Safety & Speed Hallmarks of May 1910 Races

This attachment contains an article which orginally appeared in the May 31, 1910 Indianapolis Star. The article ran in support of the May 1910 race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The May 1910 race meet weekend included "national championships," a newly-announced distinction by the American Automobile Association (AAA) for select race meets. Car manufacturers were keen to make a great showing. Check out other articles that provide additional summaries on the results of the races staged May 27 and May 28 elsewhere on First Super Speedway.
Also, check out these other relevant articles:

The attached article was written by the legendary Hoosier motor racing journalist and automotive marketer Peter Paul "P.P." Willis. It is a solid summary of the events of the final day of the race meet which was held on Memorial Day. The headline is a bit misleading in that it sets an expectation that it would focus on the speeds and safety of the newly paved Brickyard. The title reads, "Speed Events End Without Accident."
Willis opens the article with an oblique reference to Ray Harroun's accident with the Marmon Wasp in early morning practice. If you relied on this article alone you could easily get through it without understanding that Harroun had much of an incident at all. Despite Willis' amazing talent, he mingles a reference to both the accident and Harroun's victory later in the day in the Remy Brassard contest, which he refers to simply as, "the fifty-mile race." All of this assumes a lot of the reader which may be poor judgment on Willis' part or an example of how in tune he was with a public hanging on every word coming from authoritative voices seen as representing the Speedway. Regardless, his comment, "Although everyone was tired, yet all agreed that the day had been well spent in watching the motor car history in the making as former records fell behind in the dust of the whirling machines," was probably more prophetic than he could have imagined at the time.
Legendary AAA Starter Fred J. Wagner is noted as assessing the event a huge success. While Willis asserts that Wagner had started every race of significance since the sport was born what he is referring are American races. Even that point can be challenged but in the context he is not far off. He goes further to say that Wagner said the crowd at the Speedway was the largest to witness races in history but again this is simply not true. By all estimates the Speedway's crowd on Memorial Day, while the largest of the three days, was something just short of 70,000. Attendance estimates for most of the Long Island Vanderbilt Cup races were in the 200,000+ range. That said, all but a handful of viewers among the ranks of elite Society witness those Vanderbilt races free of charge as the events were conducted on public roads and people simply arrived by whatever conveyance claimed a vantage point at the side of the road.
The headline referenced above hinged on the following excerpt: "The absence of serious accidents and the record speeds obtained place Indianapolis at the top notch of the motor race cities of the entire world." 
Willis raises another interesting point when he discusses the "national championship" races. He reports that aside from the Remy Brassard competition, the free-for-all events, a handicap contest and a postponed race all the other races were for the national championship of each class. He asserts that the winners would hold the championship for a year, regardless of any other races that might be held in the remainder of 1910. This is curious in that other races later in the year at the Speedway were distinguished as national championship as well as still more at other venues. This further blurs the significance and differentiation between national championship races and others.
The postponed race, a free-for-all ten-miler, was the first contest of the day. This race was originally scheduled for Saturday but due to the duration of the 200 mile Wheeler-Schebler Trophy it was moved to Monday. Caleb Bragg prevailed, picking up the win in his Fiat after Ben Kirscher blew a tire on his Barney Oldfield-owned 1905 Darracaq, the same car that won the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup. Tom Kincaid finished second and Art Greiner brought up the rear in his privately owned National.
Perhaps the oddest event of the day - the second - was the John A. Wilson Trophy. This was a mile time trial in touring cars carrying five passengers. Oldfield was the only entry in a Knox but did not attain the speed minimum of 60 MPH to qualify for the first prize. His best time was one minute, 10.5 seconds.
