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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Pre-WWII Racing Topics:  Indianapolis Motor Speedway


The New York Times
December 19, 1909

Five Automobile Race Meetings Planned for Indianapolis.

Five big automobile race meetings and one aviation meeting will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next year if the A. A. A. gives its sanction to the application for dates formally submitted to the Racing Board yesterday by Charles Sedwick, Indiana representative of the A. A. A.

The list of dates chosen by E. A. Moross, director of contests for the Speedway, includes all the holiday plums on the calendar—Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

The first race meeting next year is to be held in May, beginning on Friday, May 27, and continuing three days, Saturday, May 28, and Monday, May 30, (Memorial Day.)  The next meeting, which is scheduled to begin on Friday, July 1, will continue through Saturday, July 2, and conclude on Monday, July 4, with a combination automobile and balloon race programme.  There will be dirigible balloon contests as well as races against the world records for distance and endurance.  Carl Fisher's big dirigible balloon will be entered in these contests.

The international aviation contests will be held on July 23.  Aviators from foreign countries will enter into competition with American aviators, and the carnival will be held under the rules of the Aero Club of America.  Already the Speedway aerodrome shelters two flying machines—a Farman biplane owned by J. W. Curzon and a machine built by Curzon himself.  A Curtiss machine owned by A. P. Warner of Beloit, Wis., will arrive at the Speedway next week.

Carl G. Fisher, President of the Speedway Company, expects to add a monoplane and a biplane to the collection.  The flying machine built under his own supervision will be ready for use as soon as the specially constructed motor is completed.

The machines will be housed in the aerodrome this Winter and long before the date for the aviation carnival other machines will be added to the list.  With its 328 acres of fenced ground, all of which is as level as a prairie, and with the brick track on which the air craft can easily be started, the Speedway has advantages as an ideal aviation ground, as it is possible to make landing with perfect safety anywhere within the inclosure.  The Speedway will be used in experimental tests by the aviators this winter.

The twenty-four-hour race, which was postponed last Summer, will be run during the second day of the August meeting, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, August 12 and 13.  The September meeting will be opened on Friday, Sept. 2, and will be concluded the following Monday, Labor Day.  The closing meeting of the year will be held on Friday and Saturday, October 7 and 8.

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