Herb Lytle

Called the "dean" of auto racers in the press, Herb Lytle was probably the most experienced driver in the first Indianapolis 500. No other driver had been racing cars since the 1890's, as Lytle did. Lytle was also the only driver who competed in the first Vanderbilt Cup in 1904 who also raced in the Indianapolis 500. Unfortunately, Lytle's participation in the first Indianapolis 500 ended in the race's spectacular accident, through no fault of his own. The massive home stretch accident was triggered by Joe Jagersberger and involved Harry Knight, Lytle, and Fiat of Eddie Hearne, which was also damaged but was able to continue. Lytle, who drove an Apperson racer, was servicing his car in the pits when he was collected in the melee. The Apperson automobile company was based in Kokomo, Indiana.
The first Indianapolis 500 proved to be Lytle's last, although he did compete at the Speedway in its inaugural auto race meet of August 1909 and the first race meet in May 1910 (aside from the December 1909 speed trials) after the track was paved with bricks, which was organized in May 1910. Lytle's efforts in these events were without distinction except for the fact that he was the only driver seriously injured in the May races, suffering a broken left leg.
Another important item on Lytle's resume was his run in the 1905 James Gordon Bennett Jr. Cup race in France. Lytle drove several races for Pope-Toledo, including the Bennett Cup, the most important race in the world in 1905. Lytle also drove in the 1908 Briarcliff Trophy and you can read about his impressions of that race here. Lytle contracted Typhoid Fever in late 1908 and narrowly survived an illness that raged for six months.
Note that according to the cutline on the original photo, Lytle's riding mechanic at the time was a man named W.F. Clifton.

Herb Lytle 2_opt.jpg50.93 KB