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NEW RECORD FOR OLDFIELD.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Pre-WWII Racing Topics:  Barney Oldfield

NEW RECORD FOR OLDFIELD.

The New York Times
December 9, 1909


Drives Benz Car Fifty Miles on Circular Track in 0:47:18.

DALLAS, Texas, Dec. 8.—With his face wrapped in woolen bandages and wearing heavy fur gloves and a fur overcoat, Barney Oldfield drove his 120 horse power Benz racer into the teeth of a Texas "norther" this afternoon and broke the fifty-mile world's circular track record, which has stood for over five years.  He covered the distance in 47:18, as against the old mark of 48:40 1-5, made by himself in Fresno, Cal., in 1904.  Oldfield got inside the previous record at thirty miles and broke every mile mark to the end of the run.

Oldfield's drive was spectacular.  The track was frozen in places, and the radiator of his car was filled with alcohol as the only preventive against freezing.  At the finish of the drive Oldfield's hands had to be pulled loose from the steering wheel by his assistant, having been affected by the intense cold at so high a speed.  H. R. Green, a member of the American Automobile Association Contest Board, acted as referee, and as the meeting was sanctioned, the record probably will be accepted as official.

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