Barney Visits Speedway

This image was published in the May 18, 1909 Indianapolis Star and was used to report that America's race driver hero Barney Oldfield had recently visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway while it was still under construction and declared it the "best on Earth."
Speedway Founder and President Carl Fisher was pretty active that week beating the publicity drum for his great new venture. He took local newspapermen on a tour of the track which was actually the first laps ever taken around the oval. Oldfield was working with the National Motor Vehicle Company to supply him with a race car for the coming season which was probably the primary reason he was in town.
I believe this image was originally a publicity shot for the Vanderbilt Cup Broadway play that Oldfield had a small part in for a few weeks. The caption to this photo that was published in the paper reads below:
"Barney Oldfield, recognized prince of motor racers, stamped the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the best on Earth. He will probably drive an Indianapolis-made car during the summer contests, a National. After a trip of inspection to the track, now rapidly growing into final form, he declared that time of two miles a minute could be made. This would break all world records with ease."

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