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Auto Racers Hurled 100 Feet; Unhurt

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Pre-WWII Racing Topics:  Indianapolis 500

Auto Racers Hurled 100 Feet; Unhurt

The Dallas Morning News
May 28, 1911

Accident to car in Indianapolis Speedway trial

City Becomes Crowded with Fans to Witness 500-Mile Memorial Race Tuesday

Special to The News

Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, and., May 27. - Running at the rate of eighty miles an hour a Lozier car, driven by Harold Van Gorder, struck the "danger curve," entering the home stretch of the Indianapolis speedway this afternoon while turning up for the Memorial Day 500 mile race and crashed into the outer retaining wall.

Thrown With Terrific Force.

Van Gorder and W. I. Bardel of New York, who was in the mechanicians seat, were hurled over the top of the wall and nearly one hundred feet across the lawn.  Both escaped dangerous injury.

The heavy racing car tore out a twenty foot stretch of the foot-thick concrete wall, then whirling like a top, turned over twice and landed upside down in the center of the speedway.  The wheels were raked from the machine.  Little damage, however, was done the engine or body and the car will start in Tuesday's race.

Inner Tubes Blown Out

Van Gorder said that the accident was caused by the blowing out of the two recital of the genisis of the giant conaround the turn at high speed.  Bardell had just taken the seat of George Ainslee, Van Gorder's mechanician, for a trial spin.

Similar Accidents Recorded.

A number of similar accidents have occurred at the same point on the track, whether due to the grade or to the fact that drivers usually let out their motors to the full limit when they swing into the home stretch.  At this place last place last Wednesday an Amplex car driven by Joe Horen, turned over and Horen's leg was broken.  A Buick car driven by Louis Chevrolet and the Marmon "Wasp," piloted by Ray Harroun, ran away here last season and were wrecked.  Neither driver was hurt.

Today's workouts and speed trials were witnessed by the largest crowd of the week.  Tomorrow the speedway will be closed to everyone except the pilots and their mechanicians and even they will not be allowed to use the track for practice work.

Announcement was made today that Tuesday's race started at 10 o'clock a.m.

Care of Machines.

Manufacturers and pilots have taken such great pains to have their cars at the finest edge of efficiency that some of the mechanicians are guarding the precious motors day and night.  Several of the pilots will sleep at the side of their cars on the last night before the race.  A number of them have quarters in farm houses near the speedway and spend every waking hour of the day and night with their cars.

Hotels Crowded With Fans.

Already the hotels have begun to fill with enthusiasts that are arriving for the race, the greatest contest for supremacy in speed and power of cars and skill, daring and stamina of drivers that has been projected.  An appeal has been issued to private citizens to open their homes to visitors that cannot find accomodations at the hotels.



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