Dates for First IMS Auto Races Set

Get ready to meet Frank Hower, Walter Hempel and Homer George - all for the most part forgotten today, but influencers in the world of American motorsport in 1909. The article contained in the attachment below touches on these interesting men and their roles as they were noted in the Indianapolis News published June 22, 1909. 
The June 22 article concerns American Automobile Association (AAA) approval, sanction and scheduling of dates for the first auto racing race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The track had just wrapped up its National Championship Balloon races and applied to Hower, then chairman of the AAA contest board for August 19-21 as the dates, a Thursday through Saturday stretch. Racing on the Sabbath in the day was not deemed appropriate by society. 
Attached also is a second article (IMSNews062509) that may serve to confuse more than to illuminate. It was published a few days later in the June 26, 1909 Indianapolis News. It reports on AAA sanction of auto races at Speedway being granted for July 19-21. I believe this is an error by the newspaper as the dates noted in July are exactly the same as those in August. Further, the August dates are Thursday through Saturday while those same days in July were Monday through Wednesday - a much less likely scenario.
The June 22 article projects confidence that Hower would sign off on the proposal and predicted a strong level of international entries. In the end, some of the specifics about the type of the events would change. The article reported that there would be a 250-mile race on Thursday and was later announced as the Prest-O-Lite Trophy. This was said to be for the same 161-230 cubic inch AAA class that competed in the recent Indiana Trophy.
Friday's feature was supposed to be a 300-miler but this became the 100-mile G&J Trophy. Saturday was supposed to present a 350-mile feature for the Wheeler-Schebler Trophy. This event was developed for cars of the same configuration as those in the recent Cobe Trophy in Crown Point, Indiana.This morphed into a scheduled 300-miler that ended after 235 miles due to a string of accidents that produced the deaths of two specators and a riding mechanic
The article also reports that the IMS proposal to Hower also called for race meets in September (a 24-hour contest) and another race meet on October 10, which was expected to be an annual event. These events never took place because of the horrid accidents mentioned above and track management's response for great running surface durability and safety with their brick-paving project.
The article takes a topic turn to wrap up with an update on fan favorite Barney Oldfield. This is where the mention of Hempel and George comes in. This notes that Hempel had been hired to manage Oldfield's summer tour (which undoubtedly featured his National "Six" racer, "Old Glory") which was apparently different from earlier reports announcing George in that role.
Hempel is reported to have had valuable experience in this type of management. He was also said to be a noetworthy athlete on the Pacific coast as well as coach of the St. Vincent College football and baseball teams. Another interesting point mentioned is that Oldfield was overseeing the construction of the car he would later name "Old Glory" at the National Motor Vehicle Company factory.
The June 25 article reads as a confirmation of the prediction of AAA sanction reported days earlier. It reports that Speedway Contest Director Ernie Moross had confirmed the races were a go. He was preparing to mail entry blanks to all the leading manufacturers across the country. There was optimism that manufacturers were eager to take part. The article indicates that "three or four" short races and one "long race" would be conducted each day of the meet.
Barney Oldfield, who was either temporarily living in Indianapolis or was spending a great deal of time there is called out. Oldfield's presence in Indianapolis was because of his work with National and his "Old Glory" racer which was apparently housed at the company's local factory headquarters.
The Buick team is also highlighted with drivers Louis Chevrolet, Lewis Strang and Bob Burman. The article reports plans for them to bring nine cars. Other Hoosier manufacturers Apperson and Marion had expressed plans to compete as well as Chalmers-Detroit who reportedly planned five entries. Art Greiner, a young millionaire and private entrant who usually drove Nationals had requested an entry form as well.
Note, too, a sidebar article that indicates a Paris-based American import agent by the name of A.E. Schwartz was reporting that French manufacturers were seeing excess product inventories. He posited that success of American car company sales accounted for at least some of their challenge in moving product.

IMSNews062209.pdf789.18 KB
IMSNews062509.pdf429.49 KB