Oldfield Dominates Remy Brassard Race

The Remy Grand Brassard race was one of the top contests held on the final day of racing during the first auto meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This race featured prizes of a unique silver arm band and a weekly salary of $75 until the next competition for the award could be presented. The incomparable Barney Oldfield, in his Benz, dominated the event from start to finish. This image was originally published in the August 22, 1909 Indianapolis Star. These races were conducted on Saturday, August 21, 1909.
The Remy Grand Brassard was a battle of titans as Fiat driver Ralph DePalma finished second. Oldfield demolished speed records for distances along way including the 25 mile track record DePalma had set June 17 at a track in Boston. Oldfield's new record time was 21:27.7.  He bested the five, 10 and 20 mile marks that had been set by Johnny Aitken (National); Len Zengle (Chadwick) and Lewis Strang (Buick) on set earlier during the meet on Friday.
Earlier in the day Oldfield starred in a time trial competition setting a new kilometer track record of 26.2 seconds or a speed of 85.5 MPH. Oldfield's top competitors were Walter Christie at 28.7 seconds and Len Zengle at 29.9 seconds. Christie was in one his own cars that carried his name while Zengle had a Chadwick.
Oldfield's accomplishments were the highlights of a day plagued with death and destruction. During the Wheeler-Schebler Trophy race Charlie Merz' dark blue National Motor Vehicle Company racer burst a tire and catapulted into a cluster of spectators, killing two of them as well as his riding mechanic Claude Kellum. James West and Homer Jolliff were the spectators who perished in the catastrophe.

OldfieldRemy.jpg1.6 MB