Early IMS Entries, August 1909 Races

Early entries for the first auto races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway fueled excitment among throughout the Hoosier capital city about big-time racing on America's first major purpose-built speedway in 1909. Two brief Indianapolis News articles in the attachments below tell the story. The first, IMSNews072809, was published on July 28 and the second, IMSNews072909i, appeared July 29.
The July 28 article is especially interesting because it reports (note the byline is "Carburetor") that not only was the city of Indianapolis wholeheartedly invested in the success of the Speedway, but community leaders were going so far as to "dress up" the Hoosier capital in the track's colors: white, green and dark brown. The report indicates that the colors would be used by "the leading stores" in a move "to impress the outsider with the fact that Indianapolis is a live city." 
The selection of the three colors by Speedway management is explained in this excerpt: "the course, which when completed will be a dark brown from the oil, sand and taroid that will form the surface. The buildings are all painted white with green roofs, while the grass forms another mantle of the same hue."
The article reports that the Speedway was so close to completion that cars were already running at speed. Also, a motorcycle had covered a mile in less than a minute the previous day. In a dubious statement, contractors were reportedly ahead of schedule with the track and expected to open for pactice by August 3, a full week ahead of original plans. I believe this an attempt to allay fears that preparations were actually behind schedule. We know from later reports that President Carl Fisher had laborers working around the clock right up to the opening of the motorcycle races.
The article notes that the "outer tack" was the portion nearing completion. This is in reference to original plans to include an infield road course. This would have added another 2.5 miles of running surface to the venue, totaling five miles. In many early references to the track, it is described as five miles in length. Also, a new timing device is described as state-of-the-art although details are lacking. The point is made that in traditional devices, the cars drove over the timing wire, while at the Speedway the cars would speed by under it. Neither the reasoning or the manner in which this would be accomplished are explained.
The article also mentions that the American Automobile Association (AAA) contest board planned to meet in the city during race week. High on their agenda was to draft amendments to new racing rules for 1910.
The final point made in this article was that the Stoddard-Dayton company of Dayton, Ohio would enter ten cars in the upcoming Speedway races. The entries brought the total up to 29, with another 46 expected.
The second article from July 29 is even shorter than the one from the previous day. It centers on the entries of three more cars, two Chalmers-Detroits and one National. Chalmers-Detroit was based in Flint, Michigan and National was Indianapolis-based. Speedway Founder Art Newby is called out as the president of National in the article. The additions brought the entry list total to 32 by the time this article was published.
The article also reports that Ernie Moross, the director of contests at the Speedway, had left that morning for New York where he expected to attract additional entrants. He was scheduled to attend the 24 hour contest at Brighton Beach the following two days. Not only was he calling on east coast American car manufacturers but also import agents for Fiat and Benz. Later in his trip he planned to go to Morris Park where he sought to approach airplane and dirigible owners about entering the Speedway's planned Labor Day aviation meet. That event never took place after track management turned its attention to reconditioning their facility after the tragic August races. 

IMSNews072809.pdf918.91 KB
IMSNews072909i.pdf323.49 KB