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Phil Harm's AAA database on motorsport.com 1909


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#1 Agnis

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 13:02

Hello! I'm a newcomer to this forum.
I like racing and if I like something I want to know everything possible about the thing. Now I'm interested in AAA National championships. There is no other place on the web to get the stats as Phil's great work on motorsport.com, is there?
But there are a lot of gaps. Maybe we can discuss and fill the gaps in this forum, if somebody is interested?
Let's start with 1909 National championship.

As I know, the AAA Contest Board in 1926 revised the results and named Bert Dingley the champion using the points system from 1920-1929. In ~1950 Russ Catlin listed the 1902-1908 champs and changed 1909 champ to George Robertson. In most of the web resources (I haven't got another ones): motorsport.com, rumbledrome etc. 1909 champ is Robertson. Whatr really did Russ change? The points system? The races counting for championship? I bet for the latter. So wich were the races counting for championship that made Dingley the winner?

Now another problems related to race results in motorsport.com. I'm really not competent about the cars that the drivers drove in each race, but I want to know how the point system worked and why sometimes flagged (or even retired) drivers got points and sometimes they didn't. Why sometimes drivers that were classified in both of concurrently running races got points for positions in both races, why sometimes only the highest possible points from that event

Jun 12 1909 Portland (ch190901, ch190902)

1)It seems like both races run concurrently as Dingley's time is the same. How could he be classified in both :) but anyway - why others in <$1600 are not listed in both events?
2)I would better like to list <$3000 race Round 1 and <$1600 race round two becouse Charlie Arnold finished the 3 laps sooner as Howard Covey but it isn't so important
3)Why only each winner got points and no points for Dingley and Christopherson who also finished the race?

Jun 12 1909 Portland (ch190903)

1)What means: Car name: Studebaker; Chassis&Engine: Buick. As so as CN: White; C&E: Pope-Hartford.
2)Why are only those 3 drivers who finished all 7 laps awarded with points? In some other races flagged drivers got points too.

Jun 18-19 1909 Crown Point (ch190904, ch190915)

Again: why no points for flagged drivers?

Jul 5 1909 Denver (ch190906)

Something completely not understandable. There must be a mistake.
The question is: did Martin Fletcher and E. Noyes got points considering they were flagged? I think Joe Matson and Morris Martin didn't.
Did relief drivers got points in those backwards reviewed races? For most of them, especially Indy 500 there are no info wich laps were completed by the starter and wich by relief. That makes the point sharing impossible. But what if the laps are known? As I understand points were given only for starters.

Jul 10 1909 Santa Monica (ch190907, ch190908)

Again: flagged drivers

Aug 19-21 1909 Indianapolis (ch190909, ch190910, ch 190911)

Here flagged drivers and even some DNFers (who completed almoust full distance) are awarded with points. Again a problem: Bruce Keene completes 80 laps, crashes but gets points. Bert Miller and Charles Merz complete as much laps as Barney Oldfield annd Tobin DeHymel but get nothing.

Sep 8 1909 Lowell (ch190912-15)

1) 3 races run concurrently. I would list those with lesser distance sooner rounds instead of what Harms did.
2)Again problems with points. In 300 mile race top 10 is awarded with points. In 451-600cu in race 7 drivers finish in the lead lap but only 5 first times are known. Why no points for those two with no time but lead lap and why no points for flagged?

Sep 29 1909 Riverhead (ch 190916-20)

Here flagged drivers get points. But why points for Dooley (out) and Reiss (withdrawn) in class E race? There must be a mistake.

Oct 9 1909 Philadelphia (ch190921)

Again - no points for flagged drivers

Round 22 and 23 are mixed I think.

Oct 24 1909 San Francisco (ch190923)

~250 mile race
Race notes:
Average speeds computed on basis of total distance of 445.26 miles;
Points allocated on basis of advertised total distance of 450 miles;
Goode disqualified for carrying fuel away from pits.

The race was 250 miler. So the winner should've get 500 points. Harms gives him 600. But for 450 mile race there should be either 800 or 1000 (I don't think 900 points for 450 miles existed in 1920-1929 system).
Ohh, I found it: those 3 notes are from Aug 9 1913 San Francisco race (ch191311). I think they shouldn't have arrive here. And Frank Goode didn't took part in this race.
So: why Harms gives Fleming 600 not 500 points and again: why nothing for flagged Bonney?

