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When publications collide Stoddard Dayton vs Buick ?

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#1 arttidesco

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 04:29

Doing some back ground reading for my blog today I came across these two conflicting statements

1st from Wheels, Winter / Spring 1998 Journal of the National Automotive History Collection published by the Detroit Public Library

On August 19, 1909, a crowd of 15,000 persons gathered at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the inaugural weekend of racing.

The winner of the first five mile race turned out to be an automotive engineer, not a professional racing car driver.

His car was a stripped down Stoddard Dayton touring car powered by a four cylinder engine of 212 cubic inch displacement. It traveled at an average speed of 57.4 miles per hour for five miles on the macadam track.

Nice clear and succinct.

Then this from page 43 paragraph 2 September - October 2002 Vol. 66, NO. 5 edition of Antique Automobile (Official Publication of the Antique Automobile Club of America, INC.)

"The first races run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway were held August 19th, 20th and 21st 1909, some two years before the first 500. Buick entered and won two of the three events, including the first race ever held at the track."

Nothing like as clear but equally categorical.

Has anyone got any idea how this might be so or better still which is correct ?

Thanking you in anticipation of your answers.


#2 Tim Murray

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 05:40

The book Floyd Clymer's Indianapolis Race History is a compilation of contemporary newspaper and magazine reports. The report on the inaugural meeting is taken from Automobile Trade Journal, 1st September 1909. According to this report:

The feature of the opening day was the 250-mile race won by Bob Burman in a Buick.


The first event of the day was a five-mile race, in which there were five entries - two Stoddart-Daytons, driven by Wright and Schwitzer; two Buicks driven by Dewitt and Ryall, and one Velie, driven by Stickney. The time of the winner, a Stoddart-Dayton, was 5.18.4.

The third race was another five-mile race, won by a Buick. The fourth was a 10-mile handicap with 22 starters, won by Stallman's Mormon.

#3 arttidesco

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 12:02

Thanks Tim, so Stoddart-Dayton won the first race and Buick won the first feature, makes sense now thanks :up: