Jump to content


Photo

1947 AAA National Championship


  • Please log in to reply
47 replies to this topic

#1 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 08 October 2009 - 19:50

The immediate post-World War II, AAA National Championship seasons of 1946, 1947, and 1948 have always seemed to me, to be among the most obscure years, in the entire AAA racing's history. I have tried to get a clear picture of this period of three seasons. I have already posted everything I know about 1946 on the thread "1946 AAA National Championship".

I think the time has come to post what I have gathered together for and about 1947. I had originally thought I would try to cover the five year span of 1946 to 1950, but most certainly 1946 to 1948. 1949 and 1950 are not presently in such bad shape as are 1947 and 1948. Dick Wallen's book FABULOUS FIFTIES: AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP RACING (1999) put the whole 1950s era in fine shape, but the period 1946 to 1949 is nowhere properly covered.

Anyway here's what I've gathered for 1947. It's a sequel to my and Mr. McMaken's 1946 Championship online writeups.

Sincerely, J.G. Printz

Edited by john glenn printz, 18 November 2009 - 21:01.


Advertisement

#2 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 08 October 2009 - 20:24

HISTORY OF 1947 AAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACING by John G. Printz and Ken M. McMaken. In 1947 the AAA National Championship season took on a semblance to all the later and remaining AAA Championship seasons, i.e. 1948 to 1955. First off, the Championship division proper and the AAA "big car" or sprint races were not combined into just one overall point reckoning, as had been done in 1946. That the AAA Championship division would revert back to its pre-World War II format was announced by the AAA Contest Board on December 18, 1946. Secondly, the 1947 AAA Championship schedule was the largest, in the number of events actually staged, since 1927. The 1947 had eleven point counting contests. After that the post war AAA seasons all hovered about a dozen races a year. And thirdly, for the first time ever, a hill climb was added, i.e. the 12.42 mile Pikes Peak event. Pikes Peak would however give the same amount of Championship points as a 100 mile oval track contest.

In late 1946, European Grand Prix racing adopted a new engine formula of 4 1/2 litre unsupercharged and 1 1/2 litre supercharged. The AAA Contest Board and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway did not follow suit, and stuck to the older 1938 Grand Prix regulations of 4 1/2 litre unsuperchasrged and 3 litre unsupercharged for the AAA Championship division for the years 1947 to 1955.

The 1947 season's eleven AAA Championship winners were:

1. May 30, Indianapolis 500, Rose, Mauri, Offenhauser/Deidt FD (1947), 116.33 mph, PO.

2. June 8, Milwaukee 100, Holland, Bill, Offenhauser/Wetteroth (1939), 82.28 mph, D. NTR

3. June 22 Langhorne 100, Holland, Bill, Offenhauser/Wetteroth (1939), 87.72 mph, D.

4. July 4 Atlanta 100, Ader, Walt, Offenhauser/Adams (1933), 75.21 mph, D. (race halted at 77 miles because of accident.)

5. July 13 Bainbridge 100, Horn, Ted, Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek (1947), 85.70 mph, D. (race halted at 90 miles because of rain.)

6. July 27 Milwaukee 100, Van Acker, Charles, Offenhauser/Stevens (1938), 85.96 mph, D.

7. Aug. 17 Goshen 100, Bettenhausen, Tony, Offenhauer/Stevens (1931, RB 1938), 80.46 mph, D NTR.

8. Aug. 24 Milwaukee 100, Horn, Ted, Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek (1947), 84.33 mph, D.

9. Sept. 1 Pikes Peak 12.42, Unser, Louis, Maserati s/c (1940), 44.94 mph, H.

10. Sept. 28 Springfield 100, Bettenhausen, Tony, Offenhauser/Stevens (1931, RB 1938), 92.51 mph, D NTR.

11. Nov. 2 Arlington Downs (Dallas) 100, Horn, Ted, Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek (1947), 86.00 mph, D.

1. INDIANAPOLIS 500 (May 30). The first AAA Championship race scheduled for 1947 was the Indianapolis 500, to be run on May 30. There were very few new cars. Industrial suppies and materials in the U.S. were still in very short supply and difficult to obtain in 1946/1947, a residue and legacy remaining from the recent World War. Mike J. Boyle, who had supported AAA Championship racing throughout the entire "Great Depression" (1929-1939), now quit the sport entirely and sold his famous two time (1939 and 1940 with Wilbur Shaw) Indy winning 8CTF type Maserati to mechanic Cotton Henning in January 1947. Lew Welch had constructed a second V8 Novi machine, an exact twin of the 1946 Ralph Hepburn car, which had proved such a sensation at Indianapolis in 1946. Hepburn and Sam Hanks were, at first, to be their pilots. Lou Moore had two new front wheel drive jobs for Mauri Rose and Tony Bettenhausen. They were put together by Emil Deidt (1897-1980). Ted Horn was nominated as the driver of Cotton Henning's 1939, 8CTF Maserati, but Horn himself had an Indy entry of his own. Ted was having constructed a Championship dirt car and had entered it with Tommy Hinnershits (1912-1999) as the chauffeur. Joel Thorne returned with his 1946 Indy winning supercharged Sparks/Adams "Little Six". Joel was trying to sell the car, with the added catch that he himself, be retained as its driver, but Thorne had no takers.

Car owner Thomas Stewart "Tommy" Lee (d. 1950 at age 45) of California had bought and imported a genuine 483 horsepower, V12 superchared 1939 type W163 Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix car from Czechoslovakia. It was probably the most advanced racing car constructed anywhere before World War II (1939-1945). In the popular press Lee's Mercedes-Benz was suppose to be Adolf Hitler's (1889-1945) special made "getaway car", althrough it was never quite clear as to just where Hitler was to get to. The same model W163 had won in 1939 the Belgium Grand Prix (June 26), the German Grand Prix (July 26), and the Swiss Grand Prix (August 20). Mel L. Ord was assigned to be the mechanic on Lee's W163, but its complicated and complex techicalities, and the lack of any spare parts hampered this new enterprise. Charles E. Bowes had Frank Kurtis built a new lightweight chassis around the 180 cubic inch suoercharged straight 8, which formerly had a 1938 Myron Stevens chassis. This had been Rex Mays' Championship mount used during the 1940, 1941, 1946 seasons. Driver Jimmy Jackson was back with his 2nd place 1946 car. There was only one foreign entrant, Henry L. Brooke of England, with a supercharged 91 cubic inch ERA.

However there was big, big trouble on the horizon for the upcoming 1947 Memorial Day Thiller, which had in fact been brewing for a long, long time. Way back in 1912, the guaranteed prize money for the "500" was; 1st $20,000, 2nd $10,000, 3rd $5000, 4th $3000, 5th $2500, 6th $2000, 7th $1500, 8th $1400, 9th $1300, and 10th $1200. It was true that in 1912 the Speedway paid out prize money for only the top ten places, the rest got nothing. This was changed in 1923, when every starter got at least some kind of a payout.

For 1946 the guaranteed prize money was; 1st $20,000, 2nd $10,000, 3rd $5000, 4th $3500, 5th $3000, 6th $2200, 7th $1800, 8th $1600, 9th $1500, and 10th $1400. For 1947 the Speedway had added $10,000 to the above in additional qualification prizes, but still even with the Grant Depression (1929-1939) in between, the money situation for 1947 seemed a bit anachronistic! There had been considerable grumbling in 1946 about the prize money problem, but in the hurried euphoria of getting the first post-World War II "500" up and running, the problem had been shoved under the rug. There had even occurred a meeting about the matter on May 18, 1946, at the Reilly Hotel, located in Indianapolis. Wilbur Shaw here represented the Speedway position and the total guaranteed prize fund of just $50,000 was not increased.

Edited by john glenn printz, 21 December 2009 - 14:48.


#3 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 35,887 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 08 October 2009 - 20:40

I get the feeling that the older equipment and years of no racing had wiped the slate clean to such an extent that anyone who could get up and racing at championship level could do so, therefore lowering the quality of the fields. Andy Granatelli's experience seems to have been largely in hippodromes but he got to practice at Indy. I remember a Hungness yearbook mentioning that Mike Salay had a grotty-looking car at Indy, yet he qualified for the 500 in 1948. There were a few others that seemed to make anomalous appearances at Indy (Pete Romcevich, Cy Marshall). The real talents not able - yet - to get there? Or is that just retrospective rationalization for greater opportunity?

#4 HDonaldCapps

HDonaldCapps
  • Member

  • 2,482 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 09 October 2009 - 06:32

Based upon what I found in the various AAA Contest Board bulletins, I was under the impression that the Contest Board did indeed adopt the new CSI international formula (Formula A or I), but with Wilbur Shaw and others asking that the implementation of the lower displacement for supercharged engines be delayed due to a shortage of such engines in the US. The sliding displacement/weight scale that was used for the formula from 1938 until 1946 was dropped for the 1947 season.

After several years of deferring the implementation of the 1.5-litre displacement for supercharged engines, the matter was dropped, in either 1948 or 1949 -- I am not entirely certain as to which year, and the 3-litre displacement for supercharged engines continued until the Contest Board ceased operations.

Wilbur Shaw seemed to be adamant about this issue and successfully fought the complete adoption of the new international formula by the Contest Board.

The unsupercharged displacement of the new international formula and the maximum allowed under the 1938/1946 formula coincided with the engine size used by most of the cars competing in AAA National Championship events, 4.5 litres or 274 cubic inches. The use of supercharged engines on the National Champion Trail was relatively rare and generally restricted to the IMS event.

The Don Lee W154 adventure was, basically, a good idea that was not so well executed.

#5 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 09 October 2009 - 14:10

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-1) Art Sparks (1901-1984) always maintained that the American Society of Professional Automobile Racing (A.S.P.A.R. or ASPAR) began in Los Angeles during 1932/1933 to try and pry more prize money from the management of the Ascot Legion 5/8's mile oval. I can find no contemporary evidence to confirm ASPARS' early 1930's origin, but whatever, the depression era ASPAR does not seem to have lasted long. A new ASPAR organization arose in early 1946, with Rex Mays elected President, to help promote a sport that in the U.S. had been in a somewhat moribund condition since the mid-1920s.

On January 20, 1947 Wilbur Shaw announced the 1947 Indianapolis prize fund as guaranteed at $75,000 total. This didn't please any of the ASPAR members at all. To ward off possible trouble Shaw flew to Los Angeles on February 27, 1947 for consultation and talks with the ASPAR leadership, but didn't accomplished a thing. The ASPAR people were very angry and threatened a possible boycott of the "500" all together. ASPAR, in February 1946, had calculated that if the Indianapolis Motor Speedway paid just 40% of the gate receipts, as was customary everywhere else, the prize money would have been nearer $200,000 than $50,000. On April 3, 1947, ASPAR said publicly than its members would not enter the "500" unless the total guarateed prize money was increased from $75,000 to $150,000. Mechanic, constructor, and owner Joe Lencki, who was very festy, fiery, and argumentative, was one of the main and most volatile spolesman for the ASPAR organization. Others who didn't mince words were Babe Stapp, Rex Mays, and Ralph Hepburn.

The Speedway deadline for all entries was April 15, 1947. By April 10, Shaw stated that unless official entries were submitted and recieved by the deadline (quote), "If we don't have their entries they'll just be out of the race. We already have nine official entries and I have some more in my pocket. Even without them we'll have at least 24 cars in the race. And it was run for many years with no than that." The Speedway officials must havre breathed a lot easier because 35 total entries were properly procured before the April 15 deadline. It was certainly enough vehicles to stage a "500", even if the actual starting field might be a bit below the now traditional thirty-three.

Among the entries at hand were the two Lew Welch owned Novis, the two new Lou Moore front drives, Cotton Henning's 1939 8CTF Maserati, and Don Lee's W163 V12 Mercedes-Benz. The two pilots now listed for the Novis were Cliff Bergere (on the ex-1946 Hepburn car) and Merril "Doc" Williams (1912-1982) on the new machine. They had now replaced the original 1947 Novi pilots Ralph Hepburn and Sam Hanks. Hepburn, the now elected 1947 President of ASPAR, was not entered. Duke Nalon had been assigned to the W163 Grand Prix Mercedes-Benz. Charles Bowes however did not file an entry for Rex Mays or his new Kurtis lightweight superchared 180 cubic inch straight 8.

The next moves, by ASPAR, were a bit insane. ASPAR now requested of the AAA Contest Board on April 23, the right to stage two 100 mile Championship ranked contests on May 30. Later, on May 7, ASPAR instead, wanted a sanction for a 200 mile Championship event to be held at Langhorne. The latter application had been sent in by Vincent "Jimmy" Frattone of Phildelphia. It goes without saying, that the AAA Contest Board denied their requests!

The 1947 Indianapolis time trials opened on May 17, and here the situation got a little sticky. Shorty Cantlon, Ted Horn, Mauri Rose, Russ Snowberger, and later Bill Holland were willing to buck the ASPAR holdout. Only four cars qualified on the first day and Ted Horn in the old 1939 Maserati took the pole with a 126.546 mph clip. Both Novi cars qualified on the first day, i. e., Bergere at 124.957 and Williams at 120.733. Welch was disappointed at Williams' performance with the 550 horsepower car and Doc himself admitted he was somewhat uncomfortable in it. Welch thereby replaced Williams with Herb Ardinger (1910-1973). Herb had driven for Welch at the Speedway in 1937 and 1938 and had actual experience here with front drive jobs in both 1938 and 1939.

The next day saw just three more vehicles move into the official race lineup. Bill Holland was added to the field on May 24. The problem was now, for the Speedway at least, was not the number of cars entered, but rather that there were no more drivers at hand willing to buck the ASPAR boycott. On the morning of May 23 there were but seven cars duly qualified and in the race day lineup, with the actual race date just eight days away.

The first movement, now by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway itself, was the waiving of the April 15 entry deadline, on May 20. Now all the ASPAR cars could enter, pending the agreement of all 35 previous entrants. This was easily obtained and proved to be no great obstacle, but ASPAR balked when they learned they were not eligible for and Speedway qualifing prize money. This was rectified on May 22 by Tony Hulman's offer to duplicate the qualifying prizes, supposedly out of his own pocket. With this concession by Hulman and the IMS, the ASPAR membership caved in, voted to end the ban, and the long holdout thus ended on May 23. ASPAR merely returned to where it would originally had been, had there been no strike. ASPAR had gained absolutely nothing.

Edited by john glenn printz, 06 June 2010 - 18:24.


#6 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 09 October 2009 - 15:46

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-2) On May 24 the Speedway roared back into life with much hustle and bustle but only rookie Bill Holland, who had now replaced Tony Bettenhausen on the Lou Moore team because of the ASPAR dispute, qualified by posting a very fast 128.756 mph. It rained most of the day. Further qualifications on May 25, 26, and 27 brought the number of starters up to 17, but the biggest day for 1947 trials was May 28, when eleven more cars moved into the lineup. Duke Nalon to to be the quickest at 128.434 mph in the Don Lee owned Mercedes-Benz. Emil Andres and Mel Hansen (1911-1963) qualified on May 29 to bring the field up to 30 starters, which is where it remained.

The two fastest 1947 qualifiers were Bill Holland (128.755 mph) and Duke Nalon (128.423). Neither of them was even close to Ralph Hepburn's four lap record of 133.944 mph set in 1946. The pre-race favorites for 1947 were probably Bergere, Holland, Horn, Mays, Nalon, and Rose. There were seven new rookies, i.e. Agabashian, Anderson, Brown, Fankhouser, Holland, Romcevich, and Van Acker.

Cliff Bergere, in the Novi, led the first 23 laps before pitting for fuel and tires. The two Lou Moore front drives of Holland and Rose led the rest of the way. The rookie Holland led 24-59 and 86-192, while the wily veteran Rose accounted for the rest, i.e. 60-85 and 193-200. Holland spun in turn one and the long time veteran, Shorty Cantlon, then on his 41st lap took evasive action to avoid hitting Bill and crashed into the outside concrete wall. Canton was killed but the two vehicles of Holland and Cantlon never touched each other. Some observers said that Holland had hit an orange colored car in the rear, which resulted in Bill's spinning into the infield grass. Investigation made it apparent that only Duke Dinsmore's vehicle could have been involved here and Dinsmore never denied that he may have been bumped. Cantlon's wrecked car was not removed from the track, but remained parked, up against the outside wall for the remainder of the race. Bill continued on, but his "Blue Crown Special" now had a dent in its nose on the left side, which is clearly visible in the later photographs. Bergere went out after 62 circuits with piston failure and then relieved Herb Ardinger on the second Novi for laps 70-200. At 250 miles the running order was 1. Holland, 2. Mays, 3. Rose, 4. Ardinger/Bergere, 5. Jackson, 6. Horn, 7. Nalon, 8. Walt Brown, 9. Cy Marshall, and 10. Ken Fowler. The 1947 "500" was marked by a very controversial ending, when Rose passed Holland for the lead on lap 192. Late in the race Lou Moore gave the "Easy" sign to both Holland and Rose, as neither car was being threatened by the third placed machine. Holland immediately obeyed the order and slowed down, but Rose speeded up and passed Holland. Apparently Bill thought Rose was only unlapping himself and even waved him by! Rose made but one pit stop, while Holland had made two.

Before the 1947 qualifications the race itself, everyone thought the two Novis would run away and hide from the rest of the field. All this was, of course, based on Ralph Hepburn's performance in 1946. But it didn't happened as Ardinger and Bergere could only place 4th.

Lou Moore did not enter any cars in the 1946 "500", having sold his entire three car stable, i.e., one Maserati and the two Wetteroth/Offenhausers before early 1946. For the 1947 "500" Moore had two new front wheel drive vehicles constructed for him by Emil Deidt. Both of the cars were nearly identical and were obviously inspired by the long low slung front drive Novi of the the previous year. However Moore's two cars were less complex, lighter in weight, less tiring on the drivers, and proved much more mechanically reliable than the Novi. Lou's cars were unsupercharged and used the standard Meyer-Drake Offenhauser "270" 4 motor, with high tested octane aviation gasoline as fuel. The reputed cost of Moore's two new Indianapolis front drive machines was $30,500 each. The cost of a new Meyer-Drake "270" Offenhauser motor in 1947 was $4700.

With such newly incurred expenses Moore was very anxious to get both his machines quickly qualified, and thus Lou had very little sympathy with the doings of the ASPAR group, who wanted the Speedway to up their $75,000 guartanteed prize money up to $150,000. The original drivers assigned to the two new Deidt front drives were Mauri Rose and Tony Bettenhausen. Rose was the seasoned veteran here, who had been in the AAA Championship ranks beginning in 1932, and had already won the Indianapolis 500 for Moore in 1941. Rose had also won the prestigious Syracuse 100 twice (1936 and 1939) while running in Moore owned equipment. During the 1946 season Rose drove for owner/builder Joe Lencki, with very little luck, but now in 1947 Mauri was back again in Moore's camp.

Tony Bettenhausen was selected as the second pilot because he was a bright new talent and had had experience with a front drive vehicle at Indianapolis, having run an very ancient and frail front drive Miller for 142 laps in the 1946 "500". Rose qualified on the first day of the 1947 time trials (May 17) at 124.040 mph, but Bettenhausen supported the ASPAR ban and wouldn't run. The businesslike and no nonsense Moore therfore replaced Tony at once with talented rookie Bill Holland, who had never driven at Indianapolis before or in even in an AAA National Championship event. Holland made the lineup on May 24 and posted the fastest four lap time of 1947 with a 128.756 mph average. Holland qualified in the midst of the ASPAR strike and at the end of the day the Speedway only had a total of eight qualified cars. But Lou Moore, with both of his entries already in the field, could now direct his entire attention to the race preparations and strategy with some leisure not given to most of the others.

Edited by john glenn printz, 13 June 2012 - 19:02.


#7 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 09 October 2009 - 19:48

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-3) I asked Mauri Rose in the early 1970's, about the 1947 "500", and whether he was given the "Easy" sign from Lou Moore late in the race.

"Yes, he did", Rose replied, "but it was rather a complicated situation. Do you want to hear about it?" I nodded yes, as after all Rose was a three time (1941, 1947, and 1948) Indianapolis winner. I was "all ears" as they say and Rose went on talking at length (quote):

"The two front drive cars were housed in the garage and in Moore's presence Holland and I, each selected the car we would drive. They were both good cars but not perfect. They would shimmy terribly in the turns, but it was just something one had to get use to. Seemingly both cars were identical but as it turned out Holland's car proved to be two or three miles per hour faster than mine. There was nothing I could do about it, such things happen. Moore was over anxious about Holland, he being a rookie and all, and Lou kept hammering him with specific instructions. Moore repeatedly told Bill, over and over again. that two pit stops would be necessary because of the tire wear. Moore emphasized to Holland that as soon as the warning breaker strip came off (it was a warning devise to alert the pilots that their tires were getting thin), to not stay out, but to pit immediately."

"I said nothing during such discussions. Holland was somewhat cocky and showed up late at the driver's meeting where it had been explained that if a driver wished to know his exact position, the number of laps run, and his laps on the rest of the field, where he could look to find out. The postings, it was explained could be wrong, but were better than nothing, but Holland missed the whole discussion."

"I myself got to thinking and devised a different strategy. I couldn't race with Bill, not having an equal machine, in speed, to his. I thought that by driving deliberately slow I might be able to save the tires and lower my fuel consumption, and just maybe, I could run the entire 500 miles using only one pit stop, instead of two. In this manner I might be able to gain a minute or two on the faster car of Holland. I discussed this with my assigned pit crew secretly during the morning of the race. In the race itself I nursed the car carefully and held off my first and only pit stop until about lap 90. I knew that after the warning breaker strip came off the tires, it was possible to run another ten laps before there was any real danger. When I pitted on about lap 90, I knew I could go the rest of the distance without another stop. Holland however made two stops, his first occurring on lap 60."

