Final Bricks Fall Into Place

The article in attachment IMSpaving112809 was published November 28, 1909, in the Indianapolis Star. It reports on the progress of the brick paving of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which was almost complete, as well as preparations for the upcoming December time trials.
The brick paving was nearly complete and some of the biggest names among race drivers were named as entrants. First mentioned was Lewis Strang and his 120 HP Fiat, reportedly driven at 128 MPH by Felice Nazzaro at the Brooklands track in England. It was also the machine Strang used to establish new American records at Atlanta Speedway earlier in November. Word was that Strang had told Speedway co-founder Arthur Newby he would take part in the winter time trials while they were both at the Atlanta race meet.
Walter Christie in his monster front drive creation bearing his name was housing his racer at the garage of Fisher Automobile Company. Christie was drawn by the potential of the newly paved Speedway.
Another alleged entry (Oldfield did not compete, this report was in error) was the 200 HP "Hemery Benz" referred to as such because 1905 Vanderbilt Cup winner Victor Hemery had driven it at Brooklands. Later known as the "Blitzen Benz," this car had only recently been acquired by Barney Oldfield. This is a significant historical reference as the Oldfield-Benz combination would later set the world land speed record at Ormond Beach in March 1910. The article indicates that George Robertson was a potential driver of the car at Indianapolis although this is curious given that Oldfield owned the racer. 
The National Motor Vehicle Company was also on board for the event and no surprise in that Newby was an officer of the company. The cars, which were stock chassis, were not seen as contenders for mile or kilometer records but were in the running for the laurels in longer runs. Johnny Aitken is mentioned as a likely driver. Another Indianapolis-based marques from the Nordyke & Marmon Company - the Marmon cars - were noted as likely entries.
The article closes with notes about the finishing touches being completed at the Speedway - grandstands, concrete "railings," gradings designed with safety in mind for protecting spectators. Director of Contests Ernie Moross was busy shaping up a program for the December time trials that included speed runs for distances ranging from one kilometer to 1,000 miles.
The Indianapolis News article in attachment BrickyardNews112709 covers much of the same ground as the one analyzed above, but with a few interesting twists. It described the "cement" retaining wall built at the perimeter of the track. The way the article is written it sounds like the wall lined the entire track, but I believe they were only on the turns. The wall is described as three feet tall and a foot wide.
The James J. Jeffries mentioned in the article is not identified and probably because he was a household name at the time. He was the former world heavyweight boxing champion pressed out of retirement to serve as the "Great White Hope" of racists wanting to see the end of Jack Johnson's reign as the first black world champion. 
Both Jeffries and the writer of the article (identified as, "Carburetor") were driven around the track in an unofficial inspection tour. The writer described the experience as a smooth or easy ride the like of which he had never experienced before.
"There was absolutely no jar, although the cars were running close to fifty miles an hour."
We also learn that the cars were turned around on one of the corners, enhancing the feeling of the banking, which the writer described as "about as steep as a house." Jefferies reportedly expressed a great deal of enjoyment over the visit and said he wished to attend an auto race at the track some day.
In addition to the paving, new grandstands were being constructed. The article says the expansion would double the seating capacity.
Three other items conclude the article. The first reports on plans by an unidentified investment group to construct a five-mile Speedway in Detroit at an estimated cost of $500,000. The report suggests that brick or creosote block paving was under consideration.
A second item has the city of Ft. Wayne throwing its metaphorical hat into the ring of those competing for the honors of hosting the Cobe Trophy auto race. Earlier reports suggested that Chicago and Wisconsin were prime contenders.
There is a final, very brief item about the founding of Henry Motor Car Company. The founder was Dave Henry, formerly sales manager of the Interstate Automobile Company of Muncie. Henry Motor Car was a short-lived manufacturing concern based in Muskegon, Michigan.
Another Indianapolis News article published December 7, 1909 (attachment IMSNews120709), tells of plans for the ceremonial completion of the brick paving with the laying of the final block, allegedly made of silver (85 pounds Troy). Later reports indicate the material was actually bronze from the Wheeler-Schebler Carbuertor Company, but there may have more than one metal block and the fate of any of them is unknown.
The article says the block was being shipped from New York, suggesting that the a special artisan not available in Indiana was required. Security, too, was an issue as the block was "chained down," and a guard supervised it. The plan was to relieve the guard once the brick was in place and the concrete around it had cured. Note, too, that the Speedway is reported to be worth $700,000. I think there is confusion here as I believe that number to be both the original cash outlay for land acquisition and inital construction. The rennovation including the brick paving, retaining walls, sand traps and more was about the same cost.
Observers predicted much speed. Some said the mark of two miles in a minute or 120 mph would be achieved. Speedway Director of Contests Ernie Moross announced that entries from Marmon, National, and Cole were assured. J. Walter Christie was reported as in town and had a tour of the facility hosted by Fisher. The Speed King was reportedly pleased "with the manner in which the car was able to make speed and still ride evenly." Hughie Hughes, who was driving an Allan-Kingston car in competition at the time also visited the track and heaped on praise. Hughes was working with Christie and was rumored to share the car with the inventor-engineer.
At this point the concrete binding the bricks together as well as that making up the retaining walls were still curing. Buildings were receiving their finishing touches.

IMSpaving112809.pdf1.51 MB
BrickyardNews112709.pdf625.21 KB
IMSNews120709.pdf980.11 KB