Oct 30 1909 Long Island (Vanderbilt Cup) (ch190922)

It seems like Harms has given points for each driver that completed at least half distance of the race even if they didn't finish

Nov 6 1909 LA-Phoenix (ch190924)

If I believe rumbledrome.com, the distance was 800 miles. So I think there were no more than 1000 points available for one race.
This wasn't a cirquit race. How did Harms (or AAA Contest Board) decide that Joe Nikrent and not Louis Nikrent is the winner and gets all points? The same for other 3 finishers.

Of course, Phil Harms has seen a lot more documental evidence about early AAA races and championships. But these are the indeterminations that cause a lot of questions: how? why so and no otherwise?
:confused:

Now my main conclusion about the indeterminations. AAA points were awarded counting only the race results as the promoter of the race describes them in protocols. If the promoter accounts only lead lap finishes as finished races then only lead lap finishers get ponts. If there is enough to make a half distance to be classified by the promoter, even crashed drivers get AAA points. I don't see any other explanation.

Thank you very much if somebody read :stoned:

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#2 Don Capps

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 14:57

Originally posted by Agnis
Hello! I'm a newcomer to this forum.
I like racing and if I like something I want to know everything possible about the thing. Now I'm interested in AAA National championships. There is no other place on the web to get the stats as Phil's great work on motorsport.com, is there?
But there are a lot of gaps. Maybe we can discuss and fill the gaps in this forum, if somebody is interested?


First of all, welcome to TNF. Second, Phil Harms is easily The Man when it comes to AAA statistics. He has dedicated years upon years to collecting AAA, USAC, CART, and IRL statistics. Few have such a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips.

Let's start with 1909 National championship.


Small problem as there was not a 1909 National Championship. This was created as a notional exercise using results from the the newly created "National Championship Trail" which was created by the AAA and its new Contest Board for the manufacturers beginning with the 1909 season.

Here is something from a series I did on the AAA:

1909 was an important year in the racing history of the AAA. In late 1908, the AAA was approached by a group of automobile manufacturers to develop a better mechanism to police racing. Although the manufacturers had an organization in place, its abilities and impartiality was sorely tested by the end of 1908. After a series of discussions, there was the establishment of the Manufacturers Contest Association with the AAA creating the Contest Board to sanction and regulate American racing. The AAA established what was to be called "The National Championship Trail," with the small issue of there not being a championship at stake conveniently being overlooked in the short term. The Championship Trail was basically the events which the AAA's new Contest Board sanctioned as, well, "Championship" events.


Personally, I simply ignore all the points and "champions" from 1909 until 1915 and then from 1917 until 1919 and concentrate on the results. Others may disagree, but this is another of those Common Knowledge versus Historical Truth situations that seem to plague motorsports on various points.

As I know, the AAA Contest Board in 1926 revised the results and named Bert Dingley the champion using the points system from 1920-1929. In ~1950 Russ Catlin listed the 1902-1908 champs and changed 1909 champ to George Robertson. In most of the web resources (I haven't got another ones): motorsport.com, rumbledrome etc. 1909 champ is Robertson. Whatr really did Russ change? The points system? The races counting for championship? I bet for the latter. So wich were the races counting for championship that made Dingley the winner?


Actually, issues of the Contest Board's Official Bulletin from October 1927 and November 1928 lists "championship winners" only back to 1911. In February 1929, the Official Bulletin lists "champions" from 1909. This issue has been discussed elsewhere on TNF at some length. As usual, opinions vary, with many stating that if the AAA and everyone has accepted these as "champions," so be it. In many USAC publications, the list of champions goes back to 1902.

Also, the points system applied retroactively was the system used for the 1916 championship -- the first official AAA National Championship, not a later version from the 1920's.