"Meanwhile Holland, at about the 100 mile mark, had spun in turn one and had hit the infield grass at high speed, but he recovered and retained the lead. Shorty Cantlon, to avoid the spinning Holland, took evasive action and hit the wall. Near the end of the race, with both his cars running one-two, and with no threats to either car, Moore gave us both the "EZY" sign to slow us down as a protective measure against mechanical failure. Holland slowed down but I started running as fast as I could, to see if I could catch Holland. I continued to drive as quickly as possible and soon sighted Bill, in the twin Blue Crown car, up ahead and I gradually reeled him in. Holland kept moving at his now reduced "EZY" pace and I decided to use a little "psych" on him and made my pass (lap 193) in the first turn exactly where Bill had earlier looped his car leading to the death of Cantlon. Holland did not up his pace, but rather waved me by, and obviously he though that I was merely unlapping myself."

"But I knew that I was not out of the woods yet. I didn't want Holland to see me get the white flag, as he might wake up to the true situation and try and repass me, so I continued to drive as fast as I could. At the finish I had built up a 30 second advantage over Bill and he did not see me receive the white flag. Holland pulled in thinking he had won. Of course immediately after the race I had to make excuses by stating that Holland was running so slowly, I thought he was experiencing mechanical problems, which were only confirmed when Bill waved me bye."

Such was Mauri Rose's remarkable account!

Holland, it must be understood, had not received any warnings from his pit crew that he was about to lose the lead to Rose during the latter stage of the race, nor that Mauri had taken the lead after lap 192. Holland said this, "The first time I knew I didn't win the race was when I pulled into the pits and heard the man on the loudspeaker say 'Holland second'. I asked the men in the my pit why they didn't tell me I was about to lose the lead and they all said, 'Moore wouldn't let us'. I thought I had a lap on Rose. I was running at half throttle when Rose went by. All I was getting was the "Easy" signal. I waved to Rose and I guess I waved $10,000 to him. I was going into the turns at 90 miles an hour after I got the "Easy" sign. I thought I had it in the bag. I would have won the race by a lap and a half. The next time I'll have my own car."

Holland also stated, "It's the lousiest deal I ever got. If you can't trust your own pit crew, who can you trust? I don't know whether it was an honest mistake or not. Whom are you going to protest to...the Speedway and the American Automobile Association had nothing to do with it."

Holland after learning that he had placed only 2nd, instead of 1st, initially thought that Lou Moore had personally conspired against him by flashing the "Easy" sign to him repeatedly, so that Rose could pass him for the victory. This was not the case at all as Moore had flashed the "Easy" board to both drivers but Rose ignored it and pretended he hadn't seen it, with the real prospects of a second "500" win in the offing, and began running at full throttle! Holland's total inexperience at Indianapolis was certainly a determining factor in what had occurred. Bill came into his first race with the idea that an immediate pit stop was required after the breaker strip flew off a tire and further that, since his car was identical to Rose's, if he himself had to make two pit stops, surely Rose would have to do so too. The savvy Rose did not begin or start the 1947 "500" with any such notions. On the very morning of the race Mauri was not sure that he could possibly drive the entire 500 miles with just one stop, but it proved so. Rose's only pit stop consumed one minute, 40 seconds, while Holland's two stops totaled two minutes and 32 seconds. And Mauri's one stop strategy here, completely managed to confuse and fool Holland.

Holland however had made one more gratuitous and totally erroneous assumption about his race situation. Bill believed that his pit crew would keep him fully informed about his position in the race and if he was, by chance actually in the lead, his crew would surely inform him if he was about to lose it. However totally unforeseen and fortuitous circumstances would cancel Bill's faith here. No single team, in the previous 30 runnings of the "500", had ever had a one-two finish, but on laps 192 and 193 of the total of 200, both of Moore's cars were running one-two, and even wheel to wheel! Moore certainly desired a one-two finish and did not want, even to one iota, to jeopardized that unique possibility with its resultant big money payoff. It was exactly why, just a little earlier, Moore had tried to slow both cars down by flashing the "EZY" sign.

When it became obvious that Mauri was not going to obey Lou Moore's "EZY" signal, but rather was only intent on catching and passing Holland, it was no longer in Moore's interest to inform Bill about his actual situation. If Moore had done so, both Rose and Holland would have instantly speeded up, thus increasing the likeihood of an accident or mechanical failure, and even possibly that Holland and Rose would engage in a fierce duel with each other, which might lead to a two car collision which would put BOTH cars out.

So, as both the owner and team manager, Lou Moore quite correctly and with everything at stake, chose not to alert Holland and left him to his fate. 175,000 fans knew that on circuit 193 Holland had lost the front position to Rose, but Holland, out on the track itself himself, did not know it! If Bill had been on any other team except Lou Moore's, he would have been duly and promptly informed about the developing threat presented by Rose, but unfortunately Holland happened to be on the very same team as Mauri. Later Moore said that he, "had no preference" as to whether the winner would be either Holland or Rose, only adding however that financially he would have been better off if Holland had actually won because in Bill's contract, he would have collected a higher percentage of the winnings, than in his signed agreement with the more experienced Rose.

The head of the AAA Contest Board, Arthur W. Harrington. did not believe that Moore had deliberately slowed Bill down, to give the victory to Rose but added, "If Moore did, he was perfectly within his rights. The drivers were advised in a meeting before the race that the sign board would show them their positions. I think Bill's unfamiliarity with the track caused his misunderstanding."

The top five positions were:

1. Rose, Mauri, Offenhauser/Deidt FD (1947), 4:17:52.17, 116.338 mph.

2. Holland, Bill, Offenhauser/Deidt FD (1947), 4:18:24.29, 116,097 mph.

3. Horn, Ted, Maserati 8CTF s/c (1939), 4:20:52.55, 114.997 mph.

4. Ardinger, Herb & Bergere, Cliff, Winfield/Kurtis FD s/c (1947), 4:24:32.52, 113.404 mph.

5. Jackson, Jimmy, Offenhauser/Miller FD (1934, RB 1939), 4:25:52.65, 112.834 mph.


Ted Horn was the first contestant to pit (lap 8), to fix an oil leak. Ted was in for three full three minutes, and thus in effect, was three minutes in arrears at the start of things. Duke Nalon in the aluminum colored Mercedes-Benz W163 was running 6th at the 200 mile mark but retired after 119 laps with piston failure.

There is one more point to be made. Could Bill Holland and his car, having been involved in a fatal accident, have been declared the winner of the race? The AAA seems to had had a rule that any car directly involved in a fatal accident could not be the winner of the event. This rule was invoked and implemented at Altoona on June 15, 1929 and at Atlanta on September 2, 1946. But here, as has already been said, Cantlon's and Holland's cars never actually touched each other, which may have made a difference. It is said however that Lou Moore, immediately after the race, put a tarpaulin over the front of Bill's car to hide the dented left side. There was certainly no extensive damage but the dent was surely visible to all. However nothing seems to have been said about the matter at all, as everyone was just keying in on the controversal pass of Rose on lap 193.

Willard (or more usually William) "Bill" Holland (1907-1984) from Philadelphia, PA originally, was a professional bicycle rider and a roller skating champion in the late 1920s to the mid-1930's. In 1928 Bill won the Pennsylvania Ice Skating Championship. In 1932 Holland qualified for the Olympics skating finals trial but had to withdraw because of a lack of funds. In 1934 Bill and his partner Malcolm Carey set a world's record of 296 miles in 24 hour of skating at Reading, PA. Bill began racing stock cars in 1934 but soon switched to the open wheel "big cars" which were more to his liking. Holland joined the AAA in 1937 and placed 6th in the AAA Eastern regional point standings in 1939 and 2nd in 1940. For 1941 Bill won the AAA Eastern Sprint or Regional Title and was slated to drive for Lou Moore at Indianapolis in 1942. World War II, of course, put a halt to all that. During the year 1946 Bill won a number of AAA sprint car events for car owner Ralph Malamud.

Originally, for the 1947 Indianapolis 500, Bill was to have piloted the ex-winning 1937 car, now owned by Erving Wolfe of Tulsa, OK, but then Wolfe changed his mind and put veteran Paul Russo in the cockpit instead. Holland then left the Speedway in a huff but soon got in contact with Lou Moore. Tony Bettenhausen, because he wouldn't cross the line in the ASPAR dispute, now lost his ride with Moore and was replaced by Holland. Bill was only in racing for the money and cared little for any of the glory. After the war Bill owned roller skating rinks.

Tommy Milton wasn't that all impressed with Bill's driving during the 1947 Indianapolis race. Milton, who was watching Holland from the Speedway's Pagoda, said he like Bill's foot, but wasn't sure about his head. Milton went on (quote), "Either he will be a great driver within a year or he will be dead. He didn't drive to a pattern. Seldom did he drive two laps alike, He went high one time and low the next. He needs experience. The top drivers always try to hold to a pattern, hewing to it on every lap and only deviating when they find themselves in traffic. In that way they not only know what they are doing but everyone else in the race knows what to expect of them. The top driver is never spectacular but he is fast and he is relatively safe. If Holland learns the value of consistency he will be one of the great drivers."

There were seven rookies in the 1947 field, i.e. Fred Agabashian, Les Anderson, Walt Brown, Milt Frankhouser, Bill Holland, Pete Romcevich, and Charles Van Acker. Holland placed 2nd, Brown 7th, and Agabashian 9th.

In early 1952 Wilbur Shaw was asked why the Speedway didn't have mutuel betting on the results of the races and thereby make a fortune. Shaw laughingly replied (quote), "We thought of it but then we got to thinking about that 1947 race. If something like that ever happened again they'd tear down our grandstand."

Edited by john glenn printz, 09 May 2012 - 13:27.


#8 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 13 October 2009 - 18:19

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-4) SHORTY CANTLON. In 1947, William L. "Shorty" Cantlon (1904-1947), who now walked with a limp, was one of the oldest surviving old time drivers still racing. Shorty was a devote Roman Catholic and is said to have raced motorcycles before automobiles. In a newspaper feature article published in April 1935, Cantlon was reported as working on a race car for a new perspective driver, but when the car was completed, the new would be pilot got cold feet and decided not to race it. Shorty then took over the machine and raced it himself. No date is given however for when this occurred, but this is suppose to be how Cantlon got into automobile racing.

The earliest traces of Cantlon, I can find, go back to 1924. Here he was at Roby, IL on June 15, where he won 5 and 25 mile sprint car events. On June 16, a Ray Patton of Detroit entered two racing cars for the upcoming races at the one mile Hawthorne, IL oval, one of which was to have been driven by Cantlon, and later in November 1924 Shorty was again an entrant at Roby. Cantlon placed an entry in the 1926 inaurgual Labor Day (Sept. 6) 150 mile race at the new 1/2 mile Akron-Cleveland board speedway. Here Cantlon placed 2nd to the winner Ralph "Whiz" Sloan. But it is plainly obvious from the contemporary newspapers that Cantlon figured very prominently in the mid-Western dirt track wars of 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, and 1929.

For the 1928 Indianapolis race Cantlon was entered for the very first time, on a Bugatti, owned by William Horn of Detroit, MI. The project didn't pan out but Shorty did move into the AAA Championship division by acting as a relief pilot (circuits 6-58 & 116-180) here at Indianapolis in 1928, for chauffeur Henry Kohlert (1892-1939). Unable apparently to land a ride for Indianapolis in 1929, we find Shorty running at Frank Funk's 1/2 mile Winchester, IL track on Memorial Day (May 30), along with Dutch Baumann (b. 1896), Paul Bost (1904-1987), Bill Chittum (1904-1944), and such later illuminaries as Bob Carey (1904-1933) and Mauri Rose. In 1929 however Shorty ran in three AAA National Championship contests, i.e. Detroit 100 (June 9), Syracuse 100 (Aug. 31), and Altoona 200 (Sept. 2). At Altoona he placed 4th, and in the final 1929 AAA Championship standings was listed 14th with 60 points, all obtained from his Sept. 2 Altoona outing.

After firmly establishing himself as a dirt track ace in the mid-West, Shorty travelled to Los Angeles, CA in late 1929 and linked up with car owner, Hollywood Bill White. During both 1930 and 1931 Cantlon made quite a name for himself at the 5/8's mile Ascot speedway. In early 1930 Cantlon and Bill White were trying to alter and to develop the old 1927, 4 cylinder Miller Marine "151" designed motor, for automobile racing use. The example they were using was manufactured by Schofield Inc. of America, located at 2652 Long Beach Avenue, Los Angeles. This "151" powerplant, designed originally for boat racing, was in fact, a direct precursor of what would become the famous Offenhauser 4, in the mid-1930s. On April 10, 1930, with the Miller Marine 4 bored out to 183 cubic inches, and running over the Muroc Dry Lake, Shorty established a world speed record for four cylinder engines over the one mile distance, of 144.985 mph. Thus Bob Burman's (1884-1916) old 1911 mark of 141.738 moh, made in a 1312 cubic inch (!) Blitzen Benz, was finally set aside. The Cantlon-White "Miller Hi-Speed Special", used to set the new record at Muroc Dry Lake, was exactly the same vehicle Shorty would pilot, for his first time as a starter at Indianapolis, in May 1930. At Indianapolis in 1930, with a field of 38 contestants, Cantlon did extremely well, and placed 2nd overall. This was the year that Billy Arnold (1905-1976), in a Harry Hartz (1894-1974) owned front drive Miller, led all but the first two laps (i.e, circuits 3-200).

Cantlon drove for Bill White at the Speedway in both 1930 and 1931. Shorty did not compete at Indianaplis in 1932 because of injuries he sustained at the 1 mile El Centro, CA dirt track, on February 4, 1932. In a mixup with Ernie Triplett (1906-1934), due to a rear tire blowout on Canton's car, Shorty's machine rolled, end over end, three times. For 1933, 1934, and 1935 Cantlon piloted his own car at the Speedeway and for 1936 and 1937 joined up with Bill White again.

Cantlon had four AAA National Championship wins, 1. 1930 Akron 100 (June 22); 2. 1931 Altoona 25 (Sept. 7); 3. 1931 Altoona 100 (Sept. 7); and 4. 1934 Syracuse 100 (Sept. 9). Cantlon's 1934 win at Syracuse was in a Bill White owned Miller/Weil car, which had been driven by Cliff Bergere at the Speedway in 1934 to 7th place. Shorty's best placements at Indianapolis were 2nd in 1930, 6th in 1931, 7th in 1935, and 9th in 1934, and his best AAA National Championship standings were 2nd in 1930, 6th in 1931, and 7th in 1935. Cantlon was also a charter member of Championship Drivers, Inc. formed in June 1935, where the drivers organized themselves and tried to promote AAA Championship races on their own.

Cantlon was starter at Indy in 1938 and 1939 but mechanical problems put him out early both years. For 1938 he ran 13 laps (supercharger failure) and in 1939 15 laps (bearing failure). Surprisingly Shorty continued to complete in the 100 mile dirt AAA Championship races. At the 1940 Syracuse 100 (Sept. 2) he placed 5th and was present at the 1941 Milwaukee 100 (Aug. 24) where did not start because his car blew a piston in practice. At Indy in 1940, Shorty took sick on the eve of the race and his already qualified car was taken over by Babe Stapp (1904-1980). At the Speedway again in 1941, Cantlon stepped out of the Sampson V16 (Miller/Stevens) saying, "I didn't feel right in it." Deacon Litz (1897-1967), who had come to the Speedway without a ride, quickly took it over and qualified in it at almost the last minute to start 29th. So Shorty didn't complete in either of the immediate pre-World War II "500"s, of 1940 or 1941.

For 1946 and 1947 Cantlon drove only at Indianapolis. In 1946 he piloted an old 1935 front wheel drive Ford Miller chassis with a 255 Offenhauser installed in it. Shorty travelled just 28 laps before the clutch caved in. For 1947 Shorty joined Detroiter, Lou Rassey, a machinist and mechanic. Rassey's team for the 1947 "500" was a low-budget operation. Harry A. Miller, had been operating a machine shop in Detroit when he died on May 3. 1943, and there exists evidence that Preston Tucker paid the funeral expences. When Miller's estate was disposed of in 1943, Rassey brought the Miller parts and components for a Miller V16 engine. For the 1947 "500" Rassey had installed this 272 cubic inch V16 Miller motor into an old chassis put together by Russ Snowberger (1901-1968). Cantlon qualified the combination at 121.462 mph to start 5th. Apparently Cantlon thought he had a real chance to win the 1947 "500", but the car twice stalled out on the course, and Shorty quickly dropped out of the top ten. Then came Bill Holland's loop in the first turn. Shorty avoided contact with Holland's spinning machine, but hit the outside concrete wall almost head on, and was thrown out of the car. Medical attendants rushed to the scene but Shortly was already dead, for his chest had been pierced by the steering wheel column.

Edited by john glenn printz, 08 November 2009 - 18:59.


#9 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 16 October 2009 - 19:23

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-5) PREAMBLE TO 1947 SEASON. The regular pilots on the AAA National Championship circuit in 1947 were Walt Ader, Emil Andres, Tony Bettenhausen, Walt Brown, George Connor, Duke Dinsmore, Milt Fankhouser, Bill Holland, Ted Horn, Rex Mays, Paul Russo, Steve Truchan, and Charles Van Acker. All these drivers ran in seven or more races, while Duke Nalon, Jackie Holmes, and Eddie Zalucki ran in five. Immediately after Indianapolis, Horn, Mays, and Rose were probably regarded as the most likely, for the 1947 AAA National Championship Title honors.

Horn was constructing a new Championship dirt car at his Paterson, NJ shop, which was probably put together by Ted's key mechanist, Dick Simonek (1907-1997). Tommy Hinnershitz (1912-1999) was entered on it at Indianapolis but the car was not ready. Nor was it ready in time for the Milwaukee 100 (June 8), which Horn sat out. The machine finally appeared at Langhorne (June 22). According to writer Russ Catlin, Horn nicknamed this car "Beauty". The car officially was called or christened the "Ted Horn Engineering Special" or the "T.H.E. Special". Ted would use this machine for all the dirt 100 mile races, in which he competed, in 1947 and 1948. The mechanic listed for Horn's car thoughout 1947 was Wallace "Jughead" Junior Cornforth.

In 1947 Rex Mays would have been ranked by many observers as the top, number one driver in the U.S. Louie Meyer, with the support and sponsorship of Robert "Bob" Bowes, embarked on the construction of an entirely new racing car in late 1937/early 1938. This new machine was created with the special intention of winning both the upcoming 1938 Indianapolis and Vanderbilt Cup races. Meyer, who was already a three time winner at Indianapolis (1928, 1933, & 1936), had come into AAA Championship racing when the use of supercharging was universal, i.e. during the 1926-1929 AAA seasons.

Meyer never forgot their effectiveness, efficiency, and power. But the AAA had, in effect, totally banned supercharging from their Championship division, with the start of the so-called "Junk" formula rules, introduced at Indianapolis in May 1930. It called for engines allowed up to 366 cubic inches, but for no blowers on all four cycle engines. Now however, for 1938, the AAA Contest Board opted for the New International Grand Prix formula of 4 1/2 litres unsuoercharged (274 cubic inches) and 3 litres (183 cubic inches) supercharged. Meyer's car thus had a newly designed 179 cubic inch supercharged straight 8 motor, which incorporated the ideas of Meyer himself, Fred Offenhauser, and Leo Goossen. This new motor was installed in a new chassis built by Myron Stevens.

Meyer drove this new car at Indianapolis in 1938, but the 1938 version of the George Vanderbilt Cup was cancelled and this brief series of just two races in 1936 and 1937 was never revived. In the 1938 Indianapolis classic Meyer went 149 laps before the oil pump quit. Meyer returned with the same car in 1939, but lost all control of the machine on the backstraight on the 198 lap while running in 2nd place, chasing the eventual winner Wilbur Shaw. Shaw was in a brand new type 1939 8CTF Grand Prix supercharged Maserati. Meyer says he decided to retire as a racing driver mid-way in this accident, when he was being thrown out of the car. Such was the end of Louie's AAA Championship driving career which had begun at the Charlotte, NC board track on November 11, 1926.

Under Bowes Seal Fast sponsorship again, Rex Mays inherited both the car and driving chores, when Louis retired. Lou advised Mays against the running the car on dirt surfaced tracks but Mays was eminently successful doing so nevertheless. Rex drove the car for three successive and successful AAA Championship seasons, i.e. 1940, 1941, and 1946. In 1940 Rex placed 2nd at Indianapolis, which was the very first occasion that Mays actually finished a "500" in seven tries. Then in the only other 1940 AAA Championship events, i.e., the Springfield 100 (Aug. 24) and the Syracuse 100 (Sept. 2), Mays led every lap to win the 1940 AAA National Championship Driving crown. Rex's 1941 season was very similar. Mays again placed 2nd at Indianapolis, this time behind Lou Moore's Offenhauser/Wetteroth, driven jointly by Floyd Davis and then Mauri Rose. And again Mays led every lap at the only two National Championship dirt races held in 1941, i.e. Milwaukee 100 (Aug. 24) and the Syracuse 100 (Sept. 1), to win the 1941 AAA National Championship.

In the very first post-World War II AAA year, 1946, Rex drove the same identical car at Indianapolis but went out after just 26 laps with a cracked manifold. However in the remaining five AAA Championship events, all 100 milers on dirt, Rex won three of them, i.e. Langhorne (June 30), Indianapolis Fairgrounds 100 (Sept. 15), and the Milwaukee 100 (Sept. 22). Rex now had eight AAA Championship division wins, seven of them in the big Bowes Seal Fast Special, previously run by Lou Meyer in 1938 and 1939. Mays' other Championship win was at the 1936 Goshen 100 (June 20) driving a 1934 Sparks/Stevens-Summers car built for Art Sparks and Paul Weirick.

