Oldfield and Bragg

This image is derived from a photo published in the May 27, 1910 Indianapolis Star. The two men, Caleb Bragg (left) and Barney Oldfield (right) seem an unlikely pairing given the circumstances of current events at the time. While the photo was in support of articles about the May 1910 national circuit races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway there is a strong possibility it was taken when the two were pitted against each other at the previous month's Playa Del Rey race meet - the inaugural contests at America's first wood plank speedway. This competition produced one of the sport's biggest stories of the year as the previously unknown and untested Bragg defeated Oldfield and his awesome world land speed record Blitzen Benz. I guess what's unlikely is the many time cantankerous and always competitive Oldfield would be smiling for the picture. My best guess is this picture was captured at the Los Angeles track just prior to their match race.
The cutline that originally ran with this photo read as follows:
"A professional champion and an amateur champion of nationwide fame are driving in the Motor Speedway races. Barney Oldfield, whose name is known wherever motor racing is known is the professional. Caleb Bragg, the Cincinnati millionaire sportsman, is the amateur. He is in the racing game because he likes it. Oldfield is in it because motor racing is his profession. Bragg beat Oldfield at Los Angeles, driving his Fiat against Oldfield's Benz, and Oldfield is eager to regain his lost laurels."

OldfieldBragg.jpg1.59 MB