Al Poole - May 1910

This image is of Al Poole on his way to victory at the Brighton Beach dirt oval for the 24-hour "grinder" endurance test of May 1910. The Simplex team, its entry was driven by Charles Basle and Poole, won the race. They completed the 24-hour battle with 1,145 miles accumulated. Second was Ralph Mulford in the Stearns while Ralph DePalma was driving the Fiat in third at the event's conclusion.
The winning effort was 26 miles off the record held by Lozier at the time. Rain during the second 12 hours reportedly slowed his pace from record-setting range. The victorious team had taken the lead at the race's mid-point. Four cars, the two Buicks, the second Stearns car and the Fiat had been on pace for a new record after the first hour.

Ten of twelve cars were running at the end, including Indianapolis-built Marion and Cole entries that had been wrecked in the early going. Marion riding mechanic William F. Bradley was reported killed in one of the accidents when Hubert Anderson - the second driver behind on the team behind superstar Lewis Strang - was driving. This photo appeared with another of the wrecked Marion in the May 18, 1901, Indianapolis Sun. The accident triggered a public outcry against auto racing which probably contributed to greater attention to safety by organizers.
The following caption appeared with two photos in the original publication:
"The 'hoodoo' Marion car, in which William Bradley was killed before it was finally wrecked, and Lewis Strang and his mechanician hurt during the recent 24-hour race at Brighton Beach. Below is the picture of Al Poole driving the Simplex in which he won the great contest. The distance covered was 1,145 miles or 51 miles behind the record made by a Lozier car last year."
A note on Poole. Not much is known about him but he must have been a typical hard working aspiring race driver. Early in his career, he served as a riding mechanic. This was the typical apprenticeship for working into the role of a race driver. While Poole's career is not well documented, his success at Brighton Beach and his participation in events such as the Indiana Trophy in June 1909 are evidence that he was respected in his profession. This information demonstrates that he worked for Locomobile, Chalmers, and Simplex.

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