De Palma Stresses "Headwork"

In an article published in the May 28, 1911 Indianapolis Star by Ralph De Palma the racing great discusses what it takes to win a special race like the first Indianapolis 500. Above all else, De Palma stressed "headwork," or setting a strategy and thinking throughout the race to adjust to developments. He goes so far as to say that he studies most of his competitors and found them lacking.
Another article on the same page (one-page PDF) stems from an interview with eventual winner Ray Harroun, who responds to the view that 500 miles is too long for any one driver to stand the strain. Harroun came to the conclusion that the larger issue lay with the car and its durability. Harroun does talk about steps he too to relieve strain - such as shoving cotton balls in his ears.

star052811 43.pdf3.44 MB