In 1946 it was felt that the old 1938 Myron Stevens' chassis was overweight, too bulky, and obsolete. And so car builder and designer Frank Kurtis was given the assignment of making an entirely new, modern, lightweight chassis, to house the blown straight 8 motor, for use in the entire 1947 AAA Championship season. Its front wheel suspension system was altered to the torsion bar type. The new car looked good and the prospects for the year 1947 were initially optimistic. At the 1947 Indianapolis however, Rex started 20th but had moved into 4th position at the 50 mile mark. At the half way point, 250 miles, Mays was up to 2nd. But then motor problems occurred and Mays could finish no better than 6th. Nor did he lead any laps. Anyway this new Meyer-Offenhauser-Goosen/Kurtis was Mays' ride for the rest of the 1947 contests.

Rose and Holland had driven front wheel drive cars at Indianapolis, both owned by Lou Moore, but these cars could not be used for the dirt surfaced Championship ovals. As Moore then didn't own any dirt track machines, both Rose and Holland would have to fend for themselves the rest of the year. Bill Holland took over Fred A. Peters' Offenhauser/Wetteroth machine, which Ted Horn had piloted in all five of the 1946 Championship events staged on dirt. This same machine won the 1941 Indianapolis 500, with Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose as the drivers, and Lou Moore as the owner. At Indy in both 1946 and 1947 it was piloted by Joie Chitwood. Rose didn't seem to have landed any car for the remaining AAA 1947 season immediately after Indianapolis, but as the year's Indianapolis winner he could command $500 in extra appearance money, for every Championship event he ran in.

Murrell Belanger (1902-1977) got into AAA Championship racing in 1936 by buying a 1931 built Miller/Stevens race car from Joe Marks of Gary, IN. Jimmy Snyder (1909-1939) drove it for Murrell at Indianapolis in 1936 to place only 30th (out after 21 laps, oil leak). At Indianapolis in 1937 Frank McGurk (1915-1982) crashed this car during a qualification attempt, resulting in the death of its 26 year old riding mechaic, Albert "Al" Opalko. Opalko, had been the riding mechanic in this same car at Indy in 1935, when it was driven by George Connor (1906-2001) and owned by Joe Marks. McGurk himself was hurt, suffering severe head lacerations and a broken arm. The accident was caused initally by a broken connecting rod.

In 1938 Murrell either purchased a new car or had the now wrecked 1931 machine rebuilt, by Myron Stevens (1901-1988). Tony Willman (1907-1941) ran it at Indianapolis in 1938 and Emil Andres in 1940. Then Belanger totally sat out both the 1941 and 1946 AAA Championship seasons. Tony Bettenhausen however knew that Murrell owned a now idle 1938 Offenhauser/Stevens machine and talked Belanger into running it, with himself as the chauffeur, during 1947. This was the beginning of the Belanger-Bettenhausen partnership in AAA National Championship racing. Sometime in early 1947 Bettenhausen, theoretically at least, purchased Belanger's old 1938 Offenhauser/Stevens machine. Tony was supposed to pay $5000 for it, but both Belanger and Bettenhausen knew that Tony didn't have the money. It was just all a joke! In any case the car was prepared for the upcoming 1947 Indianapolis classic, as the "Belanger Special No. 29", and Tony drove it in the "500", to finish 18th (out after 79 laps with a broken engine gear train). This all occurred at Indy apparently, after Tony had lost his 1947 Indianapolis ride with Lou Moore.

Emil Andres (1911-1999) always maintained, to me and others, that his old Offenhauser stretched out Clyde Adams ex-Ascot 1933/34 sprint car, which he had used in all five 1946 AAA Championship 100 mile races under the name the "Riverside Tire Special No. 44", was sold to Belanger just after the 1947 Langhorne 100 (June 22). This does seem to the case. Belanger was now supporting, in effect, a two car Championship team in 1947 with Andres and Bettenhausen as his drivers. Andres started his racing career at the Illinois' 1/2 mile dirt Evanston Motor Speedway in 1931. At first Emil drove stock cars but moved up to the open wheel "big cars" in 1932. In 1931 Emil had also talked his good friend Jimmy Snyder (1909-1939) into the automobile racing game and Snyder went far in the AAA Championship ranks before crashing to his death in St. Louis, MO in a midget contest on June 29, 1939. Soon Andres himself built up a reputation as a fearless and tough mid-west "big car" driver. Andres moved into the AAA Championship division in 1935, the same year as his friend Jimmy Snyder did.

Edited by john glenn printz, 24 October 2012 - 15:17.


#10 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 19 October 2009 - 12:25

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-6) Nevertheless Emil's accomplishments in AAA Champ cars, before World War II, were not overwhelming. His best placements were a 3rd in the 1935 Springfield 100 (Aug. 24) and a 5th at the 1941 Milwaukee 100 (Aug. 24). Emil's highest AAA Championship rankings before the war were 16th in 1941 and 17th in 1935. Andres' biggest victory had been a win in the 1939 Springfield 100 (Oct. 15), a year in which it was not ranked a Championship level event. Emil's vehicle here was the ex-Lou Schneider 1931 Indianapolis winner, but its original straight 8 Miller was now replaced by an Offenhauser 4 to now become an Offenhauser/Stevens. Lou Moore was so impressed with Andres driving performance at Springfield, that he tried to sign up Emil for the 1940 "500", but Andres declined. "A missed opportunity.", as Andres told me years later. 1946 was, by far, Emil's best AAA Championship season. At Indianapolis he finished 4th overall in a type 8CTF Grand Prix Maserati, and in his ex-Ascot sprint car was 4th at Langhorne (June 30), 3rd at Atlanta (Sept. 2), 3rd at the Indianapolis Fairgrounds (Sept. 15). 3rd at Milwaukee (Sept. 22) , and 4th at Goshen (Oct. 6). Andres in 1946 was almost as consistent in high placements as the 1946 AAA National Title winner, Ted Horn. In the official and final 1946 AAA point standings Emil was listed 3rd behind only Horn and George Robson.

For Indianapolis in 1947 Emil drove a car both built and owned by the ASPAR's hot and chief firebrand, Joe Lencki. Here Andres completed 150 laps before an oil line broke and he was placed 13th overall in the final 1947 reckoning. Emil first came to Indianapolis in 1935 but did not manage to qualify. Before the war Andres had five starts at Indy, and his best placements were 12th in 1940 and 18th in 1938. He failed to qualify again in 1937, but relieved Al Miller (1907-1967) in the race for circuits 79-158. In 1938, in a race crash (lap 46) during the "500", Emil's car hit the inside retaining wall and flipped over three times. The right front wheel soared into the air and 100 feet away hit a spectator on the head, 33 year old Everette Spence. Everette was killed instantly and had been a probation officer by trade hailing from Terre Haute, IN. Andres himself was badly injured and in very serious condition. Emil had a broken collar bone, two fractured ribs, a wounded right lung, and a broken nose.

Another driver who proved to be a factor in 1947 AAA Championship chase was Charles E. Van Acker (1912-1998). Born in Brussels, Belgium, he witnessed his first "500" in 1926. Charles thought that the drivers were having such a good time racing in the first turn, that he swore he would get a car, and run in the "500" himself. He told me, "I said I would drive in the "500" someday and by golly I did!" Charles had come to the U.S. at age 6 and was a machinist by trade. Van Acker began racing at the 1/2 mile dirt Cassopolis Fairground, MI track in 1930 in a stripped Model T Ford. Pre-war notices about Van Acker are hard to find. One example however is the severe injuries he sustained at the 5/8's mile dirt New Hammond Speedway, IN, on September 12, 1937. His first try at AAA Championship racing occurred at the Speedway in 1946, where he missed the starting lineup by just a whisker, as he had the 35th fastest clocking at 115.666 mph and was finally posted as the second alternate starter. For the 1947 Indianapolis race Van Acker bought an old Stevens chassis, without an engine, from George Lyons of Chicago. A Offenhauser 4 was installed in it and Charles qualified the combination at a 121.040 mph clip, to start 24th. In the race (lap 25) Charles and Paul Russo tangled and both machines were put out of the race. Van Acker placed 29th. Charles used the same car for all the 1947 100 mile dirt races.

Walter C. "Walt" Brown (1911-1951) was an eastern U.S. big car driver who is always listed as residing in Massapequa, NY. and was by trade a bank clerk. He began his racing career in 1933 and is listed as finishing 3rd in a 50 miler at Langhorne on June 16, 1935. Walt was ranked 9th in points for 1935 on the Ralph A. Hankinson circuit. Walt took part in a 15 mile consolation race at Goshen, NY, run in conjunction with the day's AAA Championship 100 miler. Moved up to a 5th place ranking in the AAA Eastern regional "big car" division in 1938. Brown made his first actual AAA Championship start at the 1941 Syracuse 100 (Sept. 1), where he placed 9th. However Brown had been at the 1936 Goshen 100 (June 20) and and 1938 Syracuse 100 (Sept. 10) Championship races where he failed to make the starting grid. Brown's debut at Indianapolis was in 1947 driving a 182 cubic inch supercharged Alfa Romeo, owned by ex-driver Milt Marion (1909-1999). Walt started 14th and finished 7th, and completed all 200 laps. For the rest of the 1947 Championship season he ran for Louis "Lou" Rassey of Detroit in a rather obsolete looking Offenhauser powered Auto Shippers No. 31. Its chassis was probably that of a old Miller.

George Connor (1906-2001) was born in Rialto, CA and began his career in automobile racing in 1926 at the 1/2 mile dirt Colton, CA oval, as he thought it might be just pure fun. Connor moved into the AAA Championship division in 1934 at Indianapolis but didn't make the race. That year his car owner was Harvey Ward who was Kelly Petillo's (1903-1970) mechanic during the 1935 Championship season. Connor however had a very extensive career (1934-1953) in the AAA Championship cars. George was frequently a member of the top Championship teams such as Joe Marks', Mike Boyle's, and later Lou Moore's, but always with the number two or number three driver ranking. George set a world's or AAA record for a flat mile dirt oval at Springfield of 38.15 seconds on August 22, 1936, just a few minutes after George O. "Doc" McKenzie (1906-1936) had posted 38.67. The previous mark of 38.96 seconds (92.5 mph) had still been held by Frank Lockhart (1903-1928), which he made at the North Randall dirt mile located in Cleveland, OH on September 25, 1927.

Connor had no Championship wins before World War II but had placed 2nd at the 1936 Syracuse 100 (Sept. 14), the 1939 Syracuse 100 (Sept. 10), and the 1941 Milwaukee 100 (Aug. 24). He was the fastest qualifier at the 1936 Goshen 100 at 46.68 seconds and started on the pole, but was out after a single lap because of a clutch problem. At the 1939 Milwaukee 100 (Sept. 22) Connor led the first 89 laps only to have his engine expire, giving the win to Egbert "Babe" Stapp (1904-1980). George's highest AAA Championship rankings were 5th in 1941 and 10th in 1939. In seven Indianapolis starts before the war his best finishes were 5th in 1936 and 12ths in both 1937 and 1939. In 1946 Connor was given the victory at the accident shortened (98 miles), wreck filled Atlanta 100 (Sept. 2), where George Barringer and George Robson lost their lives. For 1947 Connor would pilot the same Ed Walsh, Jr. (1909-1991) owned 1941 Offenhauser/Kurtis machine that he had used in all six of the 1946 Championship events.

Paul Russo (1914-1976) was born in Chicago and began racing at the Evanston Motor Speedway in 1931. At first he drove souped up Model T's and stock cars but moved into the open wheel AAA big cars in 1936. When midget racing became popular in the mid-1930s Paul raced them with particular relish and delight. Paul had an elder brother Joe (b. 1901), who compaigned in the AAA National Championship division from 1931 to 1934. However Joe was killed in a 50 mile race at Langhorne in June 1934. This didn't slow Paul down at all. Indeed there have been very, very few in motor racing, anywhere or at anytime, who loved to race more than did Paul Russo. He never wanted to quit, but old age finally caught up with him, and he just couldn't obtain rides anymore. He ran the Champ cars, both under the AAA and USAC sanctions, from 1940 to 1965. Paul's first season in the AAA Championship cars was 1940, where he competed in all three events contested that year. His best placement was 8th at the Syracuse 100 (Sept. 2). For 1941, Russo ran only at Indianapolis and placed 9th. Here Paul's machine was the famous tubular frame job designed and built by Tudy Marchese in 1938. Robert C. "Bob" Wilke of "Leader Cards", helped with sponsorship money. For 1946 Russo teamed up with Paul Weirick at Indianapolis. Weirick had designed and had put together a chassis powered by two bored out midget Offenhauser motors, one in front and one in back with the driver sitting between them. Russo qualified extremely well in Weirick's new contraption at 126.183 mph and started 2nd. In the race he crashed into the outside concrete wall on lap 17 and finished dead last, to place 33rd. Russo broke his left leg and sustained lacerations on his face.

During the 1947 Championship season Russo mostly drove a 1936 Offenhauser/Shaw-Stevens, owned by Erwin Wolfe of Tulsa, Oklahoma. This was the "pay-car" Wilbur Shaw (1902-1954) put together with Myron Stevens' help, for the 1936 "500". Art Sparks told me that Shaw asked in late 1935 for the blueprints and drawings of the 1932 Sparks-Weirick streamlined job, i. e."The Catfish", which Sparks and Weirick built for the 1932 "500". Art says he sent the revelant material to Wilbur, and indeed the new 1936 Shaw streamlined machine and the Sparks-Weirich 1932 "Catfish" certainly have very similar body shapes. Myron Stevens however also asserted, in my very presence, that if Shaw had these details and drawings from Sparks in 1935/1936, that he himself never saw them or was aware of them. Shaw drove this car at Indy in 1936 (7th), 1937 (1st), and 1938 (2nd). Shaw also wrecked this car in the 1936 George Vanderbilt Cup race (Oct. 12). At Indianapolis itself, Mauri Rose, Billy DeVore, and Frank Wearne, drove it respectively in 1939 (8th), 1940 (18th), and 1941 (8th). This car was a real work horse!

Frank Wearne (1913-1985) piloted this 1936 ex-Shaw car at Indianapolis in 1946 to place 8th. The veteran George Barringer was assigned Wolfe's Offenhauser/Shaw-Stevens No. 7 for the Labor Day, September 2, 1946, Atlanta 100. Late in the race, with visibility almost zero, Barringer crashed into George Robson, who had been trying to avoid hitting a very slow moving Billy DeVore. There ensued a very bad wreck in which both Barringer and Robson suffered fatal injuries, but Erwin Wolfe had the car repaired and made ready for the upcoming 1947 AAA Championship season. At the 1947 Indianapolis 500, it was piloted by Russo, who traveled just 24 circuits before getting involved in a crash with Van Acker on lap 25.

All the above are the chief drivers, machines, and car owners, which ultimately proved to be the principle agents and/or active factors, in the chase for the 1947 AAA National Championship honors.

Edited by john glenn printz, 27 October 2010 - 19:27.


#11 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,051 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 26 October 2009 - 07:14

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-1) Art Sparks (1901-1984) always maintained that the American Society of Professional Automobile Racing (A.S.P.A.R. or ASPAR) began in Los Angeles during 1932/1933 to try and pry more prize money from the management of the Ascot Legion 5/8's mile oval. I can fine no contemporary evidence to confirm ASPARS' early 1930's origin, but whatever, the depression era ASPAR does not seem to have lasted long. A new ASPAR organization arose in early 1946, with Rex Mays elected President, to help promote a sport that in the U.S. had been in a somewhat moribund condition since the mid-1920s.

John,

While researching something else, I ran across mention in the Los Angeles Times of a driver's organization at Legion Ascot. Unfortunately, I haven't managed to find it again. I do not believe it was called ASPAR, but had another name. If I find it, I will attempt to forward it to you.

I have enjoyed your posts and threads greatly. Thank you.


#12 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 26 October 2009 - 13:56

John,

While researching something else, I ran across mention in the Los Angeles Times of a driver's organization at Legion Ascot. Unfortunately, I haven't managed to find it again. I do not believe it was called ASPAR, but had another name. If I find it, I will attempt to forward it to you.

I have enjoyed your posts and threads greatly. Thank you.



Dear Jim:

My guess would be that you are thinking of "Champion Drivers, Inc.", formed in mid-1935, which ran at Ascot using their AAA Championship type two-man cars in 1935 and 1936. Consult the tread "1946 AAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP", the Nov. 27, 2006 post, under "1946 AAA SEASON" (cont.-10)". Champion Drivers, Inc. staged races at Ascot on Dec. 15, 1935 and Jan. 26, 1936. Al Gordon (1903-1936) and his riding mechanic Spider Matlock were both killed in the Jan. 26, 1936 race and this contest was the last ever staged at the 5/8's mile Ascot oval.

Sincerely, J.G. Printz

Edited by john glenn printz, 26 October 2009 - 14:48.


#13 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 26 October 2009 - 15:12

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-7) PART I. THE EARLY SEASON: MILWAUKEE, LANGHORNE, AND ATLANTA.

2. THE MILWAUKEE 100, JUNE 8, 1947. After the 1947 Indianapolis 500, the next race was held at Milwaukee on June 8. Here a tradition began that was adhered to (with the only exception being 1957), by both the AAA and USAC so long as they sanctioned National Championship events; i.e. that immediately after Indianapolis, the next race would always be staged in Milwaukee.

For 1947 at Milwaukee everyone was anticipating a new and fierce duel between Bill Holland and his arch rival Mauri Rose, but Rose said (quote), "I don't have a car for the Milwaukee race yet, but I am sure I will be able to line up with some owner by June 8." Rex Mays said, after being plagued with problems in the "500" (quote), "I have set my sights on the Milwaukee race. That state fair park track is my favorite and my car will be in perfect shape." Among the odd ball entries at Milwaukee was the rear engined (Gulf) Miller piloted by Al Miller at Indianapolis in 1947. The car had never been raced on a dirt track before. Finally on June 4, Rose entered the race with a vehicle owned by Bill Corley. The Corley car was originally intended for Indianapolis, but wasn't ready. Apparently it wasn't ready for Milwaukee either, as it failed to appear. Rose then said he wouldn't run in the Milwaukee race because he could find no car to his liking.

Rex Mays had had considerable trouble with his new Kurtis chassis straight 8 at Indianapolis. First he broke a right front shock absorber on lap 20, then on circuit 162 his throttle stuck, and thirdly the engine's intercooler blew, but Mays kept going, to finish 6th at the end. Here at Milwaukee a check revealed a cracked intercooler and so Mays drove Bob Flavell's 1938 Sparks/Adams supercharged "6" instead. Mays was thoroughly familar with this "Little Six" having run one at Indianapolis in 1939, when he drove for Joel Thorne. Joel had subsequently sold this car to Robert Flavell, in early 1946.

The Milwaukee time trials were scheduled for Saturday, June 7. There were a whopping 27 entries, with the only the fastest 14 to start. Twelve cars got duly qualified before a heavy rain set in and so the remaining cars took their qualification runs the next day, i.e. in the morning before the race. On Saturday, Bill Holland posted the fastest time to win the pole with a lap at 40.69 seconds with Les Anderson from Portland OR, right next to him with a 40.71. Tony Bettenhausen in Sunday's qualifications set a new Milwaukee AAA lap record of 37.36 seconds and would start 11th. For this June 8 race, Tony was using the Clyde Adams built sprint car still owned by Emil Andres, even through it ran as the "Belanger Special No. 18". Betterhausen's "own" Belanger (Offenhauser/Stevens) needed repair and the needed parts were not forthcoming. Tony's new clocking of 37.36 broke the old AAA record set in June 1940 by Rex Mays at 37.78. Norman Hauser, one of the Saturday qualifiers at 44.67 seconds, got bumped from the field on Sunday. Because of the large number of entries, it was decided to start 18 cars, instead of just 14. The car owners waived their contracts which called for only 14 cars to start and allowed 18 to run. Wilbur Shaw drove the pace car and was accompanied Tony Hulman. Fred Frame, Harry Hartz, Ralph Hepburn, and Mauri Rose were also at hand to watch the race.

Les Anderson led circuits 1-2 and Holland lap 3. Then Bettenhausen took over for circuits 3-29 by passing Bill on the homestretch. Tony began lapping cars on his 9th lap. By lap 18 Bettenhausen had lapped everybody except the first four placements. Finally Tony began to have clutch problems, which slowed him down and Holland regained the front position on lap 30 and led all the rest of the way. Bettenhausen's car retired after 44 laps. Mays meanwhile had moved up to 2nd, but his old 1938 car was slow in the turns although equal or even superior in speed on the two straightaways, but still he lost ground to Holland. By lap 61 Holland was over a lap ahead of everybody, but Holland's machine began running on only three cylinders on circuit 75, and others including Mays, started creeping up on the leader but couldn't and didn't ever catch him. Bill was now driving very hard in the turns to keep ahead. Mays, on lap 71, had unlapped himself but at the end Holland still led the race by over half a lap. Despite all his problems Bill Holland set a new 100 mile record of 1:08:44.64 (82.281 mph), breaking Rex Mays' previous mark of 1:10:44.57, set on September 22, 1946. There were no cautions during the race and the attendance was put at 34,550.

Les Anderson (1910-1948) was a Pacific northwest lumberman and an open wheel pilot of some local renown, who drove both midgets and big-cars. Anderson had begun his racing career in the mid-1930s and his first AAA Championship start was at Indianapolis in 1947. Here Les was running at the finish, flagged off with 131 laps completed, to place 11th. Les however had lost 50 minutes while in the pits for split gas tank repairs and earlier had had to pit for fuel line leak.

