Day 3 Brickyard Practice - May 1910

The attached article orginally appeared in the May 26, 1910 Indianapolis Star as part of the build-up to the May 1910 race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This article previewed 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 wonderfully written article by C.E. Shuart summarizes the highlights from the third day of practice (May 25). Shuart reported that Speedway Director of Contests Ernie Moross had only just completed the schedule of events the previous evening. One anticipated contest for cars of 600 to 750 cubic inch engines was cancelled. The article suggested that this was not a surprise as such machines were rare. Aside from that mild disappointment Moross was spinning the story as a robust offering. I think it was.
"It is the best program I ever have seen," Moross said the previous evening. "The number of cars entered is not as great as in some other meetings, but the entries are distributed so that every event is destined to be a race - and a good one. The Speedway management is well pleased with the results and foresees a race meeting second to none ever held before."
Shuart, too, touted the sterling field asserting that it included "the world's greatest pilots." Examples provided are:

As for practice action the previous day, the following entries were reportedly busting off laps under one minute, 55 seconds or just over 78 MPH: 

*The nicknames "Yellow Jacket" and "Marmon Wasp" were used interchangably. This refers to the car that would eventually win the first Indianapolis 500.
Some teams with cars for smaller classification entries were also noted as hitting the bricks. These were:

The Marion team was called out as well. Gil Anderson and Ray Tinkler were mentioned at the drivers and Harry Stutz the manager. Note that Charles Stutz who apparently was having trouble deciding whether or not to retire from the sport. This article reports that he had left the team and Tinkler was his replacement.
The practice day was reasonably well attended. The article reports that the grandstand was roughly half full. The article also indicates that many of the motors were "stiff," which was commonly mentioned in this era as the new engine parts were typically a tight fit that needed to be "broken in." This particularly concerned the pistons and block which had to run for some time until the friction between them was reduced as they conformed to their distinct contours through use. Speeds were expected to climb on the final day of practice.
Two members of the tech crew reporting to David Beecroft; F.E. Edwards and Berne Nadall are mentioned. They inspected the Marion team the previous day and were scheduled to complete their work on the date of the article's publication.
Buick Team Manager Dr. Wadsworth Warren, General Motors (GM) Chairman W.C. "Billy" Durant, Buick Factory Manager William H. Little and Dr. E.R. Campbell of the GM board of directors were scheduled to come to the Speedway that day. As for the Buick team, George Dewitt, who had raced on and off for the company for the better part of a year had parted ways with the organization. Dewitt is a curiosity in that little is known about him but he is mentioned almost as a footnote in several other articles that can be found elsewhere on First Super Speedway - search his name.
Hupmobile's drivers are mentioned. Detroit's J.F. Gelnaw and Eddie Hearne of Chicago (who also entered his own Benz) are listed, but the former was the factory driver. Independently wealthy, Hearne piloted his own private entries. Gelnaw's entry was being prepared at the Hearsey-Willis garage, a local dealer for the marques.
Ben Kirscher, an employee of Barney Oldfield for his private team, was on hand in his familiar Darracq. This car won the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup in the hands of Victor Hemery. Both Kirscher and Oldifeld - with his world land speed record Blitzen Benz - were expected in town via rail later that day. Oldfield planned to practice with a Knox stock car entered for him by the Conduitt Automobile Company (check out the penultimate paragraph in my article analysis at the previous link) - an Indianapolis dealership - that day.
One of the oddest cars ever to appear at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Overland "wind wagon" was scheduled to be displayed. This was more than a simple display attraction for the May race meet, as it was a promotion for the aviation show scheduled for June at the Speedway. The car was also being tested and some fundamental issues with the chain drive train were uncovered. Changes to universal joints were planned as a result. The mechanics were trying to resolve some severe vibration. The car used an airplane-style power confiuration complete with a propellor at its rear.
Referred to as "large plank mountains," the wood ramps used as part of the planned hazard race were completed the previous day. Two Overland test cars tried out the structures and that was important as they discovered that their flywheels struck the top with uncomfortable disruption. The carpenters went to work adjusting the ramps.
Caleb Bragg arrived the previous day and took a tour of the course with President and Founder Carl Fisher. His Fiat racer was expected to arrive the day this article was published.

IMSeve052610.pdf1.09 MB