May 27 - Dawson & Deltal

The buzz at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 27, 1913 was all about defending Indianapolis 500 champion Joe Dawson suddenly being named to drive the late-arriving Deltal entry. It's designer, E.M. Delling, had intended to drive the car himself in the 1913 Indianapolis 500 but American Automobile Association (AAA) officials - Art Pardington (head referee) and William Schimpf (AAA contest board chair) ruled he lacked the experience to chance it. Dawson, one of the driving biggest talents of the day, was available (due to a AAA suspension for participating in an unsanctioned race along with Robert Pennebaker - see attachment NewsPennebaker052713) and quickly came to terms with Delling. A change was also made in riding mechanics as the originally scheduled Max Mattes was replaced by G.G. Tate who had been assigned to the Smada that had been withdrawn earlier in the month.
Attachments StarDawson052713 and NewsDawson052713 contain articles that explain the details. The first attachment's article - from the Indianapolis Star - provides other interesting details such as the fact that it rained the previous day curtailing any attempt to stage the already postponed time trials. Also, Speedway President Carl Fisher announced that he would make the track available for practice through Thursday - the day before race day - to help late arriving teams. This was especially important if the highly coveted Isotta team had any hope of participating in the Indianapolis 500. Their travails continued to drag out as the ocean liner they were shipped on - the tragically famous Lusitania - had only arrived in New York a day earlier. Unpacking the ship proved tedious as the cars were apparently stacked in their containers near the bottom of the ship.
The day was all about Dawson - and further evidence comes in an image in attachment NewsDawson052713 that provides a nice headshot of the man the press called "Smiling Joe." An image of the car Dawson was suddenly assigned to - the Deltal - appears in attachment NewsDeltal052813. The associated caption, however, had not been updated as it still stated that Delling was to be the driver. The NewsPennebaker attachment mentioned above contains an image of Robert Pennebaker at the wheel of his Stearns-Knight. The Memphis, Tennessee driver is pictured at the wheel of his Stearns-Knight race car. Described as independently wealthy, he was the only car owner who also drove in the race.
The evening edition Indianapolis News was able to report some breaking same-day news with a brief item that says Paul Zuccarelli's Peugeot threw a right front tire entering the front stretch. He fought with the wheel and was able to guide his racer to a safe stop in turn one. This article is contained in attachment NewsThrill052713.
Speaking of Peugeot there was an interesting editorial cartoon in the Indianapolis Star and it is in attachment StarCartoon052713. The cartoon posited the question - can the European entries fill the shoes of the champion National Motor Vehicle Company? The question seems preposterous but forgivable given that it was a hometown company.
People management - receiving, hosting and directing the inflow of fans - at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was and remains a huge challenge that must be professionally managed. Huge crowds generate complicated logistics. Attachment NewsCaptain052713 contains an image of the man who headed up that operation, Captain William Carpenter, as well as a caption that provides some insights to his background, which was military. Two other articles are in attachments NewsTrains052713 and TrainsStar052713 discuss the plans of the railroads serving the Speedway for race day. Special trains were ordered in anticipation of huge crowds as the trains absorbed as much as 40 percent of all the fan traffic to and from the Brickyard in those days.

NewsDawson052713i.pdf1.28 MB
StarDawson052713.pdf862.54 KB
NewsDawson052713.pdf250.3 KB
NewsDeltal052713.pdf437.18 KB
NewsPennebaker052713.pdf735.47 KB
StarCartoon052713.pdf216.21 KB
NewsCaptain052713.pdf275.84 KB
NewsTrains052713.pdf231.76 KB
TrainsStar052713.pdf496.22 KB