Now another problems related to race results in motorsport.com. I'm really not competent about the cars that the drivers drove in each race, but I want to know how the point system worked and why sometimes flagged (or even retired) drivers got points and sometimes they didn't. Why sometimes drivers that were classified in both of concurrently running races got points for positions in both races, why sometimes only the highest possible points from that event

Jun 12 1909 Portland (ch190901, ch190902)

1)It seems like both races run concurrently as Dingley's time is the same. How could he be classified in both :) but anyway - why others in <$1600 are not listed in both events?
2)I would better like to list <$3000 race Round 1 and <$1600 race round two becouse Charlie Arnold finished the 3 laps sooner as Howard Covey but it isn't so important
3)Why only each winner got points and no points for Dingley and Christopherson who also finished the race?

Jun 12 1909 Portland (ch190903)

1)What means: Car name: Studebaker; Chassis&Engine: Buick. As so as CN: White; C&E: Pope-Hartford.
2)Why are only those 3 drivers who finished all 7 laps awarded with points? In some other races flagged drivers got points too.

Jun 18-19 1909 Crown Point (ch190904, ch190915)

Again: why no points for flagged drivers?

The Portland race was run with several classes competing concurrently and the resulting confusion when you try to apply points to races in which there were never any points appropriated.

Jul 5 1909 Denver (ch190906)

Something completely not understandable. There must be a mistake.
The question is: did Martin Fletcher and E. Noyes got points considering they were flagged? I think Joe Matson and Morris Martin didn't.
Did relief drivers got points in those backwards reviewed races? For most of them, especially Indy 500 there are no info wich laps were completed by the starter and wich by relief. That makes the point sharing impossible. But what if the laps are known? As I understand points were given only for starters.

Jul 10 1909 Santa Monica (ch190907, ch190908)

Again: flagged drivers

Aug 19-21 1909 Indianapolis (ch190909, ch190910, ch 190911)

Here flagged drivers and even some DNFers (who completed almoust full distance) are awarded with points. Again a problem: Bruce Keene completes 80 laps, crashes but gets points. Bert Miller and Charles Merz complete as much laps as Barney Oldfield annd Tobin DeHymel but get nothing.

Sep 8 1909 Lowell (ch190912-15)

1) 3 races run concurrently. I would list those with lesser distance sooner rounds instead of what Harms did.
2)Again problems with points. In 300 mile race top 10 is awarded with points. In 451-600cu in race 7 drivers finish in the lead lap but only 5 first times are known. Why no points for those two with no time but lead lap and why no points for flagged?

Sep 29 1909 Riverhead (ch 190916-20)

Here flagged drivers get points. But why points for Dooley (out) and Reiss (withdrawn) in class E race? There must be a mistake.

Oct 9 1909 Philadelphia (ch190921)

Again - no points for flagged drivers

Round 22 and 23 are mixed I think.

Oct 24 1909 San Francisco (ch190923)

~250 mile race
Race notes:
Average speeds computed on basis of total distance of 445.26 miles;
Points allocated on basis of advertised total distance of 450 miles;
Goode disqualified for carrying fuel away from pits.

The race was 250 miler. So the winner should've get 500 points. Harms gives him 600. But for 450 mile race there should be either 800 or 1000 (I don't think 900 points for 450 miles existed in 1920-1929 system).
Ohh, I found it: those 3 notes are from Aug 9 1913 San Francisco race (ch191311). I think they shouldn't have arrive here. And Frank Goode didn't took part in this race.
So: why Harms gives Fleming 600 not 500 points and again: why nothing for flagged Bonney?

Oct 30 1909 Long Island (Vanderbilt Cup) (ch190922)

It seems like Harms has given points for each driver that completed at least half distance of the race even if they didn't finish

Nov 6 1909 LA-Phoenix (ch190924)

If I believe rumbledrome.com, the distance was 800 miles. So I think there were no more than 1000 points available for one race.
This wasn't a cirquit race. How did Harms (or AAA Contest Board) decide that Joe Nikrent and not Louis Nikrent is the winner and gets all points? The same for other 3 finishers.

Of course, Phil Harms has seen a lot more documental evidence about early AAA races and championships. But these are the indeterminations that cause a lot of questions: how? why so and no otherwise?
:confused:

Now my main conclusion about the indeterminations. AAA points were awarded counting only the race results as the promoter of the race describes them in protocols. If the promoter accounts only lead lap finishes as finished races then only lead lap finishers get ponts. If there is enough to make a half distance to be classified by the promoter, even crashed drivers get AAA points. I don't see any other explanation.

