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1929 I. M. C. A. Championship points

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#1 sramoa

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 11:32

I found some interesting information from 1929. I know many researchers have nightmares about the IMCA championship and it has been discussed several times that maybe a champion has been “designated”, but a few months ago I read on one of the forums that there was some sign that Horey was scoring that year’s championship.

Since then, I've found some interesting information to share with you:

"The International Motor Contest Association sweepstakes, a race of 5 1/2 miles to 11 laps, was won by Tony Speering. For this victory Speering receives 20 points towards the 1929 dirt track championship." (Source:Springfield Republican,Sunday, Sep 22, 1929,Springfield, MA,Page:23)

"Points toward the 1929 International Motor Contest Association will be awarded in this race...Distance to be announced, 15 pointage award on the 1929 I. M. C. A. world's dirt track championship." (Source:The Atlanta Constitution,Thursday, Oct 10, 1929,Atlanta; Georgia,Page:20)

"Sevent events are slated on this afternoon's program. The southern event will be run in three heats and the winner will be accorded 25 points in the national title awards." (Source:The Atlanta Constitution,Saturday, Oct 12, 1929,Atlanta; Georgia,Page:18)

"Arch Powell won the Southern derby and annexed 50 points toward the 1929 dirt track championship, climbing to fourth place in the national ranking behind Anderson, Haughdahl and Schneider. "(Source:The Atlanta Constitution,Sunday, Oct 13, 1929,Atlanta; Georgia,Page:20)

"The Exchage Hotel Derby is the piece de resistance of the day. It will be run in two qualifying and one final heat and will carry with the victory points on the Southern half mile championship and 25 points in the annual world's dirt track championship accounting." (Source:The Montgomery Advertiser,Thursday, Oct 24, 1929,Montgomery, Alabama,Page:13)

"Oscar Anderson , who is here as a contestant, won aleg on the trophy at the Alabama state fair races several days ago, but was disqualified because Louie Schneider world's champion of, Indianapolis, was not allowed to start. The trophy was shipped to savannah, where Sig Haugdahl won over the entire field of drivers and assured himself a position in the final race, which will be run on the Florida Beach at ormond-Daytona this winter." (Source:The Shreveport Journal,Saturday, Nov 9, 1929,Shreveport, Louisiana,Page:12)

It’s obvious to me that there was some sort of scoring system, but it’s not clear what it could have been.
-First, it seemed like they were just scoring the winners, but then where is Emory Collins? (Since he won almost most races)
-Furthermore, at first I thought it only applied to the "Southern" championship, but it was also described there that the national score was 25 and the "Southern" score was 5 points.
-Maybe I was a "major event" (Grand Eprevues) and there were more points handed out? (see Powell's 50 points)-There were events where the stars were only Russo, Calloway and Sarles ...

Although not 1929 info, but from 1928: There were 48 sanctioned events in 66 days with 54 regurarly licenced drivers....


#2 DCapps

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 14:00

No one ever said that this was easy...


You are not alone in finding these often isolated tidbits of information that MUST mean something, but the puzzle is exactly what.


That there was some form of a scoring system/schedule seems to be a given, BUT it is not -- at least on my part -- clear rather on how the points schedule may have evolved, not to mention the possibility of regional sub-championships.


Michael and perhaps Jim O'Keefe have probably done more on IMCA than others that come to mind.


I am having enough problems with the AAA material to give me migraines at times to add IMCA to my woes.


That said, I do keep an eye out for IMCA, CSRA, and do forth when sifting through resources because I find these series rather fascinating.

