Racing Rules & Public Policy

This article is yet another item from a special Sunday edition of the Indianapolis Star that touted the excitement of the upcoming first automobile races at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The date was August 15, 1909.
While this article had only a tangential relationship to the competition at the Speedway it provides insight to the tone and tenor concerning one of the issues of the day - racing on public roads. Juxtapose this with the reality of a giant dedicated facility in the form of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and you find a tension essential to the future direction of American motorsport.
This article discusses the opinions of the country's automotive industry represented by the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers (ALAM) with respect to the proper conduct of competitive events staged on public roads. Keep in mind the ALAM had much influence on the American Automobile Association (AAA) in the conduct of auto racing in the United States. This largely came in the form of determining the rules and regulations for the types of cars that would be raced.
This article reaches no particular conclusion other than to say that when public roads were utilized it was of paramount importance that the utmost care be taken in guarding the course and ensuring that speed laws were strictly adhered to or their relaxation for specific periods of time be throughly negotiated and communicated well in advance.
Examples of the primary automobile competitions that took place on such roads were touring events such as the Glidden Tour or high speed road races like the Vanderbilt Cup.

RacingValue091509.pdf1.21 MB