Much of this material was originally derived from the articles that Russ Catlin prepared for Speed Age, the 1909 season being covered in the December 1954 issue. This is where many of the issues you point out are also present.

Thank you very much if somebody read :stoned: [/B]


I think that you will find this will build real character if you let it.

#3 Agnis

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 16:03

Personally, I simply ignore all the points and "champions" from 1909 until 1915 and then from 1917 until 1919 and concentrate on the results. Others may disagree, but this is another of those Common Knowledge versus Historical Truth situations that seem to plague motorsports on various points.



I'm the one who disagrees ;)

OK, there were no points given right after the race and there was no championship at that time. But somebody rewised the races and awarded the points un late 20ies and Catlin did it in 1950. I don't really care if these drivers can be legally counted as champions near Resta and >1921 winners. I only wan't to know what really they did with the results, how they did award the points to see how these official or unofficial - no matter - championship tables should exactly look.

Actually, issues of the Contest Board's Official Bulletin from October 1927 and November 1928 lists "championship winners" only back to 1911. In February 1929, the Official Bulletin lists "champions" from 1909. This issue has been discussed elsewhere on TNF at some length. As usual, opinions vary, with many stating that if the AAA and everyone has accepted these as "champions," so be it. In many USAC publications, the list of champions goes back to 1902.


Maybe you can tell me who started it? It would be easyer to find.

Also, the points system applied retroactively was the system used for the 1916 championship -- the first official AAA National Championship, not a later version from the 1920's.


And this is something completely new for me. Mr. Harms uses the 1920-29 system in his tables. I always believed that it's because the points were awarded in late 20ies, when this system was in effect for current races.

No I know - this was a mistake to start with 1909. If I want to understand what is what, I should investigate deeper how the point system worked and championship run till late 20ies and then I will perhaps understand what really happened.

Much of this material was originally derived from the articles that Russ Catlin prepared for Speed Age, the 1909 season being covered in the December 1954 issue. This is where many of the issues you point out are also present.

Never read that. I live in Latvia - quite small country in Europe. I don't think anybody other cares about such things here.

As I know, Phil Harms is a TNF member too. Let's hope he will have something to say about it all. What suprised me the most was Teddy Tetzlaff as 1912 winner. all other resources say it's Ralph DePalma.

I think that you will find this will build real character if you let it.


Don't know. I'm young. That's only my hobby. My occupation isn't related with any kind of history. There happened thousands of thausands of races since in whole world since 19th century. I understand that I will newer know about all of them. :cry:

#4 Allen Brown

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 16:10

Originally posted by Agnis
I understand that I will never know about all of them. :cry:

But half the fun is seeing how close you can get.

Allen

PS Welcome - this thread will be fun!

#5 Don Capps

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 18:33

Here are a few other places where similar items have been discussed:

http://forums.atlasf...&threadid=36936

http://forums.atlasf...&threadid=39493

Agnis,

One reason that I may seem a bit less than enthusiastic over this is that after spending considerable time and effort to cast legitimate doubt -- or at least some degree of raised eyebrows -- over these retroactive "AAA National Championships," it is a bit disappointing to get another lesson in how Myth is apparently more powerful than mere fact once again.

The decision to award medals for the first time to the AAA National Driving Champion at the conclusion of the 1925 season, as well as to the drivers finishing second and third in the championship, seems to be the catalyst for all this revisionism. I have photocopies of what are labeled on the sheets depicted as "Means & Haresnapes Worksheet" clearly showing the computations that result in the awarding of the 1920 championship to Tommy Milton -- if there are nine events on the National Championship Trail.

In addition, the file copy of the Official Bulleting for 17 October 1927 -- for which I also a photcopy, there are corrections: "1920" and "Tommy Milton" are scratched out of the "1920-1921" dates which would have made Tommy Milton a double champion and the notation "Gaston Chevrolet" noted next to this correction.

I also have a photocopy of the 8 February 1929 Official Bulletin which contains the following: "We have just completed at headquarters a study of the racing recors of each champion driver for the year in which he achieved the championship." This lists a "A.A.A. Champion" for each year from 1909 -- Bert Dingley -- to 1928, with Gaston Chevrolet listed as the 1920 champion.

