Stickney & Oldfield

Attachment Stickney092009 contains two brief Indianapolis Star articles concerning events during the first automobile races at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The date was August 20, 1909.
The more interesting article is a rare focus on little known driver John "J.H." Stickney of the number 49 Velie. Apparently Stickney suffered from heat prostration or some kind of illness believed to be associated with excessive sun exposure in the previous day's practice. The Velie crew nursed him with ice packs prior to the opening race of the day (actually the opening auto race in the entire history of the track), a five mile stock chassis race for engines with 161 to 230 cubic inch displacement.
After the conclusion of the race Velie team manager H.G. Moore pulled his driver from the second event of the day, a 10-miler, out of concern for Stickney's health. The driver was order to bed rest at their hotel under the care of Dr. J.D. Stewart. Interestingly Willard "W.L." Velie, the founder and grandson of John Deere reportedly said that racing was pure sport which implied it offered limited insight to product development or promotion. Willard Velie also indicated that his car would only be driven by Stickney with the possible exception of letting Moore climb behind the wheel if he elected to do so.
A second, briefer item promotes Barney Oldfield's use of Firestone demountable rims in establishing the world track record for a mile. That time trail was conducted as the first event of the day on August 19, 1909. Attachment OldfieldFirestone.jpg is a an advertisement that was published on the same page as the attached articles.

Stickney092009.pdf192.57 KB
OldfieldFirestone.jpg1.23 MB