When world-famous race drivers like Barney Oldfield
and Eddie Rickenbacker tried to win the Elgin National Road Races in the early 1900s, they put their lives on the line going as fast as 110 mph in front of a crowd of 75,000 to 100,000 people to win fame, money and a silver trophy.
AC's sales manager put faster truck gears in a couple of Model U tractors with rubber tires and took them to most of the state fairs around the country where Barney Oldfield
, Ab Jenkins and other famous race car drivers of the day raced the tractors around the tracks.
The opening chapters narrate the racing and promoting antics of James Gordon Bennett, Willie Vanderbilt, and Barney Oldfield
while later chapters describe the technical advances achieved in cars produced by Mercer, Stutz, Mason, Dusenberg, and Peugot.
The roster of past winners at America's Legendary Oval is a veritable "who's-who" of racing history, including names like Barney Oldfield
, Rex Mays, Parnelli Jones, A.J.
Anthony, racing legends such as Barney Oldfield
, and car designers and builders such as Harley Earl and Harry A.
, a racecar driver, achieved publicity when he was ticketed for speeding in 1933 while driving an Allis Chalmers Model U tractor through an Indiana town.
In 1911 Barney Oldfield
, at the time one of the nation's most famous race car drivers, argued that cars were plenty fast enough and that further development for speed was unnecessary.
Professional racing arrived in 1912 when the famous Barney Oldfield
brought his automobile circus to Calgary and Edmonton.
In the fall of 1910 the king of American speed, automobile racer Barney Oldfield
, raced boxing's heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson in a automobile race at New York's Sheapshead Bay Track.