Now, let me introduce this note from the 30 April 1916 Official Bulletin: "Following the announcement that the Contest Board would officially designate the champion car and driver this year...."; along with this from the 15 April 1916 issue of Motor West, "The American Automobile Association, it was also announced, has definitely decided to inaugurate, with the holding of the Metropolitan Cup race, its proposed plan to keep an official record of points scored by all drivers. This is not only destined to stimulate interest throughout the country in motor racing, but is calculated to establish it as a permanent sport."


Here is something to bear in mind:

"so few races of importance were scheduled for (1919) that the American Automobile Association did not, as has been the custom recently, select a champion for the season. Motor Age for several years before the Three-A took the championship award in hand, was accustomed to name a year's champion and this year, in view of the A.A.A. to take such action, again abrogates to itself that privilege." -- Lambert G. Sullivan, Motor Age, 25 December 1919, Vol. XXXVI, No. 26, pp. 7 - 13.

The Motor Age Champion for 1919? Eddie Hearne (8,960 points) with Roscoe Searles (7,288) second and Howard Wilcox (6,200) third.

Having said all this, it is a genuine pleasure to have another hardy soul enter the fray with the AAA series.

#6 Phil Harms

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 14:22

Agnis:

You've made my day. It is one thing to find my name in a thread of TNF but to find it in the title!
Does that put me in a class that few achieve, such as Doug Nye and others?

Don Capps has detailed the early day AAA situation in greater detail than I could ever do, so I'll leave it at that since he expressed my position so well.

At one time I considered redoing all of the early points, using a consistent formula of allocating points since I was aware of the discrepancies you detailed in your original post. I ended up using, for the most part, the points Russ Catlin assigned in his Speed Age series. The main reason was that I really wasn't that interested in point totals per se. I was more interested in the overall results --- drivers, cars they drove, laps completed, elapsed times and reason for elimination.

I corresponded with Russ Catlin several times concerning his rationale in assigning points and I finally decided that his were close enough and if I were to put on my revisionist cap I would, likewise, be subject to the accusation of creating history. To me, the points just weren't that important. Others disagree. As we all agree, the AAA didn't get into the points game until 1916. But in that year they made a big thing of it. Before the Santa Monica races local newspapers ran articles details point standings, points needed to clinch the championship and such. Dario Resta didn't want to run the final AAA race at Ascot; fortunately he didn't have to. Maybe because he felt his Peugeot would be ill-suited for the quasi-dirt surface of Ascot.

Before 1916 Motor Age had an end-of-season feature in which they named the Road Racing Champion. This didn't have points but rather a listing of driver performance in major races.

What makes it so difficult in analyzing the eraly years is that the AAA/Catlin wasn't even consistent in how they awarded points. In some cases points were given to all that were running at the finish, sometime not. Grand Prize races were not included since they were sanctioned by the ACA. Sometimes drivers got double points for driving in concurrent races. And the rationale in deciding, retroactively, which races were to be considered champ races defies any reason. Really, including Portland and Denver in 1909 doesn't make much sense. As for 1902-1909 --- forget it. Doesn't mean a thing. There were many significant races during these early years but for the life of me I can't see how Eddie Bald or Harry Harkness could be any kind of champion. And even by 1920, it didn't get any better. Tommy Milton wrote Russ Catlin that at different times the AAA gave him medals for both 1st and 2nd.

I enjoy researching when there is informatiion to be uncovered and I appreciate your queries since they indicate an interest such as my own. Just don't put too much emphasis on how I assigned points, since there isn't anything original. You can find essentially the same in Catlin's Speed Age series.

#7 Agnis

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 19:27

Agnis:

You've made my day. It is one thing to find my name in a thread of TNF but to find it in the title!


Oh, I went red in the face :blush: :p

Many thanks to Don too for the explanations and links.