Back here at Milwaukee, Holland said that if he had slowed down too much in the turns , he would never have been able to hit a high enough speed on the two stretches to protect his lead. Holland stated (quote), "I was lucky to win, I thought I was through when that cylinder started to act up." Bill put out his hands. "Look, blisters. That's from all that work in the turns. Why, I didn't have a single blister after the 500." Holland won $5947, the total purse being $24,000. Bill had also picked up 200 Championship points which now tied him with Rose for the leadership in the AAA National Title chase with 1000 counters each.The top five finishers here at Milwaukee were 1. Bill Holland (Offenhauser/Wetteroth); 2. Rex Mays (Sparks/Adams); 3. Paul Russo (Offenhauser/Shaw-Stevens); 4. George Connor (Offenhauser/Kurtis); and 5. Charles Van Acker (Offenhauser/Stevens). The next race was the Langhorne 100 of June 22.

Edited by john glenn printz, 08 January 2010 - 15:13.


#14 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,051 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 27 October 2009 - 17:00

Dear Jim:

My guess would be that you are thinking of "Champion Drivers, Inc.", formed in mid-1935, which ran at Ascot using their AAA Championship type two-man cars in 1935 and 1936. Consult the tread "1946 AAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP", the Nov. 27, 2006 post, under "1946 AAA SEASON" (cont.-10)". Champion Drivers, Inc. staged races at Ascot on Dec. 15, 1935 and Jan. 26, 1936. Al Gordon (1903-1936) and his riding mechanic Spider Matlock were both killed in the Jan. 26, 1936 race and this contest was the last ever staged at the 5/8's mile Ascot oval.

Sincerely, J.G. Printz

John,

That is it. Yes, it involved the two-man races. Sorry, I was sick and missed that post to the 1946 thread at the time. Very well covered on Bill White. Thanks again for your excellent research and posts here.


#15 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 28 October 2009 - 20:03

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-8)

3. THE LANGHORNE 100 JUNE 22, 1947. The 1947 Langhorne 100 was the joint promotion of John D. Babcock and Sam Nunis. The qualifications were held on June 21-22, and 16 cars were to start. There were 24 entries but one notable absentee was Mauri Rose. Rex Mays showed up late with the Bowes Seal Fast No. 5 machine but had a broken cooling rod break just as he was about to qualify. So neither Mays or Rose was a starter. Emil Andres was the fastest qualifier at 34.67 or 103.863 mph, followed by Duke Dinsmore at 34.70 seconds and Walt Brown at 34.99. Emil was now piloting his own Offenhauser/Adams sprint car, that Bettenhausen had used at Milwaukee, but now its number had been changed to "3", which had been Emil's official standing in the 1946 AAA National Championship standings. On this occasion Bettenhausen drove the Wolfe Special No. 7, that Paul Russo had piloted at Milwaukee. Paul Russo was now running for Bill Corley, in an apparently new machine. And Ted Horn's new dirt track car finally made its first appearance. Spider Webb (1910-1990) had qualified Fred W. Johnson's No. 45 but later sustained a broken ankle when somebody pushed the car over his foot. So Buster Warke (1914-2008) drove the car in the race. In reality, 18 cars were allowed to start.

At the beginning Emil Andres jumped into the lead, with Dinsmore right behind him, and stayed there until the 12th lap, when Tony Bettenhausen sped by. In the early going Dinsmore was hit by a flying stone and had to pit with his goggles shattered and glass in his eye. Rex Mays took over Dinsmore's mount at that point but after just 7 laps Mays came back in and now Rex's replacement was Mel Hansen (1911-1963), who motored on to place 8th. At 25 laps the running order was Bettenhausen, Conner, Andres, Holland, and Brown. Connor retired after 49 laps with motor trouble. By 50 miles Bettenhausen enjoyed a full lap lead over the entire rest of the field, the race order being: Bettenhausen, Holland, Andres, Van Acker, Brown, Ader, Horn, and DeVore. At 75 laps the top positions were: Bettenhausen, Holland, Brown, Andres, Ader, Horn, and Van Acker. Ted Horn, in his brand new car, was now running on just three cylinders.

Bettenhausen continued to lead until lap 82 when he had to pit for an overheated motor. Tony never got back out again. That gave the front position to Bill Holland in the Peters No. 8. Bill, nevertheless, was having a rough day, as on his 11th circuit his goggles had shattered and his right eye was injured by a flying rock. Holland did not choose to come in, but stayed out, while dropping a whole lap behind the race leaders. Bill gradually moved up to 2nd, and dueled with Bettenhausen on laps 75-81, trying to unlap himself. When Tony retired (lap 81) Holland led the rest of the way to win by a 2 and 1/4 lap margin over Emil Andres in 2nd. Walt Brown's car developed problems and he made his first pit stop on lap 98. Walt came right back out, but had dropped from 2nd to 3rd. The finishing order was 1. Bill Holland (Offenhauser/Wetteroth), 2. Emil Andres (Offenhauser/Adams), 3. Walt Brown (Offenhauser/Miller), 4. DeVore/Truchan (Offenhauser/Wetteroth), 5. Ted Horn (Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek), and 6. Charles Van Acker (Offenhauser/Stevens). Holland's total time was 1:08:23.59 (87.728 mph) and so Kelly Petillo's old 1935 time of 1:05:17.5 (91.893 mph) for the AAA Championship division cars still remained intact. The total purse paid was $17,397.70.

Holland's win here had put him into the AAA National Championship point lead. The top five being 1. Bill Holland, 1200 points; 2. Mauri Rose 1000, 3. Ted Horn 800, 4. Rex Mays 562.5, and 5. Jimmy Jackson and Walt Brown (tie) 500. The next race was the Atlanta 100 slated for July 4.

Edited by john glenn printz, 17 November 2009 - 20:51.


#16 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 12 November 2009 - 16:39

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-9) 4. ATLANTA 100 JULY 4. The 1947 Atlanta 100 was a Sam Nunis promotion, just as the 1946 Atlanta 100 had been. Many had thought the double fatality of 1946 would halt Championship racing at Lakewood Park, GA but on Independance Day 1947, 14 machines and their drivers lined up for another go. About 17 entries were received for the 14 car, race day starting grid. Among the drivers who didn't enter were Tony Bettenhausen and Mauri Rose. The fastest qualifier was Rex Mays in the Bowes Seal Fast No. 9 at 40.20 seconds (89.552 mph), followed by Andres (41.08) in his Belanger No. 3, and Paul Russo in the Andrews Special No. 27 (41.39). Russo was to have originally piloted Paul Weirick's old sprinter No. 4., affectionally given the nickname "Poison Lil", but Russo showed up late and Weirick had put Walt Ader in the car instead. In the morning warm up, Zenon "Bud" Bardowski (1914-2000), spun into the retaining wall in turn one, the car flipped over, and Bardowski was tossed out. Bud suffered injuries to his chest and arm.

Andres led the first 47 laps, pursued by Brown and Horn. On lap 48 Andres' car lost a wheel nut and a left side wheel came off. Emil made it back to the pits, a new wheel was put on, but another nut could not be found and Andres was out. Andres' crew had indeed rushed over to Bardowski's wrecked car and removed a wheel nut from it, but the threads were different. Nothing is reported about Rex Mays but apparently he retired shortly after Andres went out. At 75 laps the running order was Holland, Brown, Ader, and Warke. Then Holland blew a tire and Brown took over the front position (lap 76) just momentarily, because immediately Brown's car caught on fire and stalled out in the middle of the track. Rather suddenly Walt Ader was in the lead (lap 77) and the AAA then halted the race at that point. Brown was treated at the Grady Hospital for burns to the arm and leg. The AAA was perhaps overly cautious on this occasion with the memories of the double fatalites (Barringer and G. Robson) of 1946 on their minds. The top six finishers were: 1. Walt Ader (Offenhauser/Adams), 2. Bill Holland (Offenhauser/Wetteroth), 3. Eddie Zalucki (Dreyer), 4. Ted Horn (Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek), 5. Milt Frankhouser (Offenhauser/Stevens), and 6. Charles Van Acker (Offenhauser/Stevens). Ader had led only lap 77 and his winning time for the 77 laps he completed, was 1:01:25.63 (75.211 mph). The track's actual total payout was $8,401, but Champion Spark Plug added $13,500 in accessory awards

Weirick's "Poison Lil" was a famous single seat sprint car. It had been originally constructed in the winter of 1932/1933 by Clyde Adams for the car owners and partners, Art Sparks and Paul Weirick. It had won three AAA Pacific Coast regional "big car" titles. The first was in 1933 with Al Gordon, and later in 1934 and 1935, with Rex Mays. In the second half of 1936 Sparks and Weirick split up and Paul took over the sole ownership of both the 1934 Offenhauser/Stevens-Summers two-man Championship car and the 1932/1933 single seat sprint machine "Poison Lil". According to Miller historian Mark Dees, Weirick paid Sparks $8500 for this takeover.

For 1937 Rex Mays drove Bill White's Alfa Romeo type 8C-35 at Indianapolis and the Vanderebilt Cup but Mays piloted Weirick's Poison Lil in the AAA 100 mile big car dirt track races. The combination won two 1937 AAA non-Championship "big car" 100 mile events, staged at Cleveland (June 14) and Milwaukee (August 29). In 1937 single seat cars were no longer banned in the 100 mile AAA Championship dirt races, and Rex using "Poison Lil" (i.e. Weirick Special No. 14) ran at the Syracuse 100 on September 12. Here Mays led the first 48 laps but retired on lap 69 with a broken motor block. Billy Winn went on to victory with a record time of 1:08:34.68, long the 100 mile record at Syracuse. Mays and the "Weirick Special" returned for the 1938 Syracuse 100 (Sept. 10) to place 2nd. Mays was just 14 seconds behind the winner, Jimmy Snyder. Duke Nalon was also famous for winning two 100 mile big car events with "Poison Lil" at the Langhorne Speedway. These were staged on June 16, 1940 and June 22, 1941.

On July 1, 1989 Paul Weirick was reminiscencing about the 1947 Atlanta win with Ader, stating that it was his only AAA Championship victory as a car owner, with the exception of Rex Mays' win at Goshen in 1936. That was not correct as Weirick had forgotten about both Stubby Stubblefield's win at Roby on June 16, 1932 and Kelly Petillo's victory at Mines Field on December 23, 1934. At Roby, Stubblefield was piloting the Sparks-Weirick owned streamliner known as the "Catfish". Petillo's Mines Field winning car was the new Sparks/Stevens-Summers vehicle, which had been driven by Al Gordon at Indianapolis in 1934. Weirick and Sparks had formed their partnership during 1931.

Edward "Eddie" P. Zalucki (1914-2002) took 3rd place here in a car constructed by Floyd H. "Pop" Dreyer (1898-1989). Dreyer began as a motorcycle racer but a bad accident in 1923 put a halt to that. In the late 1920s Dreyer worked alongside Herman Rigling at the Duesenberg plant, helping to put together the Duesenberg brothers' racing cars. In the early 1930s both Dreyer and Rigling began working for themselves, constructing race car chassis. Dreyer, during the 1930s and 1940s, was mostly known as a leading builder of sprint cars and as a top sprint car team owner.

Walt Ader (1912-1982) was a pre-World War II, eastern U.S., big car pilot, and had started his racing career c. 1935. In 1946 Walt was part of Ted Horn's sprint car team which also consisted of Tommy Hinnershitz, Lee Wallard, and Horn himself. Walt's first Championship start was at Milwaukee in 1946 where he drove a car owned by Norm Olson. Ader's 1947 Atlanta victory was his only AAA Championship win, and was also the only occasion when he drove for Paul Weirick. Bill Holland seemed on a roll now as he had two firsts (Milwaukee and Langhorne) and two seconds (Indianapolis and Atlanta) in the season's first four races. The National Championship point standings were: 1. Bill Holland 1360 points, 2. Rose 1000, 3. Horn 920, 4. Mays 572.5, 5. Brown 540, and 6. Jackson 500. As it was apparent now that Mauri Rose was not seriously going to contend for the 1947 AAA Title, Holland was beginning to look like a shoo-in for the 1947 crown.

Edited by john glenn printz, 15 December 2009 - 14:16.


#17 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 13 November 2009 - 19:20

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-10) PART II. THE MIDDLE GAME: BAINBRIDGE, MILWAUKEE, AND GOSHEN.

5. BAINBRIDGE 100 JULY 13. Jimmy Frattone, who had helped promote the 1946 Langhorne and Goshen AAA Championship races, was the promoter here at Bainbridge, OH. Bainbridge was a flat, one mile dirt horse track. Walt Brown was the fastest qualifier in Lou Rassey's Auto Shipper's Special No. 31 at 39.46 seconds (91.301 mph), followed by Bettenhausen in the Wolfe Special No. 7 at 41.66, and Holland's 39.75. Brown led the first 22 laps decisively, until a universal joint let go. With Brown now out Holland took over, with Ted Horn and Paul Russo driving Weirick's Poison Lil chasing Holland's Peters Special No.8. On lap 32 Horn got by Holland and led until circuit 60 when he had to pit for a right front tire. Horn's stop was 18 seconds. Holland, the new race leader, had managed to put some distance between himself and Paul Russo. Paul was now riding in 2nd but was soon eliminated on lap 64 with engine failure. When Horn left the pits he was a half mile behind Holland but gradually closed in on Bill and passed him on circuit 82. A rain shower halted the proceedings on lap 90, when Horn had a quarter lap advantage over Holland. The top five were: 1. Ted Horn (Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek), 2. Bill Holland (Offenhauser/Wetteroth), 3. Van Acker (Offenhauser/Stevens), 4. Bettenhausen (Offenhauser/Shaw-Stevens), 5. Connor (Offenhauser/Kurtis), and 6. DeVore (Offenhauser/Wetteroth). Horn's chocking for the 90 miles was 1:03:14.89 (85.70 mph). Bainbridge's paid purse was $9000.

Bainbridge was the first Champioship win for Ted Horn, but the 1947 event was the only AAA Championship contest ever held at Bainbridge. There had been a special preliminary 5 lap match race between Mauri Rose and Bill Holland, which Bill won by nine car lengths. Probably Rose didn't take it all too seriously, but it was just easy cash in hand for Mauri. Rose made no attempt to run in the 100 miler itself. The AAA National Championship point standings after Bainbridge were: 1. Bill Holland 1520, 2. Ted Horn 1120, 3. Mauri Rose 1000, 4. Rex Mays 572.5, 5. Brown 540, and 6. Jackson 500. The next contest was at Milwaukee on July 27.

Edited by john glenn printz, 17 November 2009 - 21:00.


#18 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 16 November 2009 - 15:07

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-11) 6. MILWAUKEE 100 JULY 27. The AAA Championship Trail now returned to Milwaukee for another 100 mile. The fastest qualifier was Bill Holland at 41.79 seconds, followed by Emil Andres at 41.99. Earlier Mauri Rose had entered the 100 mile event but then withdrew saying his car was not ready. Rose then offered to appear in a match race with Bill Holland for a $750 guarantee. Promotor Tom Marchese didn't bite and said (quote), "Milwaukee fans want competitive races, not exhibitions so I did not meet Rose's demand. I am sure that Rose could get a car for the race if he really was interested in driving on the dirt."

Bill Holland suffered his first real setback during the 1947 season when the Peters Special travelled just 25 feet before a gear broke in the rear end. And so Bill finished dead last among the 18 starters. Duke Dinsmore, who started 7th, led the first 26 laps in one of William Schoof's Offenhauser/Wetteroth cars, and then a connecting rod let go and put the entry out. Ted Horn then took over for rounds 27-96, before encountering motor problems. Charles Van Acker then moved into the front position and led the last four laps (97-100). Horn in his now crippled car motored on to take 6th. Van Acker's total time was 1:08:47.88 (85.963 mph). Duke Nalon placed 2nd in Bill Corley's No. 27, one and half laps behind Van Acker, while Paul Russo was 3rd, two laps behind the winner. This was Van Acker's first Championship win and, as it would turn out, it was also his last. Duke Nalon's 2nd place here was his best result in the AAA Championship division ranks ever, although he had had two 3rds before the War, i.e. one at the 1938 Syracuse 100 (Sept. 10) and the other at the 1940 Springfield 100 (Aug. 24).

The final placements were: 1. Van Acker (Offenhauser/Stevens), 2. Duke Nalon (Offenhauser/Wetteroth), 3. Paul Russo (Offenhauser/Shaw-Stevens), 4. Mel Hansen (Lencki/Lencki), 5. Connor (Offenhauser/Kurtis), and 6. Ted Horn (Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek). The payout was $12,630. After the second Milwaukee race the AAA Championship point totals were: 1. Holland 1520, 2. Horn 1320, 3. Rose 1000, 4. Mays 602.5, 5. Van Acker 600, 6. Brown 540, and 7. Jackson 500.

Edited by john glenn printz, 21 December 2009 - 14:52.


#19 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 19 November 2009 - 13:21

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-12) 7. GOSHEN 100 AUGUST 17. Goshen was the second of two, 1947 Championship races, promoted by Jimmy Frattone. Jimmy had also promoted the 1946 100 mile Championship event staged here on October 6. The 1947 Goshen race was christened the "George Robson Memorial". Some of the pre-race publicity hinted that Mauri Rose would be an entrant, but Mauri failed to put in an appearance.

The time trials were held on August 16, and the fastest times were Andres at 41.66 seconds, Horn 41.87, Bettenhausen 42.62 and Dinsmore at 43.11. The previous one lap mark had been 42.76 set by Bettenhausen in 1946. For the first time both of Murrell Belanger's cars, i.e. Andres' (Offenhauser/Adams) and Bettenhausen's (Offenhauser/Stevens), ran in the same race together. Rex Mays' Bowes No. 9 car was not ready, did not qualify, and did not start. 12 machines had qualified in all, but three more that didn't were allowed to start, i.e. Holland (13th), Connor (14th), and Jackie Holmes (15th). Holland's Peters No. 8 had encountered clutch trouble on August 16, and thus had to line up 13th, on the race day starting grid.

Andres, off the pole, led laps 1-8 and then retired on lap 9 with engine failure. Bettenhausen took over after that and led circuits 9-100. Although Bettenhausen was threatened by Ted Horn at times, Tony won the race with a half lap lead at the finish. The two Belanger entries had led all 100 laps. Holland retired after 16 laps when riding in the 5th position with transmission failure, to place 14th, just ahead of Andres who placed dead last. Bettenhausen's winning time was 1:14:56.54 (80.46 mph), a new track record. Tony had beaten his own past time of 1:17.18.52 set in 1946. The top finishers were: 1, Bettenhausen (Offenhauser/Stevens), 2. Horn (Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek), 3. Van Acker (Offenhauser/Stevens), 4. Dinsmore (Offenhauser/Wetteroth), 5. Connor (Offenhauser/Kurtis), and 6. Warke (Offenhauser/Stevens). The attendance was placed at c.16,500 and the total purse was just $7,505. This was the last of the three AAA Champioship races held here, i.e. 1936, 1946, and 1947.

The AAA Championship point ranking were now: 1. Holland 1520, 2. Horn 1480, 3. Rose 1000, 4. Van Acker 740, 5. Mays 602.5, and 6. Brown 600. Over the course of these last three races, i.e. Bainbridge, Milwaukee, and Goshen, Horn had collected 440 Championship points to Holland's 160. Horn was moving in on Holland and getting closer! With just four Championship events left for the 1947 season, the battle for the AAA Championship title was now seemingly just between the Championship division rookie Bill Holland and the old time veteran Ted Horn.

On the same day as the Goshen 100, Bob Frame at age 31, lost his life in a race held at the Owatonna, MN Fairgrounds 1/2 mile dirt track. Bob was the son of the 1932 Indianapolis winner Fred Frame (1894-1962).

The AAA Contest Board had announced in June that a 250 mile Championship race would be run on September 7 in Utah, on the famous salt flats, using a special 5 mile circular layout. This unique contest was being run in conjunction with the centennial of the Mormon settlement at Salt Lake City, made by Brigham Young (1801-1877) in 1847. However the AAA finally concluded that the project was not at all practical and the race was cancelled on July 26, 1947.

On August 3 Wilbur Shaw (1902-1954) and Cotton Henning (1896-1948) set sail from New York to South Hampton, England on the ship Queen Elizabeth. They were to visit England, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as the Alfa Romeo and Maserati factories. The stated and ostensible aim was a "good will" tour to encourage foreign entries for the upcoming 1948 Indianapolis 500. However Shaw and Henning also saw an opportunity to pick up a few, now obsolete 3 litre supercharged Grand Prix cars, that were now no longer of use in the major European races because of the new Grand Prix formula limiting blown engines to just 1 1/2 litres. Their idea was to buy on the cheap a few of these cars, import them to the U.S., and sell them to various American teams. However Shaw and Henning did not find any bargain or inexpensively priced cars, and returned to the U.S. totally empty handed.

Edited by john glenn printz, 29 April 2010 - 14:33.


Advertisement

#20 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 23 November 2009 - 18:16

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-13) PART III. THE END GAME: MILWAUKEE, PIKES PEAK, SPRINGFIELD, AND DALLAS.

8. MILWAUKEE 100 AUGUST 24, 1947. The AAA Championship Trail now returned to Milwaukee for the third time in one year, for yet another 100 miler. The fastest qualifier was provided by Duke Dinsmore (39.88 seconds), followed by Nalon (40.83), Horn (40.96), and Brown (41.16). Horn led the first 10 laps and was then displaced by Emil Andres who led (laps 11-89) until he encountered a clutch problem. That again put Horn in front and Ted stayed there for circuits 90-100. This was Horn's second AAA National Championship victory and his winning time was 1:11:08.64 (84.336 mph). The top six placements were: 1. Horn (Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek), 2. Nalon (Offenhauser/Wetteroth), 3. Connor (Offenhauser/Kurtis), 4. Bettenhausen/Mays (Offenhausen/Stevens), 5. Andres (Offenhauser/Adams) and 6. Russo (Offenhauser/Shaw-Stevens).

