Stop Track Racing!

An article (attachment trackracing102007) from the October 20, 1907 Indianapolis Star represents the view that racing on oval horse tracks was simply too dangerous to continue to permit. Such appeals had been going on for at least two years. The American Automobile Association (AAA) ruled on track racing just a few weeks later as shared in another Star article published November 10 of the same year. The next year in May 1908 Emanuel Cedrino was killed practicing for a race at Pimlico. This event triggered another wave of calls for the demise of track racing with Frederic L. Smith, vice president and general manager of Oldsmobile following Ford's lead (after an October 1907 accident to driver Frank Kulick) with an announcement (attachment NoTrackRacing062808) that his company was withdrawing from the ovals.
Attachment Cedrino061408 is a brief item that reports on the views of Bob Burman on the issue of danger and death in sport. Burman was easily one of America's greatest driving talents of the era and would go on to become known as America's "Speed King." Burman was philosophical suggesting as many do that life is full of risks for everyone in every occupation. He also expresses the view that specific to auto racing that there is no consensus among those in the sport about what branch: oval, road racing, hill climbs, beach time trials or endurance tests are most dangerous.
Burman was quoted several days later in another Indianapolis Star article (attachment Risk062808) again discussing death and danger in oval track racing. He mentions the demise of Luther Smelser who was killed at Morris Park in October 1907 (and may have contributed to Ford's withdrawal). "To those who drive fast cars there is the chane of an accident, but also the chance of glory and the reputation of the car they are driving, to figure upon, and one and all seemingly believe the reputation for themselves and for the car they dive is worth the risk taken."

trackRacing102007.pdf13.7 MB
NoTrackRacing062808.pdf599.55 KB
Cedrino061408.pdf233.26 KB
Risk062808.pdf206 KB