Jap Clemens 1909

This image of Stoddard-Dayton driver Fred "Jap" Clemens first appeared in the August 20, 1909, Indianapolis News. It was part of coverage of the tragic first auto racing event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The heading, "Indianapolis Driver Second," is in reference to his runner-up performance in the feature race of the Speedway's first day, the 100-mile Prest-O-Lite Trophy won by Bob Burman.
These races were controversial due to the devastating fatal accidents on the first and third days of the meet. In all, five men were killed:

In the wake of the carnage, some in the sport including the Knox Automobile Company and the National Motor Vehicle Company threatened to withdraw from the sport entirely. Clemens, considered one of the top drivers of his time, announced that he intended to forge ahead despite the sad events. Clemens did not win any of the races at the meet but did manage a second place finish to "Wild" Bob Burman in the 250-mile Prest-O-Lite Trophy. In 1905 Clemens teamed with 17-year-old Charlie Merz to set a new world's record for distance covered in 24 hours.

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