Holland had qualified 8th and finished in 8th to gather 50 more Championship points to Horn's larger collection of 200. Rex Mays relieved Bettenhausen for laps 63-100 and they split the points for their 4th place finish. Mays got 76.8 and Bettenhausen 43.2. The track payoff here at the third Milwaukee 100 was $12,630. Firestone Tire however kicked in another $19,600 in accessory prizes which made it a very good payday.

These totals put Holland and Horn at dead even, with 1530 Championship points each! Thus the 1947 AAA Title would be decided by the final two races, i.e. Springfield (Sept. 28) and at Dallas (Nov. 2). Although there were technically three AAA Championship events remaining on the schedule, neither Holland or Horn would appear at Pikes Peak hill climb (Sept. 1). At this point, after the August 28 Milwaukee 100, Holland ceased to pilot Fred Peter's Wetteroth No.8 machine and seemingly went free lance. It is not known if dissention had developed on the Peter's team. In any case, with the 1947 Championship Driving Title at stake, Holland left Fred A. Peters stable and drove for other owners, i.e. William Schoof at Springfield and Bill Corley at Dallas.

The ten leaders in the Championship point standings after the August 28 Milwaukee race were: 1. Holland-Horn 1530 (tie), 3. Rose 1000, 4. Van Acker 750, 5. Mays 635.7, 6. Brown 590, 7. Connor 560, 8. Jackson 500, 9. Bettenhausen 456.8, and 10. Andres 394.

Edited by john glenn printz, 21 December 2009 - 15:04.


#21 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 23 November 2009 - 20:09

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-14)

9. PIKES PEAK 12.42 SEPTEMBER 1, 1947. In 1947 the Pikes Peak (Colorado) hillclimb was added to the AAA Championship schedule for the first time and remained on the AAA Championship's annual official listing until the the AAA ceased to sanction races in late 1955. The Pikes Peak elevation in the Rocky Mountains is named after Lieutenant Zebulon Montogomery Pike (1778-1813), an explorer who stumbled across it, in 1806. Mr. Pike himself never climbed it. The Pikes Peak hillclimb itself, as a competitive contest for automobiles dates back to 1916, when Rea Lentz won on August 12, with a total time of 20 minutes, 55.6 seconds, piloting a "Romano Special". Because of World War I the event was not held during 1917-1919, but was revived in 1920. Glen Schultz dominated things in the 1920s and early 1930s, winning in 1923, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1932, and 1933!

The distance is 12.42 miles, incorporating over 155 turns, and has an average grade of 7%. The 1916 event was promoted by Spencer Penrose (1865-1939) who had come west from Philadelphia in 1892. His career was in mining and he became a millionaire from a copper mine. Penrose developed hotels, golf courses, hiking trials, polo grounds, greenhouses, and new roads in the Cripple Creek, CO area. Colorado Springs' famous "Broadmoor Hotel" started out as a gambling casino in 1891, but was tranformed into a luxury hotel in 1918, by Penrose.

The 1947 AAA's upgrading of the Pikes Peak hillclimb to National Championship rank was to increase its status and prestige, to attract a larger field of entrants, and get more "name" drivers into the event. Russ Snowberger was the only real "name" Championship-Indianapolis pilot who appeared at Pikes Peak in 1947. Be that as it may, the Pikes Peak hillclimb always remained a "freak" contest on the AAA Championship Trail. Usually it was won by a special vehicle made for just hillclimbing competition and its winning drivers were generally just hillclimbing specialists like Louis Unser, Jr. (1896-1979) and Al Rogers (b. 1909). As of the 1947 running, Louis Unser, had won it in 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, and 1946. Al Rogers had been victorious in 1940. Louis Unser, Jr. was an uncle to the four famous Unser brothers, Jerry (1932-1959), Louie (1932-2004), Bobby (b. 1934), and Al (b. 1939).

In 1946 Louis Unser, Jr. won the event using R. A. "Dick" Cott's 3 litre 8CTF type supercharged Maserati, the exact same machine that Russ Snowberger drove at Indianapolis in 1946 and 1947. Unser's winning time in 1946 was 15 minutes, 28.7 seconds, a new course record. The AAA Championship points awarded this hillclimb was the same as a normal Championship 100 miler, i.e. 200 for 1st, 160 for 2nd, 140 for 3rd, 120 for 4th, 100 for 5th etc. The total irrevelevance of the Pikes Peak hillclimb for the AAA National Championship proper, was illustrated by the AAA itself during 1948 and 1951-1955, by holding the DuQuoin, IL 100 miler on the very same day of the year!

Louis Unser was the 1947 winner with a clocking of 16:34.77 (44.947 mph), again using Dick Cott's 8CTF type Maserati. The top three final positions were 1. Louis Unser, 2. Al Rogers, and 3. Russ Snowberger. The total purse was $11.780 and both the Burd Piston Ring and the Perfect Circle firms kicked in another $450 each. Unser himself won $4900.

Edited by john glenn printz, 13 May 2010 - 12:37.


#22 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 25 November 2009 - 19:59

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-15) 10. SPRINGFIELD 100 SEPTEMBER 28, 1947. The next 1947 Championship race was held in Springfield at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. This horse track had staged three previous AAA National Championship contests. The first occurred on August 25, 1934 and was won by dirt track ace James M. "Billy" Winn (1905-1938). Johnny Sawyer (1902-1989), starting from the pole, led the first 93 laps but was forced out on lap 94. Winn led the last 7 circuits, piloting the Stokely Foods Special No. 12 that Deacon Litz (1897-1967) had driven at Indianapolis in 1934. The next AAA Championship event staged here, was on August 8, 1935, and the winner again was Billy Winn. Both the 1934 and 1935 Springfield races were promoted by Ralph A. "Pappy" Hankinson.

Billy Winn had a fairly successful 1935 AAA Championship season, winning two (Springfield and Syracuse) of the year's six events and placing 5th the final point standings. According to Lloyd M. "Shorty" Barnes, who was a crew member of Winn's 1935 team, Harry Miller had a 255 cubic inch 4 but no car, while Winn had a Duesenberg racing chassis but no engine. So Miller and Winn combined forces and installed the 255 into Winn's Duesenberg chassis. According to Barnes' testimony, Winn replaced the old Duesenberg chassis for the 1936 season with a new one constructed by Ernie Weil.

Winn, who had won two Championship events (1934 and 1935) at here at Springfield, died from injuries sustained in the 1938 Springfield 100. His car blew a tire on lap 6, overturned, and threw Billy out. Winn suffered a fratured skull, broken ribs, internal injuries, and never regained consciousness. Winn's mother and step father, Mr. and Mrs U. E. Withrow, arrived the next day and took Winn's body back to Detroit. Winn had begun his racing career c. 1924 and moved up to the AAA Championship division at Indianapolis in 1931.

The 1934 and 1935 100 mile AAA Championship level races began an annual tradition of staging a 100 mile event at Springfield each year, but the "big-car" 100 mile Springfield events held annually for the years 1936 to 1939 were not of Championship ranking, although all had an AAA sanction of some sort. These non-Championship Springfield 100 milers of 1936 to 1939 all allowed the use of single seat racing cars. The four winners during these years were:

August 22, 1936 Shaw, Wilbur; Miller, "Thorne Miller", 1:12:32, 82.72 mph.

August 21, 1937 Rose, Mauri; Miller, 1:05:40, 86.80 mph (race halted at 95 laps because of darkness and sloppy track).

August 20, 1938 Willman, Tony; Cragar/Ford, 1:18:42, 76.23 mph.

October 15, 1939 Andres, Emil; Offenhauser/Stevens, "Riverside Tire". 1:07:39, 88.67 mph.

During the qualifications for the 1936 Springfield 100, Frank Lockhart's old mark of 38.96 seconds for the mile on a flat one-mile dirt oval, made at Cleveland on September 25, 1927, was broken twice. First George C. "Doc" MacKenzie (1906-1936) posted a 38.67, then George Connor (1906-2001) lowered it again to 38.15.

The 1940 Springfield 100 returned to the AAA Championship schedule and was won by Rex Mays, his second Championship win. The promotor for the 1940 Springfield 100 was William Menghini. For 1941 the IMCA was bought in and a racing program was presented on August 16, 1941. Jimmy Wilburn (1908-1984) won the 50 mile feature race, followed over the line by Gus Schrader (1895-1941), Ben Musick, Bert Hellmueller, and Ben Shaw. There was no Springfield 100 in either 1941 or 1946. So 1947 race represented a post World War II revival of the 100 miler events here.

The winner of the three previous AAA Championship division races here were:

August 25, 1934 Winn, Billy; Miller, "Stokely Foods", 1:17:09.52, 77.76 mph.

August 24, 1935 Winn, Billy; Miller/Duesenberg, "Harry A. Miller", 1:14:39.09, 80.38 mph NTR.

August 24, 1940 Mays, Rex; Offenhauser-Meyer-Goossen/Stevens, "Bowes Seal Fast", 1:08:36.65, 87.45 mph NTR.

To return to 1947, Bill Holland was now in William Schoof's No. 10 Offenhauser/Wetteroth, which had hitherto been driven by Duke Dinsmore. Dinsmore had finished 10th in it at Indianapolis and his best placement elsewhere in 1947 was 4th at Goshen (August 17). There was now some shuffling around as Walt Brown was now in the Peters Special No. 8, which Holland had now vacated. Eddie Zalucki took over Lou Rassey's Auto Shippers No. 31 from Walt Brown, while Rex Mays was again piloting one of the old 1938 Sparks/Adams 6's and Duke Nalon was now using Paul Weirick's "Poison Lil" sprinter. There were 18 starters with the fastest qualification times being: 1. Emil Andres (36.58 seconds or 98.414 mph NTR), 2. Mel Hansen (37.20), 3. Walt Brown (37.47), 4. Ted Horn (37.49), and 5. Tony Bettenhausen (37.60).

The race was dominated by Tony Bettenhausen who led all 100 laps in the Belanger No. 16. Andres stayed in 2nd until encountering car problems and was then passed by Bill Holland on the 44th circuit. Andres pitted on lap 48 for oil and dropped down to 5th place. Holland had started 6th and moved up to 2nd, but was retired after 65 laps with a broken rear axle. Horn drove a steady race to take 2nd. The five top placements were: 1. Tony Bettenhausen (Offenhauser/Stevens); 2. Ted Horn (Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek); 3. Steve Truchan (Offenhauser/Truchan); 4. Jackie Holmes (Dreyer); and 5. Charlie Rogers (Hal/Miller). Bettenhausen's winning time was 1:04:51.08 (92.519 mph), which was a new AAA Championship division record for 100 miles on a flat one mile dirt oval. The total payout was $9,600 of which Bettenhausen collected $2,378.88. The attendance was put at 12,000. Ticket prices were $4 for boxes, $3 for grandstand seats, and $2 for the infield bleachers.

Horn collected 160 points for his 2nd place finish, while Holland got 40 for his 9th place overall, although Bill was not actually running at the finish. Horn now took over the AAA Championship point lead for the first time, with just one more race scheduled for October 26 at Arlington Downs, TX. Only Horn and Holland remained as possible contenders for the 1947 AAA National Driving Title. The AAA Championship points now were: 1. Ted Horn 1690, 2. Bill Holland 1570, 3. Mauri Rose 1000, 4. Charles Van Acker 750, 5. Tony Bettenhausen 656.8, 6. Walt Brown 640, 7. Rex Mays 635.7, 8. George Connor 560, and 9. Jimmy Jackson 500.

The Mad Hatter department: On October 20 there was held an honorary dinner for Mauri Rose in Indianapolis. Here Wilbur Shaw revealed that the Speedway had received two separate inquiries as to the legality of two strange and possible 1948 "500" entries. Shaw said that David R. Osborne and and Paul B. Kuehl from South Bend, IN had asked if a steam powered car was eligible. Supposely their plans for such a car were in an advanced state and they stated that the car had adequate safety features to keep water off the track. And further Edward J. Shermeister, Jr. of Sheboygan, WI had designed a three wheel racing car that had two wheels in front and one in back. Shermeister had sent Shaw a small model of his design which featured a hydraulic fin in back to prevent skidding, by creating wind resistance!

Edited by john glenn printz, 22 December 2009 - 13:52.


#23 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 08 December 2009 - 21:41

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-16) 11. THE ARLINGTON DOWNS (DALLAS) 100, NOVEMBER 2, 1947. The 1947 Arlington Downs 100 was the first AAA Championship race staged here, and was probably the first time that automobiles had ever raced on this oval. The track, located midway between Fort Worth and Dallas, was a mile and 1/16 in length, which meant that a 100 miler would take just 95 laps. The course was originally constructed in 1933 at a cost of $3,000,000, by W. T. Waggoner of Fort Worth and Vernon, TX. Big time horse racing was presented here until pari-mutuel betting was outlawed in Texas in 1937. At the time the track was known as the "Sartoga of the Southwest", but since 1937 the track had sat idle. The Arlington Downs racing plant was leased for two years in 1947 by Elbert "Babe" Stapp (1904-1980) from Los Angeles and Fred H. Lockwood of Dallas, who had formed an organization called Racing International. The original idea was to hold two or three AAA Championship contests each year. The lease agreement was negotiated with E. Paul Waggoner and Guy L. Waggoner, two wealthy Texas cattlemen, who I would guess, were sons of the original builder of the raceway. Fred Lockwood was an advertising and public relations executive for several industrial firms, chief of which was the Guiberson Corporation of Chicago and Dallas.

Babe Stapp himself was a familiar and well known figure in America big time automobile racing and had competed on board, brick, dirt, and paved surfaced tracks. Stapp started his racing career at the San Luis Obispo, CA half mile dirt oval on July 4, 1923 and Stapp's first Championship event was at Indianapolis in 1927. The Babe had twelve starts at Indianapolis but his best finish was 5th in 1939 with an Alfa Romeo. However Elbert had 106 leading laps at Indianapolis: 17 in 1928, 60 in 1933, 4 in 1935, and 25 in 1936. Mr. Stapp also ran in both of the George Vanderbilt Cup races of 1936 and 1937. His highest rankings in the AAA National Championship standings were 4th in 1939 and 7th in 1927. Stapp had two AAA Championship victories to his credit which were more than one decade apart: 1. Charlotte 100 (Sept. 19, 1927) and 2. Milwaukee 100 (August 27, 1939). Babe's last Championship contest was at Indianapolis in 1940 and he did not resume his driving career after World War II. Stapp was a much better driver than the bare results would indicate. In 1947 Stapp was hailed as a business man and the West Coast representative of the AAA Contest Board.

Racing Interntional was willing to invest $75,000 to restore and convert the Arlington Downs raceway for motor races. The seating capacity was enlarged from 7,000 to 15,000 seats and the old clubhouse was repaired. The new 1947 Arlington Downs plans were announced at a press conference held in Dallas on September 16, and among those present was Wilbur Shaw. The first race was to be a Championship 100 miler to be run on October 26, 1947. If we exclude the odd-ball Pikes Peak hill climb of September 1, it was the first AAA National Championship race staged west of the Mississippi since the Mines Field, CA 200 of December 24, 1934. The original race date of October 26 was rained out and the Arlington Downs 100 was then held on November 2.

Bill Holland quit the Schoof team after just one race (Springfield) and now elected to pilot Bill Corley's No. 27, an Offenhauser/Wetteroth. This machine had first appeared at Langhorne (June 22) with Russo as its driver. Beginning with the Atlanta 100 (July 4) it was dubbed the "Andrews Special". During the 1947 season the car was bounced around a bit from driver to driver, and Paul Russo, Billy DeVore, Duke Nalon, and Walt Ader had all piloted it at least once. Nalon, who had chauffeured it on three occasions during 1947, had the best results with two 2nds at Milwaukee, i.e. at both the July 27 and August 24 races. Its next best placements were two 6ths, i.e. Billy DeVore at Bainbridge (July 13) and Walt Ader at Springfield (Sept. 26). Here again at Arlington, Nalon drove Paul Weirick's Poison Lil No. 14 and Zalucki was in Lou Rassey's Auto Shippers No. 41. Both Belanger cars were present, No. 3 and No. 16, with Andres and Bettenhausen respectively. Rex Mays again was using a Sparks/Adams "little six", as his Bowes car was not ready.

It had been a long season and only Horn and Holland were still in contention now for the 1947 AAA National Driving Title. Going into the Arlington race, Horn had a 120 point advantage over Holland. This meant that if Horn placed in the top three, Holland would be counted out even if he won here. The qualifications saw Nalon win the pole with a time of 40.02 seconds (95.577 mph), followed by 2. Bettenhausen (40.19), 3. Horn (40.36), 4. Andres (40.70), and 5. Zalucki (41.19). Only 16 cars would be allowed to start, but only 14 lined up on race day. The big story however was Bill Holland. Because of carburetor problems, Holland never attempted even to qualify Corley's No. 27 and was out of the race! Corley and Holland had even tried to start the race from the scratch position but the car wouldn't fire up! So Horn was the new 1947 AAA National Titlist even before the contest got underway!

Nalon, trying to win his first AAA Championship contest, led the first 42 circuits in "Poison Lil", until he pitted for more fuel on lap 43. At the time he was almost a lap ahead of Bettenhausen. Bettenhausen then moved into the front position for laps 43-51, only to be passed by Ted Horn, who stayed in front for all the remaining circuits, i.e. 52-95. Soon after returning to the track Nalon lost a wheel and made it back to the pits on his axle (lap 49). Later Duke went out of the chase entirely (lap 87) because of engine failure. Bettenhausen was out after 58 laps with a broken axle. Paul Russo slipped by Andres and into 3rd place on lap 42 and then moved into 2nd when Bettenhausen had problems. Russo held onto 2nd until Andres passed him (lap 84), to drop back to 3rd. However Russo got by Andres again on circuit 94 to retake the 2nd position. Horn's lead at the end was four laps!

The final finishers were: 1. Ted Horn (Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek), 2. Paul Russo (Offenhauser/Shaw-Stevens), 3. Emil Andres (Offenhauser/Adams), 4. Rex Mays (Sparks/Adams), 5. Eddie Zalucki (Offenhauser/Miller), and 6. Milt Frankhouser (Offenhauser/Stevens). Horn's winning time was 1:10:25.20 (86.001 mph). Horn received a huge "Waggoner Cup" trophy for the win from Electra Waggoner Biggs of New York, and Nalon also got a nice size cup for being the fastest qualifier. The total payout was $10,765 and Horn collected $2,478 for the win. Russo got $1,777 and Andres $1,062. It had been a cold day, with rain ever threatening, and the crowd was small. One report put it at only 10,000.

Of the season's eleven races, Horn won three, and both Holland and Bettenhausen, won two. The 1947 season's winning cars were all of pre-World War II vintage, except Mauri Rose's front drive Offenhauser/Deidt used at Indianapolis. Although Ted Horn's 1947 Championship dirt car was "new", it used parts savaged from pre-World War II machinery and utilized frame rails from an old Miller.

The final AAA 1947 Championship point stands were: 1. Ted Horn 1920; 2. Bill Holland 1610; 3. Mauri Rose 1000; 4. Charles Van Acker 770; 5. Rex Mays 765.7; 6. Tony Bettenhausen 686.8; 7. Walt Brown 650; 8. Emil Andres 575; 9. George Connor 560; 10 Paul Russo 545; 11. Jimmy Jackson 500; 12. Cliff Bergere 393; 13. Walt Ader 380; 14. Duke Nalon 350; 15. Duke Dinsmore 345.5; 16. Steve Truchan 320; 17. Billy DeVore 310; 18. Eddie Zalucki 260; 19. Cy Marshall 250; 20. Milt Frankhouser 240; 21. Jackie Holmes 220; 22. Herb Ardinger 207; 23. Fred Agabashian 200; 24. Louis Unser 200; 25. Mel Hanson 169.5; 26. Al Rogers 160; 27. Charlie Rogers 160; 28. Myron Fohr 160; 29. Russ Snowberger 140; 30. Les Anderson 120; 31. J. C. Snowmaker 120; 32. Buster Warke 120; 33. Johnny Mauro 100; 34. Bill Milliken 80; 35. Delmar Desch 60; 36. Hugh Thomas 50; 37. Johnny Byrne 50; 38. Red Byron 40; 39. Buddy Rusch 40; 40. George Hammond 40; 41. Art Scovell 30; 42. George Metzler 30; 43. Hal Robson 10; and 44. Johnny Shackleford 10.

Edited by john glenn printz, 15 December 2009 - 14:34.


#24 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 11 December 2009 - 14:23

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-17) CONCLUDING REMARKS. Bill Holland in 1947, lost out at the very end in the AAA Championship Title chase, just as he had lost winning the Indianapolis 500, in its final laps. Bill placed 2nd in both cases, instead of 1st, after he had looked unbeatable. It must have been a bitter experience for him in both instances. Holland however, was a newcomer and a rookie to the AAA National Championship circuit in 1947, and he was the first entirely new post World War II Championship division driver to make a real impact and newspaper headlines. Even with his two 1st placement loses, it had been a wonderful year for this neophyte.

