Motorcycles Invade Indy - 1909

This clever editorial cartoon ran in the Indianapolis News on August 11, 1909. Note the historic Soldiers and Sailor's Monument peeking above the dust cloud. In general, there was a lot of excitement about the motorcycle races that came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that week. The new Speedway was at last hosting its first motorized competition.
The races were supposed to start on Friday, August 13, but rain washed out the day's events. It was also true the newly constructed track was not really in shape for the event as the crushed stone running surface was simply too rough. The two-day event was rescheduled for Saturday, August 14 and Monday, August 16 (social values of the time did not tolerate the frivolity of sports on the Lord's day) but a disastrous first day with serious injuries to champion Jake DeRosier forced cancellation of Monday's card.
Not only did the Speedway host the race meet, but the city hosted a national convention of the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM), the sanctioning body of motorcycle racing at the time.

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