The third race was a ten-miler for Class B 161 to 239 cubic inch displacement cars. It was won by Buick star Louis Chevrolet with a time of 9:03.6. His teammate Bob Burman was second with Lee Frayer in a Firestone-Columbus third with a driver named Miller in a Warren-Detroit following. Miller's first name may have been Bert, but it is not provided in this article. Another race for Class B (160 cubic inches), listed as a five-miler, was canceled for want of entries.
The fourth race was a five-miler for Class B, Division 3, 281 to 300 cubic inch cars. There were five entries. Joe Dawson in a Marmon won with a time of 4:41.34. Important visual details are provided as the article points out that the Marmon drivers (Harroun and Dawson) wore yellow sweaters while red sweaters adorned the Marion and Cutting pilots. Gil Andersen was the Marion driver.
Between the fourth and fifth races Barney Oldfield made another of his time trial appearances in his Blitzen Benz. He recorded a 37.01 second mile and a 21.45 second kilometer. The latter effort was reported to be a new American track speed record. His performance was reportedly met by sustained applause by the race fans.
The fifth race was won by Caleb Bragg in his Fiat. This was a five-mile free-for-all open race. His winning time was 3:34.7. Apparently Bragg used an unconventional high groove up next to the wall and most everyone else took a low line to the inside. Other finishers in this contest were: Ben Kirscher (Darracq); Johnny Aitken (National); Tom Kincaid (National); Art Greiner (National) and Bob Burman (Buick). Burman was virtually a "did not start" (DNS) when a gear broke and literally dropped on the track to be retrieved by a crew member.
The sixth race was for Class B, Division 3, 231-300 cubic inch cars. It was a ten-mile affair and Harroun drove a Marmon to victory with a time of 9:25.31. Gil Andersen led early with his Indianapolis-built Marion, but slipped to fourth on the final lap. Dawson was second while George Clarke brought his Cutting home third. His teammate Bisbe finished fifth behind Andersen.
Barney Oldfield drove his Knox to victory in the seventh race, a five-mile contest. His time was a new record at 4:01.36. He outpaced the three Nationals of Aitken, Kincaid and Charlie Merz for the victory.
Aitken had a measure of revenge by taking the eighth race with a time of 4:06.7 for a new class record. Interestingly, the class is not revealed. His teammates Dawson and Merz finished second and third. Dawson was fourth while Fred Ellis in a Jackson was last among five entries.
The ninth race attracted 15 starters. This was a free-for-all handicap for five miles. Newell Motsinger in the little Empire was first to start but last to finish. Jack Reed, affiliated with Speedway President and Founder Carl Fisher's sales dealership (Fisher Automobile Company), drove a Stoddard-Dayton to victory. This was despite the fact that Stoddard-Dayton had withdrawn its factory-backed team the previous year. The car was owned by Speedway co-founder James Allison. Not surprisingly, given that the race was a handicap and therefore gave smaller cars a headstart, there was considerable passing throughout the field. Aitken came from starting fourteenth to run third at the end of the first lap.
The tenth race was ten miles for Class B, Division 5 cars of 451 to 600 cubic inches. Oldfield again prevailed with the Knox with a time of 7:50.75. Howdy Wilcox was second with Kincaid third and Aitken fourth - all driving Nationals.
Following the tenth race Speedway officials recognized Blanche Scott who was in the process of becoming the first woman to drive across the country from New York to San Francisco in an Overland touring car. The article calls the color of her car "pure white." Scott was an early aviator and as such a student of Glenn Curtiss.
The eleventh race was another ten-mile affair and was won by Aitken with a time of 7:57.1. His National teammates Kincaid and Merz were second and third respectively. Dawson was fourth and Jackson driver Ellis last of five entries. The twelfth race was another ten-mile contest and won by Bragg in the Fiat with a time of 7:20.6. Kirscher was again second with National drivers Aitken and Greiner following.
After that race Oldfield took another shot at the mile record with his Blitzen Benz. He succeeded with a time of 35.63. Again, the popular driver was met with cheers from the grandstands.
The final race of the entire meet was the Remy Grand Brassard. It was the longest race of the day at 50 miles. There were nine starters with Harroun winning. His Marmon teammate Dawson was second with Pope-Hartford driver Frank Fox third. Check out the chart at the end of the article. Five of the nine starters finished.

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