I’ve come to another random conclusion.
If there was no championship ponts given actually in 1909-15 and 1917-18 then you can find out the retrospective championship without awarding with points any single driver that took part in any race.
As for example. If you want to know who won 2002 F1 qualification championship (no such official championship too), you can make a quick look on the results and you already understand which drivers would be the contenders for that title. Of course you can ignore that Nick Heidfeld was 5th in Austria, Eddie Irvine 5th in Italy. You see that there is no way they can be the champions or even top 6 contenders. If you want to know who was the qulifying champ, you see that M. Schumacher and Montoya had the most poles and there is no way others can be threat for that title whatewer the point system looked. If you want to know how the top 6 should look, you see that only 6 drivers regulary started from top 6 grid positions and you don’t care about others like Trulli, Button, Heidfeld, Irvine etc.
And I don’t think AAA Contest Board in late 20ies and Russ Catlin later did a close research how exactly all the championship standings shuld’ve been looking. They took care only about the most points or top3-5, top 10 is my highest rate. And this could be too a reason why those drivers who were flagged in they’r only race they took part are not awarded with points. There’s no point to do it because they are not threat for the overall top position.
And if my conclusion is right then the point system they used is not so important too. Both 1916 and 1920-29 systems are quite similar: the point total were dependent of race distance and points given for each position were twice less (n/2 + 5; 10 or 20 depending of distance) than those for position above so there should been no change in top 3 for what I tip my scale because top 3 drivers were awarded in 20ies.
But it’s only another random conclusion from my head, again with no evidence.

P. S. Sorry for my English, it’s not my mother’s languange.

#8 Don Capps

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 20:58

Agnis,

Your English is quite good, much better than my Latvian, by the way.

Somewhere I have something stating that the 1916 points system was used for the pre-1916 events and the 1920 system for the 1917 to 1919 events. However, as you have mentioned that is basically irrelevant.

Your ideas about creating "championships" is about right.

The "pseudo-National Championships" were created from an interest that many have had at times in our lives -- how would these guys stack up if there were a championship? Your example of a "Qualifying Championhsip" being an excellent example. The information was available and first Arthur Means and Val Haresnape and then Russ Catlin simply saw what they could find by applying a points scheme to the results. No untoward or base intent, basically just curiosity.

However, for many and various reasons, what were intended to be "what if's" got turned into "official" championships. As much as Phil and I have rolled our eyes, once something gets into print and gets "approved" by the powers-that-be, it becomes Official -- whether it is the reality or not. Sadly, as deserving as many of the "National Champions" might be, the recognition is strictly unofficial.

What is a good bit of fallout from this sort of an interest is that you -- and others -- may get interested in the racing of this period and sort around and find nuggets were never saw or find things in places we never looked. This period is endless fascinating and my interest got revived pretty in the fashion that you are going through -- the more I looked the more questions I had and then I simply find the overall period fascinating.

#9 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 19:21

Posted Image

This is from page 122 of the 1 January 1909 (Vol VIII, No. 7) issue of 'Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal" which was published in Philadelphia.

#10 USA Diligence

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 18:25

In case anyone is wondering, the Phil Harms photo archive and paper archives now reside at The Henry Ford Museum in the Benson Ford Research Library

Regards,

Chad

#11 Michael Ferner

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 19:12

Good to know that! Thanks, Mr. Diligence (or is it Mr. USA?)

Jun 12 1909 Portland (ch190901, ch190902)

1)It seems like both races run concurrently as Dingley's time is the same. How could he be classified in both :) but anyway - why others in <$1600 are not listed in both events?

The two heat races were not run concurrently, and Dingley's time for the first heat was actually 50'05" - he drove a 30hp Chalmers in that race, and a 40hp Chalmers in the second heat and main event.

2)I would better like to list <$3000 race Round 1 and <$1600 race round two becouse Charlie Arnold finished the 3 laps sooner as Howard Covey but it isn't so important

The heat for the cars costing under $1,600 was run off before the heat for the cars costing under $3,000.

Jun 12 1909 Portland (ch190903)

1)What means: Car name: Studebaker; Chassis&Engine: Buick. As so as CN: White; C&E: Pope-Hartford.

I can't speak for Phil, but the reports I've seen have the car assignments mixed up all over the place - perhaps Phil did what I do sometimes, i.e. noting all different info I can find in the hope of finding conclusive evidence later on. Apparently, he never found this evidence in his (much too short) lifetime.