For Rex Mays the 1947 Championship season had turned into an unmitigated disaster. At Indianapolis Rex started 20th, but had moved up to 4th at the 50 mile mark. At the half was point, i.e. 250 miles, Mays was up to 2nd. But then motor problems occurred and Mays could finish no better than 6th. Nor did he lead any laps. Pete Clark, the chief mechanic on the Bowes machine in 1946 and 1947, is often described as Mays' beloved or faithful mechanic, but in 1947 the situation must have gotten a bit tense at times. Mays' two best placements in 1947 were a 2nd at Milwaukee (June 8) and a 4th at Arlington Downs (Nov. 2). In both these instances Rex drove one of the old 1938 Joel Thorne-Art Sparks built supercharged "little sixes". Mays' further attempts after Indy to run the Bowes Seal Fast straight 8 powered car in 1947 resulted in the following:

June 8 Milwaukee, out in practice

June 22 Langhorne, out in practice

July 4 Atlanta, out in race

July 13 Bainbridge, out in race (4 laps)

July 27 Milwaukee, still running but flagged after just 62 laps

August 17 Goshen, car not ready

August 24 Milwaukee, out in race (17 laps)

September 28 Springfield, out in practice

November 2 Arlington Downs, car not ready.

Mays tended to drive rather exotic equipment at Indianapolis and it is worth pointing out that Mays' September 22, 1946 win at Milwaukee, if we exclude the freak Pikes Peak hillclimbs, was the last victory for a non-Offenhauser 4, until Jimmy Clark's (1936-1968) win at Milwaukee on August 18, 1963 in a Ford/Lotus.

1947 was the first year that cars from the Murrell Belanger's (1902-1977) racing stable made any impact. Emil Andres placed 2nd at Langhorne (June 22), 5th at Milwaukee (Aug. 24), and 3rd at Arlington Downs (Nov. 11), in the modified 1933 Offenhauser/Adams ex-Ascot sprint car. Tony Bettenhausen drove Murrell's old Offenhauser/Stevens for the latter part of the 1947 season beginning at Goshen (August 17) with success, winning at Goshen (August 17) and again at Springfield (Sept. 28). Thus Belanger ran a two car team in 1947 with Andres and Bettenhausen as his pilots. Edwin "Ed" A. Metzler was the designated mechanic on both cars. The first two events in which both Andres and Bettenhausen ran with both the Belanger owned cars were at Goshen (August 17) and at Milwaukee (August 24). This pair were also present at Springfield (Sept. 28) and at Arlington Downs (Nov. 11). In the final 1947 AAA Championship point standings Bettenhausen was 6th and Andres 8th.

That's all I have presently have for 1947. THE END

Edited by john glenn printz, 16 December 2009 - 19:06.


#25 HDonaldCapps

HDonaldCapps
  • Member

  • 2,482 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 11 December 2009 - 18:46

JGP,

Thank you very much for this. I certainly enjoyed it and wish to thank you once more for providing it for us to read. It certainly got me to thinking about several items....

Regards,

Don

#26 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,051 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 12 December 2009 - 01:26

Thank you Mr. Printz for the account of a very interesting season. I greatly appreciate your efforts :up:

#27 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,084 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 12 December 2009 - 10:42

:clap: Yes, what a wonderful thread! Thank you, John! :clap:

If I may, I'd like to add a few notes to some of your posts.

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-15) 10. SPRINGFIELD 100 SEPTEMBER 28, 1947. The next 1947 Championship race was held in Springfield at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. This horse track had staged three previous AAA National Championship contests. The first occurred on August 25, 1934 and was won by dirt track ace James M. "Billy" Winn (1905-1938). Johnny Sawyer (1902-1989), starting from the pole, led the first 93 laps but was forced out on lap 94. Winn led the last 7 circuits, piloting the Stokely Foods Special No. 12 that Deacon Litz (1897-1967) had driven at Indianapolis in 1934. The next AAA Championship event staged here, was on August 8, 1935, and the winner again was Billy Winn. Both the 1934 and 1935 Springfield races were promoted by Ralph A. "Pappy" Hankinson.

Billy Winn had a fairly successful 1935 AAA Championship season, winning two (Springfield and Syracuse) of the year's six events and placing 5th the final point standings. According to Shorty Barnes, who was a crew member of Winn's 1935 team, Harry Miller had a 255 cubic inch 4 but no car, while Winn had a Duesenberg racing chassis but no engine. So Miller and Winn combined forces and installed the 255 into Winn's Duesenberg chassis. According to Barnes' testimony, Winn replaced the old Duesenberg chassis for the 1936 season with a new one constructed by Ernie Weil.

Winn, who had won two Championship events (1934 and 1935) at here at Springfield, died from injuries sustained in the 1938 Springfield 100. His car blew a tire on lap 6, overturned, and threw Billy out. Winn suffered a fratured skull, broken ribs, internal injuries, and never regained consciousness. Winn's mother and step father, Mr. and Mrs U. E. Withrow, arrived the next day and took Winn's body back to Detroit. Winn had begun his racing career c. 1924 and moved up to the AAA Championship division at Indianapolis in 1931.

The 1934 and 1935 100 mile AAA Championship level races began an annual tradition of staging a 100 mile event at Springfield each year, but the "big-car" 100 mile Springfield events held annually for the years 1936 to 1939 were not of Championship ranking, although all had an AAA sanction of some sort. These non-Championship Springfield 100 milers of 1936 to 1939 all allowed the use of single seat racing cars. The four winners during these years were:

August 22, 1936 Shaw, Wilbur; Miller, "Thorne Miller", 1:12:32, 82.72 mph.

August 21, 1937 Rose, Mauri; Miller, 1:05:40, 86.80 mph (race halted at 95 laps because of darkness and sloppy track).

August 20, 1938 Willman, Tony; Cragar/Ford, 1:18:42, 76.23 mph.

October 15, 1939 Andres, Emil; Offenhauser/Stevens, "Riverside Tire". 1:07:39, 88.67 mph.

During the qualifications for the 1936 Springfield 100, Frank Lockhart's old mark of 38.96 seconds for the mile on a flat one-mile dirt oval, made at Cleveland on September 25, 1927, was broken twice. First George C. "Doc" MacKenzie (1906-1936) posted a 38.67, then George Connor (1906-2001) lowered it again to 38.15.

The 1940 Springfield 100 returned to the AAA Championship schedule and was won by Rex Mays, his second Championship win. The promotor for the 1940 Springfield 100 was William Menghini. For 1941 the IMCA was bought in and a racing program was presented on August 20, 1941. Jimmy Wilburn (1908-1984) won the 50 mile feature race, followed over the line by Gus Schrader (1895-1941), Ben Musick, Bert Hellmueller, and Ben Shaw. There was no Springfield 100 in either 1941 or 1946. So 1947 race represented a post World War II revival of the 100 miler events here.

The winner of the three previous AAA Championship division races here were:

August 25, 1934 Winn, Billy; Miller, "Stokely Foods", 1:17:09.52, 77.76 mph.

August 24, 1935 Winn, Billy; Miller/Duesenberg, "Harry A. Miller", 1:14:39.09, 80.38 mph NTR.

August 24, 1940 Mays, Rex; Offenhauser-Meyer-Goossen/Stevens, "Bowes Seal Fast", 1:08:36.65, 87.45 mph NTR.

To return to 1947, Bill Holland was now in William Schoof's No. 10 Offenhauser/Wetteroth, which had hitherto been driven by Duke Dinsmore. Dinsmore had finished 10th in it at Indianapolis and his best placement elsewhere in 1947 was 4th at Goshen (August 17). There was now some shuffling around as Walt Brown was now in the Peters Special No. 8, which Holland had now vacated. Eddie Zalucki took over Lou Rassey's Auto Shippers No. 31 from Walt Brown, while Rex Mays was again piloting one of the old 1938 Sparks/Adams 6's and Duke Nalon was now using Paul Weirick's "Poison Lil" sprinter. There were 18 starters with the fastest qualification times being: 1. Emil Andres (36.58 seconds or 98.414 mph NTR), 2. Mel Hansen (37.20), 3. Walt Brown (37.47), 4. Ted Horn (37.49), and 5. Tony Bettenhausen (37.60).

The race was dominated by Tony Bettenhausen who led all 100 laps in the Belanger No. 16. Andres stayed in 2nd until encountering car problems and was then passed by Bill Holland on the 44th circuit. Andres pitted on lap 48 for oil and dropped down to 5th place. Holland had started 6th and moved up to 2nd, but was retired after 65 laps with a broken rear axle. Horn drove a steady race to take 2nd. The five top placements were: 1. Tony Bettenhausen (Offenhauser/Stevens); 2. Ted Horn (Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek); 3. Steve Truchan (Offenhauser/Truchan); 4. Jackie Holmes (Dreyer); and 5. Charlie Rogers (Hal/Miller). Bettenhausen's winning time was 1:04:51.08 (92.519 mph), which was a new AAA Championship division record for 100 miles on a flat one mile dirt oval. The total payout was $9,600 of which Bettenhausen collected $2,378.88. The attendance was put at 12,000. Ticket prices were $4 for boxes, $3 for grandstand seats, and $2 for the infield bleachers.

Horn collected 160 points for his 2nd place finish, while Holland got 40 for his 9th place overall, although Bill was not actually running at the finish. Horn now took over the AAA Championship point lead for the first time, with just one more race scheduled for October 26 at Arlington Downs, TX. Only Horn and Holland remained as possible contenders for the 1947 AAA National Driving Title. The AAA Championship points now were: 1. Ted Horn 1690, 2. Bill Holland 1570, 3. Mauri Rose 1000, 4. Charles Van Acker 750, 5. Tony Bettenhausen 656.8, 6. Walt Brown 640, 7. Rex Mays 635.7, 8. George Connor 560, and 9. Jimmy Jackson 500.

The Mad Hatter department: On October 20 there was held an honorary dinner for Mauri Rose in Indianapolis. Here Wilbur Shaw revealed that the Speedway had received two separate inquiries as to the legality of two strange and possible 1948 "500" entries. Shaw said that David R. Osborne and and Paul B. Kuehl from South Bend, IN had asked if a steam powered car was eligible. Supposely their plans for such a car were in an advanced state and they stated that the car had adequate safety features to keep water off the track. And further Edward J. Shermeister, Jr. of Sheboygan, WI had designed a three wheel racing car that had two wheels in front and one in back. Shermeister had sent Shaw a small model of his design which featured a hydraulic fin in back to prevent skidding, by creating wind resistance!



The Illinois State Fairgrounds saw autoracing from a very early time on - I haven't researched the early years thoroughly yet, but I found out that Bob Burman (1915), Fred Horey (1916 & 1920) and Sig Haugdahl (1922) were amongst the early track record holders. Apparently, Springfield was one of the first major tracks to switch to IMCA, and during the early twenties at least, the State Fair was held in September instead of August. First results I have are from 1927 (Aug 20?), with Wilson Pingrey (Jeffrey/Frontenac) winning from Frank Sweigert, Ira Hall and Johnny Gerber over an unknown distance. Sweigert was apparently driving the former Jimmy Murphy Miller 122, now fitted with a DO Fronty engine. The following year (Aug 25), Louis Schneider won a 35-miler (25'58.4") over Frank Brisko, Sweigert and Carl Marchese, and in 1929 (Aug 17) it was Howdy Wilcox in the Duesenberg that Bill Spence was killed in at Indy, winning a 25-miler (19'42.0") from Orville Zook, Carl Young and Cowboy Hardy. That year, a spectator was killed in a multi-car crash early in the race.

In 1930 (Aug 17), Johnny Gerber on a car of his own make won a 15-miler (15'13.4") from Roscoe Ford, Red Campbell and Cotton Bunker, but this race was on a half-mile track not far from the fairgrounds. The mile was reopened four years later with the race John mentioned in his first paragraph. Winn was indeed driving Deacon Litz's car, the 1930 Schneider/Miller, but now fitted with a four-cylinder Miller 220 engine. The following year, he drove the former Henry Maley Duesenberg that had been driven at Indy by Litz, Bill Cummings, Freddie Winnai and Lou Moore. In the fall, he sold the car to Chet Gardner, but kept the engine for his new car. Gardner installed a new Offy, and finished 11th in the 1937 Indy 500, with the help of a relief stint by... Billy Winn! :)

Why was the 1939 race held in October, and not during the State Fair? The race was originally scheduled for August 19, but the Fair Board could or would not offer the agreed-for purse, it was several thousand dollars short of the AAA-stipulated minimum. The drivers, having already arrived, still wanted to race, but the AAA officials withdrew the sanction. The rival sanctioning body CSRA (Central States Racing Assoc.) stepped in, and five AAA drivers (Joie Chitwood, Tony Willman, Walt Brown, Mark Light and Buddie Rusch) competed, for which they were duly hit with a one-race ban - a lenient punishment, by comparison! Former CSRA star Chitwood set a new one-lap record of 37.753", but Connor's record from 1936 still stood in the AAA record books, and Brown finished 3rd behind Johnnie Crone (1:14'00.903") and Bobby Garringer. Willman didn't even start the main event, but was banned anyway. By October, everything was forgotten, but none of the dissenters appears to have made an entry for the AAA 100-miler - they were all busy chasing Sprint Car wins, and would finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 13th in the Eastern Circuit points standings.

The date I have for the return of the IMCA to the Illinois State Fair in 1941 is August 16, by the way, but perhaps the race was postponed? I didn't have the results so far, so many thanks for that! I have another 50-miler on August 17 in 1946, and yet another on August 16 in 1947, both during the State Fair and both also won by Jimmie Wilburn. So, the 1947 AAA 100-miler was another "still date", before the AAA returned to sanctioning the State Fair Race in 1948 and the years thereafter. Also, a note on the "Mad Hatter department" :D: I wonder if Edward J. Shermeister junior was the same as (or son of?) Ed Shermeister, also of Sheboygan (WI), who, together with his brother (?) Gene, built a Chrysler-engined Sprint Car around 1935, with which Myron Fohr collected his first laurels. The car was a mainstay of the AAA Midwestern Circuit for the rest of the decade.

Edited by Michael Ferner, 12 December 2009 - 11:51.


#28 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,084 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 12 December 2009 - 17:24

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-12) 7. GOSHEN 100 AUGUST 8. Goshen was the second of two, 1947 Championship races, promoted by Jimmy Frattone. Jimmy had also promoted the 1946 100 mile Championship event staged here on October 6. The 1947 Goshen race was christened the "George Robson Memorial". Some of the pre-race publicity hinted that Mauri Rose would be an entrant, but Mauri failed to put in an appearance.

The time trials were held on August 7, and the fastest times were Andres at 41.66 seconds, Horn 41.87, Bettenhausen 42.62 and Dinsmore at 43.11. The previous one lap mark had been 42.76 set by Bettenhausen in 1946. For the first time both of Murrell Belanger's cars, i.e. Andres' (Offenhauser/Adams) and Bettenhausen's (Offenhauser/Stevens), ran in the same race together. Rex Mays' Bowes No. 9 car was not ready, did not qualify, and did not start. 12 machines had qualified in all, but three more that didn't were allowed to start, i.e. Holland (13th), Connor (14th), and Jackie Holmes (15th). Holland's Peters No. 8 had encountered clutch trouble on August 7, and thus had to line up 13th, on the race day starting grid.

Andres, off the pole, led laps 1-8 and then retired on lap 9 with engine failure. Bettenhausen took over after that and led circuits 9-100. Although Bettenhausen was threatened by Ted Horn at times, Tony won the race with a half lap lead at the finish. The two Belanger entries had led all 100 laps. Holland retired after 16 laps when riding in the 5th position with transmission failure, to place 14th, just ahead of Andres who placed dead last. Bettenhausen's winning time was 1:14:56.54 (80.46 mph), a new track record. Tony had beaten his own past time of 1:17.18.52 set in 1946. The top finishers were: 1, Bettenhausen (Offenhauser/Stevens), 2. Horn (Offenhauser/Horn-Simonek), 3. Van Acker (Offenhauser/Stevens), 4. Dinsmore (Offenhauser/Wetteroth), 5. Connor (Offenhauser/Kurtis), and 6. Warke (Offenhauser/Stevens). The attendance was placed at c.16,500 and the total purse was just $7,505.

The AAA Championship point ranking were now: 1. Holland 1520, 2. Horn 1480, 3. Rose 1000, 4. Van Acker 740, 5. Mays 602.5, and 6. Brown 600. Over the course of these last three races, i.e. Bainbridge, Milwaukee, and Goshen, Horn had collected 440 Championship points to Holland's 160. Horn was moving in on Holland and getting closer! With just four Championship events left for the 1947 season, the battle for the AAA Championship title was now seemingly just between the Championship division rookie Bill Holland and the old time veteran Ted Horn.

On the same day as the Goshen 100, Bob Frame at age 31, lost his life in a race held at the Owatonna, MN Fairgrounds 1/2 mile dirt track. Bob was the son of the 1932 Indianapolis winner Fred Frame (1894-1962).

The AAA Contest Board had announced in June that a 250 mile Championship race would be run on September 7 in Utah, on the famous salt flats, using a special 5 mile circular layout. This unique contest was being run in conjunction with the centennial of the Mormon settlement at Salt Lake City, made by Brigham Young (1801-1877) in 1847. However the AAA finally concluded that the project was not at all practical and the race was cancelled on July 26, 1947.

On August 3 Wilbur Shaw (1902-1954) and Cotton Henning (1896-1948) set sail from New York to South Hampton, England on the ship Queen Elizabeth. They were to visit England, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as the Alfa Romeo and Maserati factories. The stated and ostensible aim was a "good will" tour to encourage foreign entries for the upcoming 1948 Indianapolis 500. However Shaw and Henning also saw an opportunity to pick up a few, now obsolete 3 litre supercharged Grand Prix cars, that were now no longer of use in the major European races because of the new Grand Prix formula limiting blown engines to just 1 1/2 litres. Their idea was to buy on the cheap a few of these cars, import them to the U.S., and sell them to various American teams. However Shaw and Henning did not find any bargain or inexpensively priced cars, and returned to the U.S. totally empty handed.



Actually, the Goshen 100-miler took place on Sunday, August 17, as part of a sort of double header with the Orange County Fair races at nearby Middletown on Saturday (Aug 16). Ted Horn, Bill Holland, Walt Brown and Walt Ader were entered in both events, but Ader decided to give the sprint event a miss, and eventually dropped out of the Champ Car event as well when his car went sour during practice. The other three had to practice and qualify early at Middletown on Saturday, then rush about ten miles east to the tri-angular horse track at the County Seat in Goshen to complete another time trial, then again west to the County Fairgrounds to take part in the heat races and main event there. Apart from Holland failing to qualify his Champ Car due to engine trouble, the trio did remarkably well: Horn broke the Middletown track record, Brown matched the time a few minutes later and Holland took third, while at Goshen the former two took 2nd and 5th, respectively.

Horn was less speedy on the highway, though, and arrived late for his heat race, so that it was postponed until after Brown had won his in record time from Hank Rogers, and Holland finished second to Tommy Mattson in the other. Then Horn beat Mark Light, before Paul Handshew took the consy and the last transfer spot. Amongst the non-qualifiers, Frankie Bailey and Lee Wallard were the most prominent names. The 20-lap/10-mile final saw a surprise win by Brown in the Marion/Offenhauser with yet another track record, beating the favoured Horn by a good margin, and Mattson again nosed out Holland for third. One of the slowest qualifiers in a field of 18 cars, a Midget driver from New Jersey, had managed to garner a spot in the ten-car final, without drawing much attention to himself, but he would be heard of in the future: Art Cross.

Back in Goshen on Sunday, Horn and Holland met again in a 5-lap match race, together with Rex Mays and Tony Bettenhausen. The latter took the lead from the start, only to lose it on lap 3 to Mays, who retired almost immediately with an overheated engine, then Horn passed Bettenhausen on the next lap, but the "Tinley Park Express" managed to get back into the lead on the last lap. Holland was an unimpressive third. Mays had to scratch from the main event due to his problems in the match race, but George Connor got a second chance after breaking an axle in the time trials. All in all, the Goshen race was a bitter disappointment: the "crowd" (16,500) was even poorer than the year before, and not much better than that at Middletown on Saturday (12,000), when much less had been at stake.

The organisers of the Orange County Fair were much happier. This event, going back to 1919, and having seen AAA winners such as Ira Vail (1921/23/24/26), Ralph de Palma (1928), Billy Winn (1931), Bob Sall (1933/35/37) and Bill Holland (1939/40), had become an "outlaw" race before the war, and apart from 1947 only two more AAA events would take place there, but the venue remained popular and Sprint Car races would take place there well into the eighties, only now the winners were drivers like Bert Brooks (1954/56), Don Gillette (1964/65), Harry Benjamin (1972/78) and John Draucker (1977). On June 4 in 1983, however, the venerable old County Fairgrounds reverberated to the sounds of the "World of Outlaws", and the top three finishing positions went to the "Big Three" of modern Sprint Car racing: Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell and Doug Wolfgang! :clap: :)

Edited by Michael Ferner, 12 December 2009 - 17:28.


#29 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 14 December 2009 - 16:03

Greetings and thanks to everybody who is interested in the 1946 to 1948 AAA Championship seasons;

I have to admit that the survey for 1947 came off better than I expected. Much of the material was entirely new to me, and I had more information than I had thought. I have used Ken McMaken's superb statistical data throughout, which includes the all the qualifying times and chassis makes!!!. I myself did not know what AAA races counted in the AAA Championship during the years 1946 to 1948, until Ken sent me this information in the late 1970s.

All of Ken's AAA statistical information (1909-1955) should be published in book form. It would be of the greatest interest to everyone to have this data perserved and available. I don't know if Paul and Mary Sheldon in England would be interested in this further project or not. Nobody in the U.S. itself seems to care.

Believe it or not I met and talked to the following AAA 1947 Championship drivers: Agabashian, Andres, Banks, Bergere, Chitwood, Conner, DeVore, Holland, Jackson, Mauro, Nalon, Rose, Russo, and Van Acker, and the car owners Clay Ballinger, Andy Granatelli, Joe Lencki, Lou Rassey, and Paul Weirick. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn't know much about AAA Championship history except for the Indianapolis 500 itself. I needed to know more about the AAA National Championship seasons themselves, to ask meaningful questions, but I didn't have that information at the time.

