Harroun Wins at Playa Del Rey

The articles in this attachment were published in the April 9, 1910 Indianapolis Star.
There are two articles, the most important and longest being a report from the opening day of the first race meet at the first board track in the United States - Playa Del Rey. The other article is much briefer and reports on a hill climb competition in Logansport, Indiana.
The Playa Del Rey event attracted most of the top American race drivers of the time for a series of races. The longest contest of the day was a 100-mile go on the one-mile plank oval nicknamed, "piepan." Marmon ace Ray Harroun was the winner in the event for stock chassis cars.
The meet is reported through other sources to have spanned April 8 through April 17. For coverage of other days of the meet check out the following links to other First Super Speedway:


According to the Playa Del Rey article every world's record a one-mile track from one to 100 miles was broken as well as five national speedway marks were lowered in time trials and "free-for-all" contests. The report acknowledges that this is no surprise given the high-banked, smooth surface nature of the track. All other mile tracks of the day were flat dirt courses.
The record breaking started immediately. Highly touted amateur driver Caleb Bragg pushed his Fiat 90 to a new mile track recrod of 37.56 seconds. The next car out was the Simplex of George Robertson who bested Lewis Strang's record-setting run set the previous November at Atlanta speedway by more than 30 seconds. Robertson was credited with a six minute, 31.37 run as opposed to Strang's 7:01.94.
Crowd favorite Barney Oldfield had his world land speed record setting Blitzen Benz in action setting a new national speedway mile mark at 36.22 seconds. Ralph DePalma set a new 15-mile market with his 190 HP Fiat at 13:15.62. Ben Kirscher in an Oldfield-owned Darracq - the car that won the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup - established a new two-mile speed record at 1:18.29. 
The article credits Barney Oldfield with the most sensational drive of the day with his Knox racer in a ten-mile race for engines of 451-600 cubic inch displacement. Despite a poor start that put him a clear eighth of a mile behind Al Livingston and his Stoddard-Dayton, Oldfield recovered to seize the lead by the end of lap four to win handily at a time of 7:51.4. Apperson driver Harris Henshue (I believe Henshue's name is misspelled in the article as "Hanshue") finished second.
Ralph DePalma won a five-mile free-for-all race in his Fiat. This was apparently a close race with - I believe - George Robertson driving a Simplex to second. The article says "Roberts" drove a Simplex to second but I believe this is a typo.
Harroun's victory in the 100-miler apparently was a hard fought contest with Frank Seifert driving a Dorris. Harroun reportedly pulled ahead and extended his lead after 95 laps. His time was a new national speedway record for the distance, eclipsing his own record set at the Atlanta speedway the previous November. He finished the 100 miles at one hour, 25 minutes and 22.1 seconds. That was 4:46.21 faster than the Atlanta go. Seifert reportedly lost control of his car after the race, apparently storming into the paddock area at too high a rate of speed and "turning turtle." That phrase typically meant that the car turned over. According to the article Seiffert had "tired arms" after the grueling drive. There were no other accidents during the day.
The article reports that a ten-mile stock race was also staged with a driver by the name of Endicott winning in a Cole. Although no first name is provided and there were two Endicott brothers - "Farmer" Bill and Harry - I believe this is most likely Bill's win. I say this because Bill was the older and more established driver at the time. This was a stock car race for engines of 161-230 piston displacement and the winner's time was another new record at 9:03.25, besting a time for this class of 9:49.46 at Atlanta speedway.
All of these records were set despite what was described as less than ideal weather conditions. The day was reportedly cold and cloudy with a strong wind.
The names of officials are provided, all noteworthy in their day. S.B. Stevens was referee, American Automobile Association Contest Board Chairman Sam Butler was honorary referee. Other reports indicate that Butler's west coast trip - he was based in New York - was part of a research tour to assess the feasibility of a AAA-sanctioned racing series in that region of the country. Fred Wagner, the legendary AAA starter, flagged the races. This article concludes with a nicely organized list of the events, winners, cars, classes and finishing times already described here. It's a handy reference.
The second, smaller article, reports on the Logansport, Indiana hill climb. The article indicates it was "part of the automoible show" with no explanation. It may be that it was associated with the Indianapolis Automobile Show but given the dateline is April 8 and the show ended with its banquet on April 2 that seems out of sync. Also, the auto show was in Indianapolis and Logansport is as much as 80 miles away - a major trip in those days of low horsepower and poor road conditions.
The races, which apparently drew no drivers of significant reputation, were staged at College Hill. This venue reportedly had a "30 percent grade" and was 1,450 feet long. Apparently there were three events, two won by a Buick the third by a National. The events were organized as "class 1," for cars costing less than $1,000; "class 2" for cars costing $2,000 or less and a free-for-all competition. Herbert Dunn drove his Buick to victory in class 1; Charles Grant drove another Buick to victory in class 2 and Bishop (no first name provided) drove his National to triumph in the free-for-all. There were reportedly about 5,000 spectators on hand.
The event suffered from controversy. Jeffers (again, no first name) drove a Parry in the free-for-all and despite four attempts the electric timing device used by officials failed each time. His time was never captured. Apparently there were no accidents. 

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