Nov 6 1909 LA-Phoenix (ch190924)

If I believe rumbledrome.com, the distance was 800 miles. So I think there were no more than 1000 points available for one race.
This wasn't a cirquit race. How did Harms (or AAA Contest Board) decide that Joe Nikrent and not Louis Nikrent is the winner and gets all points? The same for other 3 finishers.

The distance of the LA to Phoenix run was 480 miles in 1909 (in different years, they sometimes used different routes). Joe Nikrent was the assigned driver for the winning car, and his brother Louis mechanician. It's possible Louis relieved his brother from driving duties for some time, but it'll be difficult to find evidence. The same goes for the other contestants.

Now my main conclusion about the indeterminations. AAA points were awarded counting only the race results as the promoter of the race describes them in protocols. If the promoter accounts only lead lap finishes as finished races then only lead lap finishers get ponts. If there is enough to make a half distance to be classified by the promoter, even crashed drivers get AAA points. I don't see any other explanation.

Apart from the fruitless discussion about how points were assigned, it's important to note that retired cars weren't classified as finishers in those days, nor were cars that didn't complete the full distance and were flagged off course. Changes in this particular field were not universal, and some race organisers did classify flagged cars in the teens and twenties, and some not. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway started to list all competing drivers, i.e. finishers, flagged and retired cars, in 1929. Other race organisers in the US followed suit after WW2.


Edited by Michael Ferner, 19 January 2011 - 19:17.


#12 ensign14

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 19:29

In case anyone is wondering, the Phil Harms photo archive and paper archives now reside at The Henry Ford Museum in the Benson Ford Research Library

Regards,

Chad

That's actually a huge relief. I still browse the database on motorsport.com for sheer pleasure, luxuriating in the unknown, the forgotten, the obscure, yet all of whom put their lives on the line at some point before the baying masses, and was worried it would all go AWOL. I was half-tempted to spend a week downloading all the PDF boxscores...


#13 john glenn printz

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 14:59

ALERT: It would appear that that "Motorsport.com" has deleted all of Phil Harms' Championship/Indy car racing data from their internet data base. This, if true, is a very sad business. Perhaps some other agency would take it over if "Motorsport,cam" no longer wishes to make it available to the general public and/or preserve it.

Sincerely, J.G. Printz

#14 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 15:14

Panic not! They've just moved it. It looks like they've archived the old site: it's now at http://old.motorsport.com/stats/

#15 Darren Galpin

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 15:15

ALERT: It would appear that that "Motorsport.com" has deleted all of Phil Harms' Championship/Indy car racing data from their internet data base. This, if true, is a very sad business. Perhaps some other agency would take it over if "Motorsport,cam" no longer wishes to make it available to the general public and/or preserve it.

Sincerely, J.G. Printz


They are still there if you select the "old version" of the site from the front page rather than going via the whizzy graphics new one which is awful and takes too long to load.....

#16 john glenn printz

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 12:26

To Darren Galpin and Vitesse 2;

Much thanks. I was worried about Phil Harm's legacy and work disappearing! Although Harms' data is not 100% accurate it is and remains a major and very convenient source of statistical data.

Yesterday afternoon I got word that NATIONAL SPEED SPORT NEWS (NSSN) is kaput. That is not good news.

NSSN started out orginally as a racing supplement to the BERGEN HERALD and became a separate publication in 1933. Coverage of the non-Indianapolis AAA Championship contests from 1933 to 1948 is scanty. The old issues of the NSSN is a contemporary source for these but the NSSN writeups on them are generally very disappointing, but sometimes of use.

Edited by john glenn printz, 24 March 2011 - 20:21.


#17 FLB

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 15:11

Panic not! They've just moved it. It looks like they've archived the old site: it's now at http://old.motorsport.com/stats/

It's gone this morning. The link you posted just goes to the main page :(

#18 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 15:31

It's gone this morning. The link you posted just goes to the main page :(

Weird! It was working last week.

However, I originally found the archived site by pressing that gold "old style" button top right, which now leads to a page in the news section. Hacked? Or just f*cked?

I'd post a question on their forum, but it's just about dead!

