Proof of AAA National Championship - 1905

This article is a huge find for American auto racing historians. It is evidence that the first auto racing national championship awarded through a points system occurred in 1905. This is significant as there has been a long running debate about when the first national championship actually occurred. The reason for the confusion was some revisionist history created by certain AAA officials in the 1920's and again in the 1950's. Their approach was to award championships years afterwards by applying the points system of their times to the results of races they determined should have been included in a national championship schedule. Interesting speculation, but not a justification for asserting that particular drivers were national champions even though there was no such prize during their racing careers. There is clear evidence that from 1909 through 1919 - the years in dispute - only one season had an official points awarded national championship and that was 1916. In other years during this era a trade publication announced their selection of a champion, but all of this was very informal and fairly subjective. While the 1905 national championship was the first awarded by a points system, it is fair to distinguish it from what occurred in 1916. The 1905 championship was for sprint races of five to 10 miles held exclusively on dirt horsetracks. It is more accurate to compare that with sprint or midget championships in later years. The 1916 championship was more recognizable as a major championship by today's standards and included long distance events across a variety of venues, such as the vast road courses for the Vanderbilt Cup and the American Grand Prize as well as the state-of-the-art giant brick-paved Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This article appeared in Horseless Age on May 24, 1905.

National Points Championship May 24 1905.pdf1.87 MB