Dear Michael: You are correct about the date of the Goshen 100. I had brain fade here and/or typing mistakes. In a recheck I find you, are also right about the dating of the 1941 Springfield IMCA 50 miler! I will correct the text in both cases. Thanks!

Again, I have not investigated any automobile races at Springfield before August 17, 1929. However from Carl Marchese himself I knew about the August 1929 Springfield race which closed the track down for all automobile racing until August 1934. Consult the thread "1946 AAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP" and the January 14, 2007 post i.e. "1946 AAA season (cont.-40)". The earliest race at the Illinois State Fairground (Springfield) of which I am currently aware, was a 50 miler run on July 10, 1909. It was won by Lewis Strang (1884-1911) in a Buick with an elapsed time of 52:48. My guess would certainly be that earlier races before 1909 were staged here.

I'm not certain the 1947 piece is completely done and I have other information that I haven't consulted yet, so I will probably "tinker" further with it.

My next task will be to gather what I have on 1948, but it might take some time as I haven't written a single line yet on either 1948 or 1949.

Sincerely and thanks again everyone, J. G. Printz

P.S. Yes! Yes! Welcome Back, Michael!

Edited by john glenn printz, 15 December 2009 - 15:22.


#30 ovfi

ovfi
  • Member

  • 184 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 14 December 2009 - 16:28

Sincerely and thanks again everyone, J. G. Printz


John, thanks for your wonderful and precise work.

#31 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,084 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:33

John,

While researching something else, I ran across mention in the Los Angeles Times of a driver's organization at Legion Ascot. Unfortunately, I haven't managed to find it again. I do not believe it was called ASPAR, but had another name. If I find it, I will attempt to forward it to you.

I have enjoyed your posts and threads greatly. Thank you.



Dear Jim:

My guess would be that you are thinking of "Champion Drivers, Inc.", formed in mid-1935, which ran at Ascot using their AAA Championship type two-man cars in 1935 and 1936. Consult the tread "1946 AAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP", the Nov. 27, 2006 post, under "1946 AAA SEASON" (cont.-10)". Champion Drivers, Inc. staged races at Ascot on Dec. 15, 1935 and Jan. 26, 1936. Al Gordon (1903-1936) and his riding mechanic Spider Matlock were both killed in the Jan. 26, 1936 race and this contest was the last ever staged at the 5/8's mile Ascot oval.

Sincerely, J.G. Printz

A drivers "union" already incorporated in early 1924, called the "Speedway Drivers Association", with goals such as increasing the number of races, initiating the building of new tracks, better promoting of the races and safety for the drivers. It was to co-operate with the AAA to try to improve the rules of the Contest Board, and "to make the championship race more exciting" by providing a championship fund and a medal for the National Champion - that is, it was mostly about more money for the drivers, as usual. The organisation was originally composed of Eddie Hearne, Ira Vail, Jimmy Murphy, Bennie Hill, Harry Hartz, Cliff Durant, Harlan Fengler, Earl Cooper, Fred Comer and Jerry Wonderlich, with the first three acting as the leading members, though there were to be no posts as such except for a yet to be named chairman. The first meeting took place at Harry Miller's shop in Los Angeles, and Frank Elliott and Tommy Milton soon joined in "the fun", but at present I do not know what became of it.

#32 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,530 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 15 December 2009 - 13:17

Like I have said before, welcome back Michael.
Roger Lund

#33 mlight9

mlight9
  • New Member

  • 10 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 16 December 2009 - 05:34

Actually, the Goshen 100-miler took place on Sunday, August 17, as part of a sort of double header with the Orange County Fair races at nearby Middletown on Saturday (Aug 16). Ted Horn, Bill Holland, Walt Brown and Walt Ader were entered in both events, but Ader decided to give the sprint event a miss, and eventually dropped out of the Champ Car event as well when his car went sour during practice. The other three had to practice and qualify early at Middletown on Saturday, then rush about ten miles east to the tri-angular horse track at the County Seat in Goshen to complete another time trial, then again west to the County Fairgrounds to take part in the heat races and main event there. Apart from Holland failing to qualify his Champ Car due to engine trouble, the trio did remarkably well: Horn broke the Middletown track record, Brown matched the time a few minutes later and Holland took third, while at Goshen the former two took 2nd and 5th, respectively.

Horn was less speedy on the highway, though, and arrived late for his heat race, so that it was postponed until after Brown had won his in record time from Hank Rogers, and Holland finished second to Tommy Mattson in the other. Then Horn beat Mark Light, before Paul Handshew took the consy and the last transfer spot. Amongst the non-qualifiers, Frankie Bailey and Lee Wallard were the most prominent names. The 20-lap/10-mile final saw a surprise win by Brown in the Marion/Offenhauser with yet another track record, beating the favoured Horn by a good margin, and Mattson again nosed out Holland for third. One of the slowest qualifiers in a field of 18 cars, a Midget driver from New Jersey, had managed to garner a spot in the ten-car final, without drawing much attention to himself, but he would be heard of in the future: Art Cross.

Back in Goshen on Sunday, Horn and Holland met again in a 5-lap match race, together with Rex Mays and Tony Bettenhausen. The latter took the lead from the start, only to lose it on lap 3 to Mays, who retired almost immediately with an overheated engine, then Horn passed Bettenhausen on the next lap, but the "Tinley Park Express" managed to get back into the lead on the last lap. Holland was an unimpressive third. Mays had to scratch from the main event due to his problems in the match race, but George Connor got a second chance after breaking an axle in the time trials. All in all, the Goshen race was a bitter disappointment: the "crowd" (16,500) was even poorer than the year before, and not much better than that at Middletown on Saturday (12,000), when much less had been at stake.

The organisers of the Orange County Fair were much happier. This event, going back to 1919, and having seen AAA winners such as Ira Vail (1921/23/24/26), Ralph de Palma (1928), Billy Winn (1931), Bob Sall (1933/35/37) and Bill Holland (1939/40), had become an "outlaw" race before the war, and apart from 1947 only two more AAA events would take place there, but the venue remained popular and Sprint Car races would take place there well into the eighties, only now the winners were drivers like Bert Brooks (1954/56), Don Gillette (1964/65), Harry Benjamin (1972/78) and John Draucker (1977). On June 4 in 1983, however, the venerable old County Fairgrounds reverberated to the sounds of the "World of Outlaws", and the top three finishing positions went to the "Big Three" of modern Sprint Car racing: Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell and Doug Wolfgang! :clap: :)


JGP, your history of the 1947 racing year is terrific. I love reading all the behind the scenes info. & I'm already looking forward to the history of 1948.
mlight9.


#34 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,084 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 21 December 2009 - 19:18

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-1) Art Sparks (1901-1984) always maintained that the American Society of Professional Automobile Racing (A.S.P.A.R. or ASPAR) began in Los Angeles during 1932/1933 to try and pry more prize money from the management of the Ascot Legion 5/8's mile oval. I can find no contemporary evidence to confirm ASPARS' early 1930's origin, but whatever, the depression era ASPAR does not seem to have lasted long.

There was, of course, a drivers strike at Ascot in early 1933, and that is probably what Art Sparks was refering to. It was not really a drivers strike, for the car owners struck as well, after the management of Ascot had lowered the purses for the weekly races considerably. In that, the 1933 situation was certainly more comparable to the 1947 ASPAR "strike" than the 1924 drivers union, for during the board track era, most drivers ran their own cars, with just a few "sponsors" (like Harry Miller or Cliff Durant) footing some of the bills. During Ascot's heyday, a new situation had arisen, with garage owners and a few wealthy individuals providing the "steel" for the "jockeys of the roaring road" to ride to fame and fortune. Many of the teams of the early postwar years had their origin in the "dirt track wars" of the thirties, including that of Sparks himself. But if the ASPAR name and organisation already existed back then, is a question I cannot answer.

Economically, 1933 was probably the worst year of the depression, and all through the year children were admitted to the Ascot races for two cans of food, which the Legion then gave to charity! This, amongst other things, had a drastic effect on the "gate", the sum of the admission prices that was part of the "percentage deal" for which the drivers and owners ran at Ascot - instead of upwards of $800, the winner of a 100-lap main event was now entitled to less than $500. On the other hand, 1933 was also the peak year of competition at Ascot, with new cars appearing almost on a weekly basis, and older ones getting updated regularly with more powerful engines and the like, so that the owner of the fastest car at the beginning of the year fully expected to be fighting over bread crumbs come December, i.e. if he wasn't willing to join in the queues at the various speed shops in town, not the least of which was Harry Miller's, having just introduced his latest (and arguably last) jewel of an engine, the '255' - good for 250 bhp, at a cost north of $2,000!

On January 15, Ernie Triplett (the 1932 Pacific Coast Champion), Lester Spangler (2nd), Wilbur Shaw (3rd), Bill Cummings (5th), Bob Carey (6th), Babe Stapp (7th), Sam Palmer (9th), Carl Ryder (11th), Mel Kenealy (13th), Stubby Stubblefield (17th), and nationally known stars such as Howdy Wilcox, Mauri Rose, Freddie Winnai, Shorty Cantlon, Johnny Krieger and Louis Schneider, as well as their car owners Art Sparks (the 1932 Owners Champion), Bill White (2nd), Danny de Paolo (3rd), Harvey Ward (4th), Russ Garnant (5th), Earl Haskell (6th), Joe Marks (9th), Chad McClurg (10th), Leon Duray (14th) and Art Martinson (18th) refused to run for a total purse of just $1,600, also objecting against the scheduled 200-lap distance for the main event of that day. Congregating at Sparks's residence in Eagle Rock, the group made their objections known two days before the event, to which the Glendale Post of the American Legion, proprietors and operators of Ascot Speedway, stood firm: the race went ahead, regardless, but cut to 100 laps, and with a field of "Class B" cars subbing for the regular stars.

The result was a disaster: only 4,500 spectators showed up for a race which the press called "one of the poorest races ever", "a sorry spectacle", "dull affair", "boresome contest" and "the biggest flop" in the history of the track. Two dissidents from the rank of the star drivers, namely Chet Gardner and Kelly Petillo, teamed up to make amends, but even their token effort fell flat on its face. Gardner, runner-up in the 1931 championship and the current #4, was the owner of the car that had just made the second fastest lap ever around the five-eights-of-a-mile track in December, but was nursing a sore back courtesy of the spill same car had administered to him only seconds after the start of the main event that day, so he gave his speedy chariot to Petillo, who had his own axe to grind: during the late summer and fall of 1932, he had campaigned "Poison Lil", the fast Gilmore Special of Art Sparks to no fewer than five main event wins, only to get the sack less than a week after the last of his triumphs. Sparks had had no choice, it has to be said, since he had promised an open door for his erstwhile driver, Bill Cummings, on his return to the West Coast from a Midwestern campaign, but Petillo took it personally, and refused to sing to the tune of the strike leader.

After winning the Helmet Dash without any effort whatsoever, Petillo took the lead in the main event from the outset, and began lapping the tailenders by the 7th circuit, despite running "with half-throttle down the stretches and coasting thru the turns", according to one scribe. Then, after one third of the race distance, the crankshaft of the Miller broke, locking the rear wheels, and Petillo spun down the frontstretch, scraping along the outside fence in full view of the grandstand. Still, the spectators "sat thru the contest like mummies, never uttering their appreciation or lack of same", and the race that "was so completely lacking in competition" went on, and on. Cars "began pulling in and out of the pits so fast and often that it looked like they were holding a relay race", no doubt due to the fact that the majority of the entries simply wasn't used to run for any longer than the usual 15-lap "Class B" event, so that "at all times there was a car or more in the pits for repairs, either water, tires or plugs", and one report speculated about Harris Insinger who "stopped several times in the first few laps until he found out he could put in a whole new engine and still finish in the money" - ouch!

The new leader after Petillo's early retirement was now Al Theisen, well known in the Midwest, but an entirely blank page in the annals of the West Coast! Driving the car of the late Francis Quinn (the 1930 Pacific Coast Champion), that was now campaigned by Leslie Quinn (brother of the deceased), and a steed of a colourful past but never a winner in an Ascot main event before, Theisen was "so far ahead that he took off his goggles and coasted around" even before the race was half over! The official time for the event was given as 50'28.6", so far off the track record that he would have failed the 107 % limit, and "although several watches recorded a few minutes over an hour". But a win is a win, and Theisen could even rejoice in taking the lead for the Pacific Coast Championship away from superstar Ernie Triplett. Oddly enough, he would never again compete in California, realizing perhaps that his day in the sun had been the product of exceptional circumstances, not likely to be ever repeated. A year later, his career would peak with the AAA Midwestern Circuit Championship title, before perishing in a minor Midget event in early 1935.

Finishing second was Chris Vest, a popular driver and winner of the first ever "Class B main event" at Ascot the previous August, but now several laps behind the coasting Theisen, who "could have lapped Vest a dozen times during the course of the running". Tommy Cosman was third, and future Indy 500 starter Louie Tomei fourth, with Frank Suess and Guy Deulin filling out the top six. Harris Insinger was flagged off in seventh place, with or without engine change, and he didn't even carry the red lantern! That "honour" fell to Hal Provan, who was destined to lose his life at Ascot half a year later. And what of the strikers? Rain, and a trip to Oakland in Northern California held off the next Ascot event until February 12, by which time "a compromise" had been reached. Officials of the AAA Contest Board were said to have brokered a "new deal" whereby drivers and owners would have a say in the distribution of the prize money, but the overall purses remained woefully short, except for a couple of late-season races. On May 31, Rex Mays collected a dismal $168 for his first solo win in an Ascot main event, barely more than he got out of a couple of "B main events" at Colton that summer. Almost exactly a year later, he would make 3 ¾ times as much despite retiring during the early running of the Indy 500 - agreeable, under the circumstances! :cool:

Edited by Michael Ferner, 21 December 2009 - 23:03.


#35 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,084 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 22 December 2009 - 22:31

On April 10, 1930, with the Miller Marine 4 bored out to 183 cubic inches, and running over the Muroc Dry Lake, Shorty Cantlon established a world speed record for four cylinder engines over the one mile distance, of 144.985 mph. Thus Bob Burman's (1884-1916) old 1911 mark of 141.738 moh, made in a 1312 cubic inch (!) Blitzen Benz, was finally set aside. The Cantlon-White "Miller Hi-Speed Special", used to set the new record at Muroc Dry Lake, was exactly the same vehicle Shorty would pilot, for his first time as a starter at Indianapolis, in May 1930.

I believe that Shorty Cantlon set this world record with the team's single-seater, an old Miller '91' chassis. The engine, however, was the same - it was used in sprint car events at Ascot prior to the record attempt (winning 100-lap events there on Nov 24 & Jan 26), then put in the two-man car afterwards for Indianapolis and the National Championship trail. Cantlon's last entry at Ascot was on April 6, four days before the record drive, and his next competitive appearance was on May 24, qualifying at Indy. Newspapers often confused the two cars, both being white and carrying #16, but the sequence of events clearly indicates that it was the one-man car at Muroc Dry Lake. Also, a newspaper article (facsimile in Gordon White's "Offenhauser" book) from before the record attempt shows a picture of the single-seater, declaring it to be the car for the attempts.

In September of 1930, after placing third at Syracuse with the two-man car, the team retired to the West Coast and put the engine in the '91' again, for Cantlon to win four more Ascot 100-lappers, before Doug Harrison bought the car and engine for Chet Gardner to drive. Meanwhile, Bill White had purchased the first of the new 4-valve Miller 200 CID engines and put it into the two-man car, and with it Shorty Cantlon finished third at the El Centro/Imperial Fairgounds in a 100-mile race, complete with riding mechanic Clarence "Duke" Smale, and against a field of the fastest single-seaters in the country. Three weeks later, Cantlon went one better and finished first at another Ascot 100-lapper, this time without a riding mechanic - it was a unique achievement, with the heavy two-man car against the nimble monoposti, and proved once and for all the superiority of the new 4-valve design, the forerunner of the Offy!

Throughout the early thirties, Cantlon was one of the leading dirt track drivers of the nation, winning main events from Ascot Speedway in Southern California to Cobleskill in upstate New York. "Shorty" came by his nickname honestly, as he was barely able to look over the bonnet of a racing car, but he was a strong little fellow: the aforementioned facsimile article in the "Offenhauser" book shows him lifting the 300 pound engine of the "Miller Hi-Speed" with his bare hands, the engine being almost as tall as he himself! :up:

#36 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,084 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 22 December 2009 - 23:17

Emil Andres' biggest victory had been a win in the 1939 Springfield 100 (Oct. 15), a year in which it was not ranked a Championship level event. Emil's vehicle here was the ex-Lou Schneider 1931 Indianapolis winner, but its original straight 8 Miller was now replaced by an Offenhauser 4 to now become an Offenhauser/Stevens.


Again, I believe that Andres drove his single-seater in this race, the 1933 Sparks, not the 1931 Schneider two-man car. Both cars carried #44 that year, but the Indy Car was named the "Chicago Flash" and had a two-tone colour of maroon and white. According to information I found, the Springfield winner was a "Riverside" or "Riverside Tire Special", and was wholly white, which conforms with what I know of the one-man car for that time.

Walter C. "Walt" Brown ran for Louis "Lou" Rassey of Detroit in a rather obsolete looking Offenhauser powered Auto Shippers No. 31. Its chassis was probably that of a old Miller.


Exactly, it was the Miller '230' single-seater, built in late 1931 for Mike Boyle and his driver Lou Moore, then later campaigned by Bill Cummings. The car had the same type of engine as the 1933 Indy winner and the Boyle two-man car, pole sitter at Indy in 1932 and '33 as well as the winner of three National Championship dirt track races with Cummings, but it was supposed to be better on the short ovals due to its lower weight. Yet it proved to be a big disappointment for the team, and it didn't win anything of note, even after replacing the engine with a new Offy in 1936. Russ Snowberger bought it a year later, and drove it with limited success on the dirt tracks of the National Championship trail, and also at the Pikes Peak hill climb where he finished 7th. Lou Unser saw it there, and asked if he could drive it, eventually winning the "climb to the clouds" three times with it, each time breaking the track record, and another time at the Land's End hill climb, again with a record. In between, Snowberger still campaigned the car on the dirt tracks, and Al Miller finished second at Springfield in 1940 for him. After the war, Russ sold his equipment to Lou Rassey.

#37 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,084 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 22 December 2009 - 23:38

Bainbridge was the first Champioship win for Ted Horn, but the 1947 event was the only AAA Championship contest ever held at Bainbridge. There had been a special preliminary 5 lap match race between Mauri Rose and Bill Holland, which Bill won by nine car lengths. Probably Rose didn't take it all too seriously, but it was just easy cash in hand for Mauri. Rose made no attempt to run in the 100 miler itself. The AAA National Championship point standings after Bainbridge were: 1. Bill Holland 1520, 2. Ted Horn 1120, 3. Mauri Rose 1000, 4. Rex Mays 572.5, 5. Brown 540, and 6. Jackson 500. The next contest was at Milwaukee on July 27.

John, do you know perchance which car Rose drove in that match race? Was it the Corley/Andrews Special?

#38 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,051 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 24 December 2009 - 03:45

Harris Insinger was flagged off in seventh place, with or without engine change, and he didn't even carry the red lantern! That "honour" fell to Hal Provan, who was destined to lose his life at Ascot half a year later.

Michael, outstanding as usual. Great account of the strike, race and aftermath.

I want to mention H.D. "Hal" Provin here (correct spelling, many times listed as Provan). I truly feel sorry for him. I can't speak for his talent, but he came across as a no hoper...indeed, a race report in the Los Angeles Times mentioned that it was good the "B" race was flagged, otherwise Hal Provan (sic) would still be going. When he died soon thereafter in the crash at Legion Ascot, described as well behind the field, I think the Times felt guilty over their earlier remark and reported that he was popular and well liked (which very easily could have been true).

One wonders how some drivers of the era managed to field a car, and nowhere is that more glaring than with Provin. He was a house painter with a teenage bride, living with relatives. His father was apparently an itinerant handyman. Obviously, H.D. Provin desperately wanted to be a race driver and probably sank every penny into a weak car in hopes he might get noticed :cry:

#39 Lemnpiper

Lemnpiper
  • Member

  • 700 posts
  • Joined: February 05

Posted 24 December 2009 - 06:08

Michael, outstanding as usual. Great account of the strike, race and aftermath.

I want to mention H.D. "Hal" Provin here (correct spelling, many times listed as Provan). I truly feel sorry for him. I can't speak for his talent, but he came across as a no hoper...indeed, a race report in the Los Angeles Times mentioned that it was good the "B" race was flagged, otherwise Hal Provan (sic) would still be going. When he died soon thereafter in the crash at Legion Ascot, described as well behind the field, I think the Times felt guilty over their earlier remark and reported that he was popular and well liked (which very easily could have been true).

One wonders how some drivers of the era managed to field a car, and nowhere is that more glaring than with Provin. He was a house painter with a teenage bride, living with relatives. His father was apparently an itinerant handyman. Obviously, H.D. Provin desperately wanted to be a race driver and probably sank every penny into a weak car in hopes he might get noticed :cry:



Jim,

Actually that same scenario is repeated yearly at tracks across the nation as many "no hopers" chase the dream . If fact while many never become famous it is often those very guys that end up the last survivors to regale later generations with stoires of how they competed against some of the more famous drivers in their driving careers when they raced.

They just dont get killed as often nowadays.And sadly in Mr Provin's case it ended up giving him a measure of immortality over those other "no hopers" that didnt die on the track back then .