#3 Michael Ferner

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 15:25

Richard, as Don said, you are not alone! As to what these "tidbits" mean exactly, a few random thoughts from yours truly:




Nor is it possible to make more than an educated guess about when and where the example set by the AAA was first followed, and by whom. To be sure, the IMCA (never one to miss an opportunity for PR) almost immediately began mimicking the AAA, and over the next two decades countless "outlaw" meets were promoted with the prospect of "points counting towards the dirt track championship" going to the winning driver, and interestingly only to the winner (except for perhaps a couple of cases when second place was deemed worthy of a nibble of points). Following these announcements, one gets the impression that IMCA officials pulled these points out of thin air, for there appears to be no rhyme nor reason behind those numbers, ranging anywhere from 3 to 1,000, seemingly regardless of race distance, track length or published purse figures! Frequently, mention was also made of National (or even World) Champion dirt track drivers appearing at IMCA meets, but the names attached to these titles were often inconsistent, and sometimes even contradictory. To the very best of my knowledge, no one has ever been able to produce intermediate or final point standings of IMCA championships prior to 1937, the year in which Alex Sloan passed away - an accident? The evidence suggests not, and that those early references to IMCA point championships were nothing more than the usual "Sloan Circus" ballyhoo.




In other posts, here on this board, I have repeatedly expressed the opinion that the IMCA started awarding point championships only in 1937, and that the listings of earlier champions was somehow "faked". Well, it seems I was wrong about the earlier part of that statement (the second still holds at least partly true, as I will explain) - imagine my surprise when I found two articles in an Alabama newspaper of 1927, detailing parts of the point standings before and after the Alabama State fair meeting, last on the IMCA schedule that year! Mind you, as with everything connected to the IMCA, this info will have to be taken with a pinch of salt, and I will have to look into this more deeply soon; but for the moment here's the final IMCA standings of 1927:


1 Fred Horey 950

2 Curley Young 910

3 John de Palma 855

4 Swan Peterson 825


This contradicts the widely circulated list of earlier champions, as posted by the late David McKinney earlier in this thread, but that was no surprise to me:



David McKinney, on 06 May 2005 - 21:17, said:snapback.png

Some earlier winners:
1925 Fred Horey (first national champion)
1926 Fred Horey
1927 Sig Haugdahl
1928 Sig Haugdahl
1929 Sig Haugdahl
1930 Sig Haugdahl
1931 Sig Haugdahl
1932 Sig Haugdahl
1933 Gus Schrader
1934 Gus Schrader
1935 Gus Schrader
1936 Gus Schrader

Schrader's 1941 title was awarded posthumously



No surprise, because I knew already that Sig Haugdahl could not possibly have won the 1927 and '28 titles since he was semi-retired from 1926 to '28 inclusive, competing only in a handful of meetings each of those years. I have, however, always kept an eye open for IMCA "championship claims", and will come back later with a revised list of (possible) IMCA champions 1915 to 1936. The 1927 Alabama newspaper mentioned that this was Horey's fifth "world dirt track championship", and I figure that he won his earlier titles in 1916, '17, '23 and perhaps in '25. Louis Disbrow was, apparently, the first champion in 1915, and both Haugdahl and George Clark were mentioned as 1918 champions, then Haugdahl and Larry Stone in 1919/'20 and so on. I will prepare a more detailed analysis of the different claims later on.


On this last post, even though it's already more than six months old, I have continued researching, and am still in the process of preparing a follow-up post, with lots of quite new info.


The overriding question in all of this is, was there really a consistent (points) scoring method in any of those years before 1937 (to leave aside for the moment inconsistencies that even exist for later years)? Or was it all just made up on the go during promotional writing for specific events? The absence of any published point standings (except for the one I found in 1927) makes me still think it's the latter, rather than the former. I can vividly see Alex Sloan laughing in his grave about historians (how he would have hated that word!) in torments about things he literally made up on the fly!

#4 Jim Thurman

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 17:32

Or was it all just made up on the go during promotional writing for specific events? The absence of any published point standings (except for the one I found in 1927) makes me still think it's the latter, rather than the former. I can vividly see Alex Sloan laughing in his grave about historians (how he would have hated that word!) in torments about things he literally made up on the fly!


I don't know that Alex Sloan would've held historians in contempt, but I can envision that he would be greatly amused by it all  :D


As little as I've dabbled with IMCA, (sigh) with good reason, I concur with you on the PR aspect overriding anything, and everything, else.

Edited by Jim Thurman, 09 June 2022 - 17:37.