Lytle on IMS

The attached article originally appeared in the June 27, 1909 Indianapolis Star. It provides insight to the views of Herb Lytle, one of the most experienced drivers of the day, concerning the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that was still under construction at the time. Lytle demonstrates a lot of right-headed thinking as he talks about the impossibilty of policing long road courses on public roads such as the Vanderbilt Cup, the Cobe Trophy or Briarcliff. These courses were typically 20 miles long or more - with thousands of people lining the edge of the road and frequently straying onto the course. Lytle had been very critical of Briarcliff the previous year.
Lytle also critiques beach racing, the most famous example being Ormond-Daytona. While the sands were smooth and hard in many cases irregularities of the tide could produce a dangerous rippling affect. The everyday coming and going of the tide restricted the hours of the day during which the beach was available to cars. As for the horse track venues the straightaways were too short, Lytle said, to take the car to full speed. That meant world records were impossible and the ability to test the engines limited. As for the Speedway Lytle pronounced it long enough, banked enough and wide enough to allow "unlimited speed." Interestingly, despite its crushed stone surface Lytle believe the track would not be dusty.
In short this article provides great insights from a respected authority concerning the state of racing venues in these early days of the sport.

Lytle062709.pdf778.85 KB