Post by Jim Smith – Historian for Race Review Online
This year is not the first year that the Speedway has heldmotor racing in August. The original Brickyard 400 took place on August 6, 1994. The first motorized racing took place 111 years ago on August 14, 1909. It was the first motorcycle racing to take place at the Speedway.
The racing was scheduled to be a two day affair on Friday August 13 and Saturday August 14, 1909. It rained on Friday and was rescheduled for Saturday the 14th and Monday the 16th since racing was not allowed on Sunday.
The crushed stone surface was really not ready for racing and the Saturday race was plagued with accidents and someinjuries to the riders. The size of the track allowed the riders to reach speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour and the motorcycles were not suited for racing on the loose gravel surface.
When then champion motorcycle racer, Jake DeRosier, was seriously injured in a match race the other riders refused to continue racing and Monday’s schedule was called off.
The racing surface continued to plague all future racing at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway until it was finally paved with bricks.