Paul

Advertisement

#40 john glenn printz

john glenn printz
  • Member

  • 661 posts
  • Joined: June 05

Posted 24 December 2009 - 13:10

Dear Michael;

Gene Banning in his 1983 book, "SPEEDWAY, HALF A CENTURY OF RACING WITH ART SPARKS", has a chapter VI entitled "Winter of Discontent-Aspar is Born". The chapter starts off on page 76 with (quote), "Owners and drivers had formed a new organization in late 1932, called the American Society of Professional Automobile Racers, or ASPAR. Their purpose was to discuss mutual problems such as track conditions, schedule conflicts, rule recommendations, and other matters of concern. Heretofore, prize money had not been one of their problems."

"Approximately 92% of the eligible Ascot drivers and owners were members."

"Meetings were held monthly, often at the Hollywood-Roosevelt Hotel, and dues were one dollar each per month. In January, 1933, current officers included were Art Sparks, President, Earl Haskell, Vice-President, and Ted Heinhold, Treasurer, as Art recalls."

So far I have been unable to verify this earller version of ASPAR. I first learned of it from Mr. Sparks himself.

My information about Cantlon's "Miller Hi-Speed Special" is taken from the Los Angeles newspapers, which may be incorrect, but photo captions also are often mistaken.

It was Emil Andres himself who informed me that the chassis used for his 1939 Springfield 100 win, was the ex-1931 Indianapolis 500 winner. I remember him stating this more than once, however memories can be often very much in error also.

With regard to the 5 mile Bainbridge match race, I seemingly have no information as to what car Rose drove, but Holland was definately piloting Fred Peter's Offenhauser/Wetteroth No. 8.

As I have said before, much of the AAA racing history, 1902-1955, is a complete mess.

Sincerely, J. G. Printz

Edited by john glenn printz, 24 December 2009 - 13:47.


#41 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,084 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 24 December 2009 - 14:30

I want to mention H.D. "Hal" Provin here (correct spelling, many times listed as Provan). I truly feel sorry for him. I can't speak for his talent, but he came across as a no hoper...indeed, a race report in the Los Angeles Times mentioned that it was good the "B" race was flagged, otherwise Hal Provan (sic) would still be going. When he died soon thereafter in the crash at Legion Ascot, described as well behind the field, I think the Times felt guilty over their earlier remark and reported that he was popular and well liked (which very easily could have been true).


Jim, first of all, are you sure the name's Provin, not Provan? I'm asking because I've seen both versions, but the latter far more often, including on entry lists, in point standings and programmes - that's no proof, I know, but do you have seen official documents that prove otherwise?

Then, I REALLY don't think one can call Provan/Provin a "no-hoper" - not at all, sorry! He may have been several laps down when he was flagged off, but that was surely down to some problems with his car - he must've been one of those stopping at the pits several times over, as mentioned in the newspaper article. You must not forget that, even with the ten fastest cars missing from this race, there were still more than two dozen entries in the pits, and qualifying for one of the twelve main event starting spots was an achievement in itself. Want to hear a few names of those who didn't make it? How about Ted Horn, Al Gordon and George Connor...!

In fact, Provan/Provin was one of the brightest talents of his time, it seems. Apparently, he started competing at Ascot in 1931, and at first he didn't do all that well, driving nondescript cars, but by the following year he was getting good "rides" and better results. I have him finishing 25th in points that year, which doesn't sound very exciting, but then you look at other names on the list, like Ted Horn (20th), Al Gordon (22nd), Louie Tomei (24th), Howdy Wilcox (30th), Swede Smith (36th), Rex Mays (38th), Johnny Krieger (39th), Al Theisen (40th) etc., and you realise he wasn't in such bad company. His best result in a main event appears to have been fifth, better than what Horn, Wilcox or Mays achieved all year, to say nothing of occasional starters such as Billy Arnold, Cliff Bergere, Mauri Rose or Shorty Cantlon - Lou Meyer's best that year was 4th, and both Lou Moore and Leon Duray couldn't do better than 5th!

In 1933, he started out on New Year's Day with a third place finish in the "Class B" main event, again beating Horn, Mays and Connor, and by mid season he was a regular top six finisher, running high up in B points. I don't have results for all the Class B races, but he finished in the top 3 at least four times, and generally qualified for the fast heat. No, I don't think he was a no-hoper. Perhaps still two or three years off of a '500' start, but definitely on his way.

#42 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,084 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 24 December 2009 - 14:54

Dear Michael;

Gene Banning in his 1983 book, "SPEEDWAY, HALF A CENTURY OF RACING WITH ART SPARKS", has a chapter VI entitled "Winter of Discontent-Aspar is Born". The chapter starts off on page 76 with (quote), "Owners and drivers had formed a new organization in late 1932, called the American Society of Professional Automobile Racers, or ASPAR. Their purpose was to discuss mutual problems such as track conditions, schedule conflicts, rule recommendations, and other matters of concern. Heretofore, prize money had not been one of their problems."

"Approximately 92% of the eligible Ascot drivers and owners were members."

"Meetings were held monthly, often at the Hollywood-Roosevelt Hotel, and dues were one dollar each per month. In January, 1933, current officers included were Art Sparks, President, Earl Haskell, Vice-President, and Ted Heinhold, Treasurer, as Art recalls."

So far I have been unable to verify this earller version of ASPAR. I first learned of it from Mr. Sparks himself.

My information about Cantlon's "Miller Hi-Speed Special" is taken from the Los Angeles newspapers, which may be incorrect, but photo captions also are often mistaken.

It was Emil Andres himself who informed me that the chassis used for his 1939 Springfield 100 win, was the ex-1931 Indianapolis 500 winner. I remember him stating this more than once, however memories can be often very much in error also.

With regard to the 5 mile Bainbridge match race, I seemingly have no information as to what car Rose drove, but Holland was definately piloting Fred Peter's Offenhauser/Wetteroth No. 8.

As I have said before, much of the AAA racing history, 1902-1955, is a complete mess.

Sincerely, J. G. Printz

Thanks for the information, John. Sadly, I don't have the Banning/Sparks book, it's a rarity these days.

About Cantlon's record car, I've also seen reports that said he drove the same car at Indy, but as I said, newspapers often confused these cars, not only Cantlon's. I recall a similar case with Triplett's two-man car at the 1933 Indy 500, which was said to have been the same that he drove at Ascot, only that pictures always show him in a single seater there. I believe it may be down to car owners mentioning that the engine was the same, and the newspaper men getting confused, or just trying to simplfy things. Logically, one would have to assume that the team opted for the single seater in the record attempts, because of the lower frontal area, and also I am not sure if the two-man car was already finished at that point. Not sure about Andres in 1939, though, maybe he did indeed drive the Indy Car.

#43 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,051 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 24 December 2009 - 17:24

Jim, first of all, are you sure the name's Provin, not Provan? I'm asking because I've seen both versions, but the latter far more often, including on entry lists, in point standings and programmes - that's no proof, I know, but do you have seen official documents that prove otherwise?

You should know me Michael, I wouldn't be emphatic without proof :) Yes, I have - California death records and checking with a cemetery (where I spent over a half an hour in the lobby waiting for them to check their files only to find his body was moved to another cemetery about 10 years later - shades of Herman Schurch). After I found the California record another researcher checked the censuses and found his family as Provin. We couldn't turn up anything under Provan - well, other than newspaper articles.

I had noticed Provin had a third in a dash and a third in a main. By "no hoper" I always put it down to his car more than him anyway, but the fact remains the Times was quite harsh to him on at least two occasions (the strike race and the one other I mentioned) - and I felt unfairly so. Quite an undertaking for a house painter. The Legion Ascot drivers ranged from guys with wealthy backgrounds to chaffeurs and house painters. A fascinating group of people.

Michael, what would it take for you to compile your Legion Ascot results?...I still haven't located the results Phil Harms sent me.

Edited by Jim Thurman, 24 December 2009 - 17:24.


#44 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,084 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 24 December 2009 - 17:34

Maybe the LA Times reporter didn't like Hal, or maybe he had a crush on that teenage wife of his - who knows? ;)

Jim, will an Excel file do?

#45 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,051 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 25 December 2009 - 23:22

Maybe the LA Times reporter didn't like Hal, or maybe he had a crush on that teenage wife of his - who knows?;)

Jim, will an Excel file do?

Could be Michael, nice to know Provin's results improved. It seemed unduly harsh. I don't recall negative comments made about anyone else other than in cases of "rough driving", and in one of those cases a columnist printed a letter from a former promoter rebutting the blame of Fred Frame for "causing" an accident.

Excel file would be fine :up:

...and greatly appreciated

#46 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,051 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 25 December 2009 - 23:28

Jim,

Actually that same scenario is repeated yearly at tracks across the nation as many "no hopers" chase the dream . If fact while many never become famous it is often those very guys that end up the last survivors to regale later generations with stoires of how they competed against some of the more famous drivers in their driving careers when they raced.

They just dont get killed as often nowadays.And sadly in Mr Provin's case it ended up giving him a measure of immortality over those other "no hopers" that didnt die on the track back then .

Paul, yes, I've certainly seen many chasing the dream at local short tracks. Some with far more talent than money and others that should have never stepped into a race car.

I am kind of fascinated by H.D. Provin because, despite the fact he died racing, his name is commonly misspelled and no one could seem to find out where he was buried. Add in that he was a house painter, and he truly was chasing the dream.

I like to celebrate the number of drivers who actually made it through their careers in those eras. A surprising number of them, despite the mortality rate of racing with cloth helmets and no seat belts.




#47 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,084 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 07 January 2010 - 20:21

AAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 1947 (cont.-17) CONCLUDING REMARKS. Bill Holland in 1947, lost out at the very end in the AAA Championship Title chase, just as he had lost winning the Indianapolis 500, in its final laps. Bill placed 2nd in both cases, instead of 1st, after he had looked unbeatable. It must have been a bitter experience for him in both instances. Holland however, was a newcomer and a rookie to the AAA National Championship circuit in 1947, and he was the first entirely new post World War II Championship division driver to make a real impact and newspaper headlines. Even with his two 1st placement loses, it had been a wonderful year for this neophyte.


Interestingly, Holland's Sprint Car year almost mirrored his Champ Car experiences, after pretty much dominating the early part of the year, and dropping to a miserable seventh in the final reckoning! Coming off a very successful streak in the second half of 1946, he won the first three races on the 1947 schedule (Atlanta, Trenton and Richmond), and after a fourth win at Langhorne he held a commanding lead in the point standings just before Indy. Then, his fortunes dropped, and he lost a number of races through mechanical woes, and missed a few more by competing in the National Championship. Suddenly, drivers like Mark Light, Hank Rogers and Tommy Mattson had stints in the championship lead, and Tommy Hinnershitz closed in, but at least Holland was clear of the other "part-timers" Ted Horn and Joie Chitwood, the former also missing races through his national campaign, and the latter through his stunt driving business.

Holland won six more races before the year was out (Columbus in June, Nazareth in July, Harrington and Thompson in August, Washington in September and Williams Grove in October), but after wrecking the engine of the Malamud/Offenhauser at Atlanta in early November, he had to sit out the last races of the season and watch not only Hinnershitz and Horn, but also Chitwood move past in the standings! Worst of all, by hitting a real streak Ted Horn not only passed Holland, but Hinnershitz, Light, Rogers and Mattson as well, to show that it WAS possible to run a full National Championship campaign and STILL win the Eastern Sprint Car title!

Holland had every reason to fill bitter about his racing "luck": since joining AAA full time in 1938, he had been a regular race winner every year, finishing the first two Eastern campaigns seventh and sixth in points, respectively. Then, in 1940, he was leading the championship by a wide margin, only to get caught by Joie Chitwood at the post. In 1941, finally, he took the title, but that year most of his rivals quit on the stool: Horn, Sall, Hinnershitz and Chitwood defected to the CSRA before the season was out, Nalon ran in the Midwest all year, and Nauman was critically injured in August - nobody in the racing world gave Holland much credit for this championship! In 1946, AAA combined all Big Car circuits into one National Championship, and without a ride at Indy or the dirt 100-milers Holland did extremely well to finish fourth, but the glory was all Horn's. To rub salt into the wounds, USAC later (in the seventies) published tables of Sprint Car Champions, "creating" an Eastern and a Midwestern title for 1946 for Ted Horn and Elbert Booker, respectively. How those "titles" were arrived at, nobody knows, since neither Horn nor Booker could have claimed to have earned the most points in their respective circuits - in the East it was actually Holland! But since both "champions" were already dead, nobody dared to protest or make a fuss. It was all water under the bridge, anyhow...

#48 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,084 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 23 October 2012 - 23:46

Results of major AAA Big Car races in 1947 (20 miles or longer):

March 30, Lakewood Speedway, Atlanta (GA), 20 miles
1 Bill Holland (PA), Malamud/Offenhauser, 14'28.51"
2 Walt Ader (NJ), Campbell=O'Day/Offenhauser
3 Spider Webb (CA), Johnston/Offenhauser
4 Verden Morelock (GA), n/a
5 Buddy Shuman (NC), n/a
6 Earl Johns (NJ), Scheid/Riley
FT Holland, 39.21"

April 13, New Jersey State Fairgrounds, Trenton (NJ), 20 miles
1 Bill Holland (PA), Malamud/Offenhauser, 15'13.33"
2 Tommy Hinnershitz (PA), Hinnershitz=Garnant/Offenhauser
3 Lee Wallard (NY), Sherk/Winfield
4 Mike Magill (NJ), n/a
5 Dutch Culp (PA), Culp/Cragar
6 n/a
FT Walt Brown (NY), Marion/Offenhauser, 41.45"

May 11, Langhorne Speedway, Langhorne (PA), 20 miles
1 Bill Holland (PA), Malamud/Offenhauser, 13'19.62"
2 Tommy Hinnershitz (PA), Hinnershitz=Garnant/Offenhauser
3 Hank Rogers (NJ), Fetzer/Offenhauser
4 Earl Johns (NJ), Scheid/Riley
5 Lee Wallard (NY), n/a
6 Paul Handshew (PA), n/a
FT Walt Ader (NJ), Nyquist=Cunningham/Offenhauser, 35.83"

May 30, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway (IN), 500 miles
1 Mauri Rose (OH), Moore/Offenhauser, 4:17'52.17"
2 Bill Holland (PA), Moore/Offenhauser
3 Ted Horn (CA), Henning=Maserati
4 Cliff Bergere (CA) [Herb Ardinger (PA)], Novi
5 Jimmy Jackson (IN), Henning=Boyle/Offenhauser
6 Rex Mays (CA), Bowes
FT Holland, 4'39.60" (4 laps), 1'09.57" (1 lap)

June 8, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis (WI), 100 miles
1 Bill Holland (PA), Peters=Moore/Offenhauser, 1:08'44.60"
2 Rex Mays (CA), Flavell=Sparks-Thorne
3 Paul Russo (WI), Wolfe=Shaw/Offenhauser
4 George Connor (CA), Walsh/Offenhauser
5 Charley van Acker (IN), Lencki=Lyons/Offenhauser
6 Billy Devore (CA), Schoof/Offenhauser
FT Tony Bettenhausen (IL), Belanger/Offenhauser, 37.36"

June 22, Langhorne Speedway, Langhorne (PA), 100 miles
1 Bill Holland (PA), Peters=Moore/Offenhauser, 1:08'23.59"
2 Emil Andres (IL), Belanger=Sparks-Weirick/Offenhauser
3 Walt Brown (NY), Rassey=Miller/Offenhauser
4 Steve Truchan (IN) [Billy Devore (CA)], Schoof/Offenhauser
5 Ted Horn (CA), Horn/Offenhauser
6 Charley van Acker (IN), Lencki=Lyons/Offenhauser
FT Andres, 34.67"

July 4, Lakewood Speedway, Atlanta (GA), 77 miles*
* stopped short of 100 miles (accident)
1 Walt Ader (NJ), Sparks-Weirick/Offenhauser, 1:01'25.63"
2 Bill Holland (PA), Peters=Moore/Offenhauser
3 Eddie Zalucki (MI), Dreyer
4 Ted Horn (CA), Horn/Offenhauser
5 Milt Fankhauser (KY), Fankhauser=Miller/Offenhauser
6 Charley van Acker (IN), Lencki=Lyons/Offenhauser
FT Rex Mays (CA), Bowes, 40.20"

July 13, Bainbridge Park, Cleveland (OH), 92 miles*
* stopped short of 100 miles (rain)
1 Ted Horn (CA), Horn/Offenhauser, 1:03'14.89"
2 Bill Holland (PA), Peters=Moore/Offenhauser
3 Charley van Acker (IN), Lencki=Lyons/Offenhauser
4 Tony Bettenhausen (IL), Wolfe=Shaw/Offenhauser
5 George Connor (CA), Walsh/Offenhauser
6 Billy Devore (CA), Corley=Petillo/Offenhauser
FT Walt Brown (NY), Rassey=Miller/Offenhauser, 39.43"

July 27, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis (WI), 100 miles
1 Charley van Acker (IN), Lencki=Lyons/Offenhauser, 1:09'47.88"
2 Duke Nalon (IL), Corley=Petillo/Offenhauser
3 Paul Russo (WI), Wolfe=Shaw/Offenhauser
4 Mel Hansen (CA), Lencki
5 George Connor (CA), Walsh/Offenhauser
6 Ted Horn (CA), Horn/Offenhauser
FT Tony Bettenhausen (IL), Olson/Offenhauser, 40.48"

August 17, Good Time Speedway, Goshen (NY), 100 miles
1 Tony Bettenhausen (IL), Belanger/Offenhauser, 1:14'56.54"
2 Ted Horn (CA), Horn/Offenhauser
3 Charley van Acker (IN), Lencki=Lyons/Offenhauser
4 Duke Dinsmore (CA), Schoof/Offenhauser
5 George Connor (CA), Walsh/Offenhauser
6 Buster Warke (PA), Johnston=Sparks-Weirick/Offenhauser
FT Emil Andres (IL), Belanger=Sparks-Weirick/Offenhauser, 41.66"

August 21, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis (WI), 20 miles
1 Rex Mays (CA), Cracraft/Offenhauser, 13'25.70"
2 Tommy Hinnershitz (PA), Hinnershitz=Garnant/Ofenhauser
3 Mel Hansen (CA), Lencki
4 Myron Fohr (WI), Marchese/Offenhauser
5 Jackie Holmes (IN), Dreyer
6 Tony Bettenhausen (IL), Belanger/Offenhauser
FT Mays, 38.48"

August 22, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis (WI), 20 miles
1 Rex Mays (CA), Cracraft/Offenhauser, 13'47.42"
2 Jackie Holmes (IN), Dreyer
3 Myron Fohr (WI), Marchese/Offenhauser
4 Tony Bettenhausen (IL), Belanger/Offenhauser
5 Duke Dinsmore (CA), Schoof/Offenhauser
6 n/a
FT Mays, 39.36"

August 24, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis (WI), 100 miles
1 Ted Horn (CA), Horn/Offenhauser, 1:11'08.64"
2 Duke Nalon (IL), Corley=Petillo/Offenhauser
3 George Connor (CA), Walsh/Offenhauser
4 Rex Mays (CA) [Tony Bettenhausen (IL)], Belanger/Offenhauser
5 Emil Andres (IL), Belanger=Sparks-Weirick/Offenhauser
6 Paul Russo (WI), Wolfe=Shaw/Offenhauser
FT Duke Dinsmore (CA), Schoof/Offenhauser, 39.88"

September 28, New Jersey State Fairgrounds, Trenton (NJ), 20 miles
1 Joie Chitwood (TX), Nyquist=Cunningham/Offenhauser, 15'06.52"
2 Tommy Mattson (DE), Culp=Schrader/Offenhauser
3 Mark Light (PA), Light/Dreyer
4 Hank Rogers (NJ), Fetzer/Offenhauser
5 Ed Terry (NJ), n/a
6 Dutch Culp (PA), Culp/Cragar
FT Chitwood, 42.41"

September 28, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield (IL), 100 miles
1 Tony Bettenhausen (IL), Belanger/Offenhauser, 1:04'51.08"
2 Ted Horn (CA), Horn/Offenhauser
3 Steve Truchan (IN), Truchan/Offenhauser
4 Jackie Holmes (IN), Dreyer
5 Charlie Rogers (MI), Jewell/Hal
6 Walt Ader (NJ), Corley=Petillo/Offenhauser
FT Emil Andres (IL), Belanger=Sparks-Weirick/Offenhauser, 36.58"

October 19, Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg (PA), 25 miles
1 Ted Horn (CA), Horn/Offenhauser, 23'12.93"
2 Tommy Hinnershitz (PA), Hinnershitz=Garnant/Offenhauser
3 Jackie Holmes (IN), Dreyer
4 Hank Rogers (NJ), Fetzer/Offenhauser
5 Bill Holland (PA), Malamud/Offenhauser
6 Tommy Mattson (DE), Culp=Schrader/Offenhauser
FT Horn, 26.27"

November 2, Texas State Fairgrounds, Arlington Downs (TX), 101 miles
1 Ted Horn (CA), Horn/Offenhauser, 1:10'25.20"
2 Paul Russo (WI), Wolfe=Shaw/Offenhauser
3 Emil Andres (IL), Belanger=Sparks-Weirick/Offenhauser
4 Rex Mays (CA), Sparks-Thorne
5 Eddie Zalucki (MI), Rassey=Miller/Offenhauser
6 Milt Fankhauser (KY), Fankhauser=Miller/Offenhauser
FT Duke Nalon (IL), Sparks-Weirick/Offenhauser, 40.02"

November 9, Lakewood Speedway, Atlanta (GA), 20 miles
1 Joie Chitwood (TX), Nyquist=Cunningham/Offenhauser, 13'45.1"
2 Walt Brown (NY), Marion/Offenhauser
3 Fred Carpenter (NY), Hoppe=Teter/Hal
4 n/a
5 n/a
6 n/a
FT Ted Horn (CA), Horn/Offenhauser, 38.8"

Edited by Michael Ferner, 24 October 2012 - 08:12.