Lingenfelder in 1909

This artifact image is derived from a photo that was published in the August 13, 1909, Indianapolis News. The occasion was coverage of the first motorcycle race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
While Indian bikes dominated the meet the N.S.U. pulled off a couple of important victories in the hands of Ed Ligenfelder, who was promoted as the "Champion of the West." Lingenfelder won the fifth race of the event, a 10-mile contest for professionals.
Lingenfelder was also pitted against noted motorcycle racing champion Jake DeRosier in a match race which resulted in a near fatal accident to DeRosier who was severely injured. The accident effectively put an end to the race meet, aborted after frightening accidents and withdrawals by competitors who knew the track was not ready for prime time. By any assessment, this race meet was a fiasco and a terrible start to the Speedway's motor racing history.
The original cutline read: "Three weeks ago he made twenty-one world's records in a twenty-five-mile race at Los Angeles." Note that Lingenfelder's name is misspelled, "Lingenfelter."

Lingenfelder_opt.jpg79.48 KB