Moross Hired by Speedway

The attachment here contains two articles from the May 22, 1909 Indianapolis Star. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was under construction at the time and track management was scurrying to get the facility into shape for motorcycle and auto races that summer. Part of the push was to generate revenue to begin recovering the investments of the founders (Carl Fisher, James Allison, Arthur C. Newby and Frank Wheeler).
The first article references the comments of America's top super-star driver of the age, Barney Oldfield. Oldfield reportedly criticized Speedway management for not telling the world what a fantastic race course was taking shape and how it was sure to deliver world speed records. This brief article also mentions that Oldfield was looking at several manufacturers to supply his race car for the summer with National Motor Vehicle Company the primary company under consideration.
The second brief item announces the hiring of Ernie Moross, long-time Oldfield manager and widely recognized as the top promoter of auto racing events in the country. Moross' reputation came with baggage however as much of that was dedicated to Oldfield's infamous "barnstorming" tours which were panned as phony, staged events and not real competition. Still, they were wildly successful and Moross understood the sport and possessed an innate ability to generate events that titillated the masses. Moross' time at the Speedway was destined to be brief but during that time his influence extended well beyond promotion to general management. His title was director of contests. This article is particularly interesting to me in that it indicates that Moross did not become an employee of the Speedway until May 1909 but I have seen sources that credit him with creating a model of the track not long after ground broke on construction in March.

MorossHire051809.pdf200.45 KB