Louis Chevrolet Wins at Sheepshead Bay


This is a neat little video capturing some images of Louis Chevrolet winning the 100-mile Harkness Trophy in 1917. The event took place on the board track at Sheepshead Bay, New York. This was Chevrolet's greatest year as a racing driver as he won several speedway events not only in New York but on other fast, high-banked board tracks in Cincinnati and Chicago as well. It was unfortunate for him that the Indianapolis 500 had been canceled due to World War I - the track was used as an air flight training and storage facility. Given his dominance in 1917, it would be no surprise that he would have won the historic race that year.


At the event summarized in this video, Chevrolet set a new world's speed record for 100 miles at 110.390 mph. The Sheepshead Bay track was short-lived, as were most board speedways as they were costly to maintain. Little known is the fact that Indianapolis Motor Speedway founder and President Carl Fisher served briefly as president of this speedway as well. Shortly after launching the business, however, he resigned from the position. Sheepshead's founder was Harry Harkness, the namesake of the trophy awarded Chevrolet for this race. Harkness inherited a great deal of wealth and, unfortunately, was better at spending it than making it.


I developed an extensive article on Louis Chevrolet for this year's Indianapolis Motor Speedway Allstate 400 program. Also, check out this 1938 article on Louis Chevrolet. It was written by AP reporter Don Pryor from his interview with Mr. Chevrolet in the closing years of his life.