COOL OLD RACE PHOTOS
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This page contains
interesting old photos
from IndyCar's past,
going back to 1909.
1909 - 3.2 million bricks are brought in to pave the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway track surface
Driver Willie Haupt and riding mechanic wait outside their car
as the tire is changed during the 1915 Indy 500.
Here is Barney Oldfield in a one-off creation by Harry Miller,
called the "Golden Submarine" - circa 1917
The Kansas City Board Track - 1922
Going counterclockwise, Jimmy Murphy and Tommy Milton (no.12) fight for the lead
on banked board track at San Carlos, California, in 1921. Wooden ovals were very
fast. Originally created for bicycles, they were soon used for early motorcycle racing.
Eventually they were used for race cars too.
In 1909 and 1910, there were not only auto and motorcycle races at the new
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but hot-air balloon races and this air show.  The
Wright brothers, whose first flight was in 1903, was here with some of their students.
The start of a 1910 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
At a glance, it appears you can see the front row as they accelerate toward the right.
However, what you are actually looking at is the back row of the grid, right before
taking off. Back then, the race car engines burned oil something fierce, which meant
they gave off a lot of smoke. I wonder how these guys saw the green flag!

I found this photo in "Everybody's Magazine", dated April 1912
This is before the start of the 1912 race, which had
a reduced number of participants from 1911
Barney Oldfield was the first to turn in a lap at over 100mph at Indy.
He did it in this front-wheel drive Christie
This 1910 Buick Bug belonged to Wild Bob Burman.  It packed a 622 c.i. engine and
the car weighed 2600 lbs.  It set a speed record for a race over 10 miles on March
30,1911 at the Atlantic-Pablo Beach Automobile Race Meeting where it won the
20-mile Open Free-for-all  with an average speed of 91.06 mph.
1975 Indy 500 - On lap 126, Tom Sneva made contact with Eldon Rasmussen's car
in Turn 2 while running fifth. Sneva's McLaren flipped over Rasmussen, hit the outside
wall and burst into flames. Tom sneva emerged from the crash with only minor burns
on face, hands,and legs.
1941 Indy 500 - On the morning of the race a fire broke out in the garage area. George Barringer's revolutionary rear-engined car was destroyed.
At the time, the car was being refueled (with gasoline). In a nearby garage, another car which was owned by Joel Thorne was being worked on
with a welder. The fumes caught fire from the sparks of the welding, and a huge fire broke out which burned down about a third of the southern
bank of garages. The start of the race was delayed by a couple hours, and fire fighters had trouble getting to the Speedway to put out the blaze
due to the heavy race day traffic.
1969 Indy 500 - Here's Super Tex strolling through the pits with Mario Andretti, his chief
competitor on the Championship Trail. Only once in a seven-year span (1963-1969) did
one of these two drivers fail to become the National Driving Champion.
The start of the ill-fated 1973 Indy 500