DePalma Stars @ Play Del Rey - 1910

This article was published in the April 14, 1910 Indianapolis Star. It is additional coverage of the inaugural race meet at America's first board track for auto racing, Playa Del Rey. The race meet extended from April 8 to April 17. Other articles about the race meet can be found elsewhere on First Super Speedway:

While Ralph DePalma in his Fiat won the feature 50-mile contest of the day he was upstaged if only a smidgen by the inimitable Barney Oldfield and his Blitzen Benz. Just the previous month Oldfield had captured the world's imagination with his world land speed record run on the sands of Daytona Beach. The stogie chomping Speed King completed a half-mile in 17.91 seconds which works out to 100.56 MPH. That was one of five national records. Oldfield also pushed the Benz to 22.88 seconds which was 1.4 seconds faster than the time he set at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the previous August. It is not clear from the article whether this was a new record or not so I assume it was not.
DePalma won the 50-mile "free-for-all" race in a Fiat. The article indicates this was the Fiat Cyclone and this is corroborated by another article on First Super SpeedwayDePalma had only recently recovered from injuries from a racing accident. 
From the article it sounds like Ben Kirscher (whose name is constantly butchered in these articles) driving the Oldfield-owned 1905 Darracq gave DePalma all he could handle. The two diced for the lead until lap 30 when Kirscher's car threw a wheel. Ray Harroun in his Marmon had been lurking in third but was forced to pit for fresh rubber and lost the position Al Livingston in the Stoddard-Dayton took advantage of the opportunity and finished second.
Kirscher was able to enjoy victory when he drove his Darracq to a win in the first heat of the a ten-mile free-for-all competition. DePalma finished second in that contest. Livingston picked up a win in a five-mile handicap race. The handicaps were races where officials provided head starts to drivers in cars of lower horsepower. The idea was to create closer racing for fans.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) officials also staged time trials. Again young sensation Caleb Bragg drove his privately owned Fiat to a new amateur two-mile record at 1:15.96 seconds. Buick west coast driving star Joe Nikrent established a new ten-mile class record at 7:35.87 and Kirscher was fastest over three miles at 1:57.71.
Note that George Robertson was reportedly too ill to compete with his Simplex. No further information is provided on his problem.
Check out a neatly organized list summarizing the day's events at the bottom of the article contained in the attachment. It is not presented in this analysis because virtually all of the information has been covered in the above text. 

PlayaDelRey041410.pdf431.28 KB