 7, 1909. The list not only includes auto races but other competition events such as the National Balloon Championship at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a Sicilian power boat race. Races are listed for Italy, France, Belgium and the United States among other countries.

On March 21, 1909 the Indianapolis Star ran an article discussing the industry and public debate about the value of road racing. This was a topic of the day as manufacturers, government and the general public held differing views on the merits of racing on public roads. There were always those that saw all the negatives which largely pertained to safety and the inconvenience of having public roads appropriated for the commercial venture of auto racing for a week or more of practice and the actual race events.

This article appeared in the May 28, 1909 Indianapolis Star and reports on the intentions of the Cadillac Motor Car Company of Detroit with respect to auto racing. The value of auto racing has always been a debate among manufacturers. During this period those that did participate advocated stock car racing to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the governing body of auto racing in the United States.

Below are three attachments, each containing articles about the Ford Motor Company's racing activites in 1909. The first is from the June 27, 1909 Indianapolis Star, the second from a day earlier in the Indianapolis News and then another from the News from June 24, 1909 which provided one of the first reports on the race where, at the time, everyone believed the Ford team had prevailed.

The attached article was published in the June 20, 1909 Indianapolis Star. It is another example of the ongoing debate of the day concerning the value of competition between purpose-built "freak" racing cars versus stock cars that were allegedly identical to what the consumer could acquire off the showroom floor.

This article is yet another item from a special Sunday edition of the Indianapolis Star that touted the excitement of the upcoming first automobile races at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The date was August 15, 1909.

This article written by on of the National Motor Vehicle Company's top executives, George Dickson, was published in the January 9, 1910 Indianapolis Star. Dickson was an officer of the National company but I have yet to figure out how the corporation was organized.

This article by Peter Paul (P.P.) Willis was published the day after Christmas 1909 in the Indianapolis Star.

This article discussing one of the motorsports issues of the day appeared in the March 20, 1910 Indianapolis Star. The issue concerned the classification of race drivers as either amateur or professional and to what extent should they compete head-to-head. The article reflects back almost 20 years from the publication date to say that the issue of resolving how drivers of different status should compete had never been more debated.

This article was originally published in the Sunday, March 20, 1910 Indianapolis Star. It was part of  a special supplemental section about the upcoming March 28 Indianapolis Automobile Show presented by the Indianapolis Automobile Trade Association (IATA).