Lowell Race Dies

Originally published in the Sunday, March 20, 1910, Indianapolis Star, the article in attachment Lowell032010  was part of 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 particular article discusses the regrettable demise of one of the great early American road races held in Lowell, Massachusetts. While an unfortunate loss for classic American "Heroic Age" road racing the event's cancellation opened the door for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to pick up another American Automobile Association (AAA) sanctioned national championship date for its 1910 season.
The reason for the decision to discontinue the event after two years was a matter of business: the Lowell Automobile Club determined that they could not operate the contest without losing money. The previous races in 1908 and 1909 were won by two of the top American drivers of the day, Lewis Strang and George Robertson respectively.
Note that Lowell is referred to as "the Spindle City" in the article. This is because Lowell was a textile center early in its history.
An earlier Indianapolis News article (attachment LowellNews021910) speculated about the race's pending demise and provide interesting details with respect to the cause - all of which were its financial viability. The article reports that the event "failed to arouse any enthusiasm in the New England district."
Let's note here that the president of the Lowell Automobile Club was John O. Heinze. Heinze is credited with being a tireless worker, but the hill was too steep. Not unlike the challenges encountered by the sport today, while the quality of the event was high, the cost of pulling it together was out of proportion to revenue streams.
The course was on public roads commissioned for the event. Expenditures centered on building grandstands, conditioning the gravel and dirt roadways, erecting fences (to keep spectators from wandering onto the running surface), as well as numerous other operational details - such as personnel required to man the gates and sell tickets.

Lowell032010.pdf221.08 KB
LowellNews021910.pdf857.2 KB