St Louis Start 1904

This shot is from August 29, 1904 at the St. Louis dirt oval that hosted the Louisiana Purchase Trophy race. There were only three entries, with A.C. (Alonzo) Webb and Barney Oldfield the favorites. Oldfield was in his famous Peerless Green Dragon racer which he had used to establish dozens of speed records on similar tracks across the country. This was not to be a good day for Oldfield or the racing community in general. Running second, Oldfield was blinded by the dust kicked up by Webb's Pope-Toledo and crashed through the rail fence outside the track. Tragically, two spectators were at that spot and were struck and killed by the errant Green Dragon. Oldfield suffered broken ribs and a concussion, but recovered and was racing again within weeks.

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