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Pre-WWII Racing Topics:  National, Indianapolis Motor Speedway


The New York Times
December 18, 1909

Aiken and Kincaid Lower Old Marks at One Mile in 450 to 600 Displacement Class.


Cold Weather Stops First Day's Racing on Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

INDIANAOLIS, Ind., Dec. 17.—Racing against a freezing wind, Johnny Aitken in a National to-day broke all world's records for distances of from one to twenty miles at the Indianapolis motor speedway.  So severe was the cold that lubricating oil on some of the racing machines froze and finally forced the contestants to quit the races against time.  It is probable that no attempt will be made to run the scheduled events on tomorrow's programme because of the cold weather.

Aitken's dash was in the twenty-mile time event.  He covered the twenty miles in 16:18:04.  Aitken's time for five miles was 4:06:56.  He went ten miles in 8:12:10, and fifteen miles in 12:17:01.

Walter Christie with his "freak" racer and Louis Strang with a 200-horse power Fiat were unable to lower records because of the low temperature.  Christie, however, ran a quarter mile in 0:08.78, thereby setting a new American record for the distance.  This was at the rate of 103 miles an hour.

Strang established a new record for the Indianapolis motor speedway by driving one mile in 0:40.61.  The previous record for the speedway was 0:43.6, established by Barney Oldfield last August.

Strang declares he can lower his mile record of 0:37.71 made at Atlanta on the newly paved Indianapolis course, and he may attempt to do so to-morrow.

Gov. Thomas R. Marshal presided at the ceremonies incident to the rededication of the speedway, laying a gold-plated brick to complete the track pavement.

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