In the mean time: http://homepage.lanc...dy-500/indy.htm :)

#19 heidegger75

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 20:53

As of right now, it's still available at http://stratos.motorsport.com/stats.

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#20 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 21:13

As of right now, it's still available at http://stratos.motorsport.com/stats.

Thanks! Looks like I was right when I suggested it was f*cked! Presumably somebody's associated the wrong link with that button, as the address for the old site seems to have changed from old.motorsport.com to stratos.motorsport.com :confused:

#21 heidegger75

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 14:50

The database is once again missing, at least in part, sorry to say.

I'd like to point out some discrepancies in the results of the Lowell Trophy Race of September 8. According to the widely accepted results, the finish was as follows:

1 12 George Robertson Simplex 30 5:52:01.4
2 6 Al Poole Isotta 30 6:13:37.2
3 7 Edward Parker Fiat 30 6:22:21.6
4 4 Bob Burman Buick 30 6:25:44.0
5 20 Charles Basle Renault 30 6:36:47.4
6 11 Ralph DePalma Fiat 30 Finished
7 5 Harry Grant Alco 30 Finished
8 10 Fred Shaw Knox 27 Flagged
9 18 Harry Cobe Lozier 25 Flagged
10 2 Robert Drach American 25 Flagged
11 14 Joe Downey Knox 25 Flagged
12 1 Lewis Strang Buick 24 Flagged
13 3 Hughie Hughes Allen-Kingston 23 Wrecked
14 16 Herbert Lytle Apperson 10 Broken camshaft
15 15 Fred Shaw Stoddard-Dayton 10 Damaged axle
16 17 Louis Chevrolet Buick 3 Broken frame
17 8 Fred Belcher Knox 0 Out

The source in the Phil Harms data was from the December 1954 issue of Speed Age.

I found a report of the race in the Google News archive which includes a lap-by-lap timing chart for all drivers.

link to September 7, 1909 Boston Evening Transcript

According to the chart, the results of the race should be as follows:

1 12 George Robertson Simplex 30 5:52:01.4
2 6 Al Poole Isotta 30 6:13:37.2
3 7 Edward Parker Fiat 30 6:22:21.6
4 4 Bob Burman Buick 30 6:25:44.0
5 20 Charles Basle Renault 30 6:36:47.4
6 11 Ralph DePalma Fiat 29 Out
7 10 Fred Shaw Knox 28 Flagged
8 5 Harry Grant Alco 27 Out
9 14 Joe Downey Knox 27 Flagged
10 18 Harry Cobe Lozier 27 Flagged
11 2 Robert Drach American 26 Flagged
12 3 Hughie Hughes Allen-Kingston 17 Wrecked
13 1 Lewis Strang Buick 13 Out
14 16 Herbert Lytle Apperson 10 Broken camshaft
15 15 B. W. Shaw Stoddard-Dayton 10 Damaged axle
16 8 Fred Belcher Knox 6 Out
17 17 Louis Chevrolet Buick 3 Broken frame

A timing chart in the September 7 edition of the paper confirms the results of the other three Lowell races as reported, with the exception that in the Merrimack Valley Trophy race, Joseph Grinnon retired after completing 3 laps, rather than the usually attributed one lap.

#22 supermod47

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 01:51

Is Phil Harms' database available anywhere in the world now?

later,

Bob Mays



#23 tsrwright

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 01:01

Quasi dirt surface at Ascot (Phil) ... Pse could someone explain the quasi bit?

#24 supermod47

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 01:37

I believe this referred to the practice of "oiling" dirt tracks, a common thing in the 1930s.  Used motor oil was poured on the track, cutting down on the dust.  After several coats of oil the track surface became very hard, almost asphalt-like.  This was especially effective on the high banked tracks, which were difficult to water.  Many public highways of this period were nothing more than oiled-dirt as well.  Once the EPA was born, that was the end of that.

later,

Bob Mays



#25 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 16:20

For more on the track surface at Ascot Park, see also this thread:

http://forums.autosp...s-angeles-1916/

#26 Michael Ferner

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:38

Is Phil Harms' database available anywhere in the world now?

later,

Bob Mays

 

The original Harms PDF files do no longer appear to be online, but there are several copy sites around. Try this, for example: http://www.champcarstats.com/Year.htm