IMS Construction + Cannon Ball Baker

This attachment contains two very brief items concerning the upcoming August 1909 motorcycle races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This material was originally published in the August 2, 1909, Indianapolis News. This same article appears elsewhere on First Super Speedway, published in the days when we copied microfilm onto paper and scanned them. I published this before I realized it, or I would have combined them. It is worth clicking thru to compare as some images are included in my prior entry.
The first brief contains some very interesting information about the construction of the track, which was being rushed to completion to accommodate the arrival of the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) with their race meet, ride from Cleveland, and their national convention. Reportedly 90,000 cubic yards of crushed stone had been distributed around the track running surface by the previous Friday - July 30. The article also shares that a "siding" was on the track grounds capable of staging 15 cars. I believe what this means is that some special arrangement had been made to build a railroad extension from the line skirting Crawfordsville Road to the construction area. The "cars" were railcars loaded with building materials.
Other supplies, such as 40 carloads of pitch (tar) had apparently been applied and more was required before the surface could be completed according to plans at the time. The pitch - also called "taroid" - was applied at the rate of two gallons per square yard. The crushed stone was reportedly purchased from 18 firms across the country. No single firm could supply the material to meet the project timeline. The article asserts that work constructing grandstands and other structures was progressing according to schedule.
The second item in this attachment concerns motorcycle rider/racer Erwin Baker, the Indianapolis favorite son who would later earn the nickname, "Cannon Ball," for his cross-country endurance drives on two wheels and four. Baker had just returned to the Hoosier capital after competing in motorcycle races in Troy, Ohio. In five contests he won three and finished second in the other two. The two he lost were handicap races where his competition was given a headstart. He lost by what the report says were "small margins."
For his efforts, Baker was presented with two silver cups and three "merchandise prizes," such as tires or something similar from companies associated with the event. Baker's fastest mile was on the half-mile track was 1:18. He received a prize for the fastest mile of the meet. His bike was reportedly a five-horsepower Indian motorcycle.

IMSNews080209.pdf1.12 MB