Entries For Playa Del Rey Grow

This article was originally published in the Sunday, March 20, 1910 Indianapolis Star. It was part of several articles in a special supplemental section about the upcoming March 28 Indianapolis Automobile Show presented by the Indianapolis Automobile Trade Association (IATA). Key features of the event were the Floral Parade, contests at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and concluding banquet at the Denison Hotel.
This article was not focused on the auto show however. Instead it reported on a topic that was related only in that it concerned Indianapolis race cars headed to the inaugural race meet at America's first board track, Playa Del Rey, near Los Angeles. Among the drivers entered were George Robertson, Ralph DePalma, Frank Lescault and Caleb Bragg. Eddie Hearne was a rumored entry.
Interest in the new marvel of architecture was high. President Frank A. Garbutt of the Motordrome Company reported that a constant stream of "automobile inspection parties" forced him to close entrances to the edifice they called a "wood plank dish." After a list of required improvements provided by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Chairman Sam Butler was completed track management planned to allow fans to do laps in their cars.
Among these improvements were sand traps at the inside edge of track to slow errant racers. A steel rail some 18 inches high was also being erected at the outside edge of the banked speedway. Jack Prince, the famous designer of board tracks for motorcyles, was reportedly proud that his estimate of track length at one mile was confirmed by professional surveyors. Curiously, Prince, who apparently had no formal training in engineering had "eyeballed" his measurements in laying out the construction site using a rod at the center of field full of tall weeds. The surveyors' report indicated Prince was little more than 300 feet off the mark.
Although Marmon driver Ray Harroun is not mentioned in the article a photo ran in association with the article. In it not only was Harroun pictured but his riding mechanic Fred Heinemen as well. Heinemen also drove for Marmon on occasion.

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