Speedway On The Ready

The attachment you'll find here contains an article that orginally appeared in the May 29, 1910 Indianapolis Star. The article reports on the preparations to improve the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the May 1910 race meet. These races were part of the May 1910 Memorial Day weekend that 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. 
The attached article reviews the various features of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, many of which were new for the 1910 racing season. The focus is safety although it is curious that actual track upgrades such as the brick paving project or the addition of concrete walls on the turns or sand traps at the edge of course are not mentioned.
Those track upgrades are obliquely referenced and the article's apparent purpose is to call out less obvious improvements. The track medical facilities and staff are the first example. Curiously, the course marshall, called "a guard" is noted as being stationed in a tower near the starter's stand. Using binoculars (called "glasses") he kept watch on car circling the track. In the event of a mishap the guard blew a bugle to signal members of the National Guard into action.
In a chain of communication the National Guardsman was to alert a "corporal's guard" waiting in an automobile who also signaled an emergency ambulance. Both vehicles were to rush to the scene of the accident. Still another team, called "a wrecking crew," hurried to the point of trouble. These workers were effectively a clean-up crew charged with removing the wrecked car and associated debris.
The senior medical official in the mix was Dr. H.R. Allen. The infield emergency hospital could accommodate up to six patients comfortably. Its facilities were reportedly state-of-the-art and to the standards of the top American hospitals of the time.
Given the spectator deaths and injuries at the August 1909 race meet crowd control was paramount. Members of the National Guard were employed to hold people in check and out of restricted areas. I get the impression that in this era people were more likely to sneak onto the grounds from various obscure points and hop over walls or other barriers to avoid paying admission and to get spectacular vantage points. Apparently there were issues, too, with people running their cars and horse carriages at unsafe speeds while on the grounds and that had to be policed as well. Within the facilites accommodations for up to 2,000 horses and carriages as well as about the same number of automobiles were provided. I assume others parked outside the grounds or arrived by rail, which was probably the most popular mode of transport.
Another interesting point in this article is that it may document the advent of pit credentials. This is in a reference to "badges" with the comment that no one could be admitted to the pit area without them. The article also notes that "strict watch" was kept on the track and surrounding fences to prevent unauthorized entry. The article closes to underscore that the described precautions were instituted for public safety reasons - including the elimination of seating deemed too close to the running surface.

IMSfacilities052910.pdf832.91 KB