Speedway Records - 1910

This article in attachment IMSrecords050810 was originally published in the May 8, 1910 Indianapolis Star.
As the racing world eagerly anticipated the May 1910 national circuit races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway people debated the ideal auto racing venue. While the debate about track racing versus road racing had long been discussed the advent of big, purpose-built speedways was now a topic of market conversation. The rivalry between the managers of the red clay, two-mile Atlanta speedway and the new Brickyard was well underway a new approach to speedway construction, the board track, had sprung up in Los Angeles in the form of Playa Del Rey. While wooden velodromes for bicycle and motorcycle racing had been around for well over a decade this Los Angeles "motordrome" was the first of its kind designed with race cars in mind.
Playa Del Rey's inaugural go the previous month had opened to much fanfare with claims of blazingly fast speeds. The distinction of being the fastest racing venue on Earth or at least America (the high-banked, concrete track in England at Brooklands was treacherously fast) was seen as hugely important. 
The article in the attachment below speaks to the issue of whose speedway was faster. Not surprisingly the interests in Indianapolis sought to qualify any assertions out of SoCal as to whose speedway was faster. Bottom line, Brickyard advocates proclaimed that only the free-for-all events at Playa Del Rey had raised the bar on records. They may have been willing to concede this point as the conventional wisdom of the time was that these were the purview of "freak" racers (Class C or purpose-built) and their performance was of the least commercial value to manufacturers. The focus at the time was on stock cars where the advocates of Indianapolis product stressed not a single record had been touched.
Track construction was also a bone of contention. In comparing the two construction techniques (bricks versus wood) the article stresses that while the bricks take longer to prepare - note that IMS officials went so far as to "shave" their running surface - that in the long run it was superior. Time would prove them correct. In the moment they offered that the bricks, with their "corrugation," prevented skidding. 
Speedway Contest Director Ernie Moross was no doubt at the root of this media placement. Race driver stars Ray Harroun and Johnny Aitken are cited as sharing his views on running surfaces. Harroun had been extremely successful at both Playa Del Rey and Atlanta.

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