First Auto Races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - August 1909

This folder has numerous articles on the inaugural auto races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. These races occurred only days after the Speedway hosted the Federation of American Motorcycles (FAM) race meet. The auto races were a blend of success and tragedy. Most of the major American drivers entered – Barney Oldfield, Ray Harroun, Bob Burman, Tom Kincaid, Lewis Strang, Louis Chevrolet, Jap Clemens, Charlie Merz, Eddie Hearne, Ralph De Palma and Tobin DeHymel among them. With the exception of a Fiat and a Benz, the entries were American, including: Marmon, Marion, Stearns, National, Jackson, Stoddard-Dayton, Buick and Apperson. Tragedy came in the loss of several lives, including Willfred Bourque, who became the first driver to die in a racing accident at the Speedway.

The Indianapolis News article in attachment IMSNews082109 below provides colorful detail about the final day of the first weekend of auto racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.