Izod IndyCar Series 2013 Historical Record Book - Speedreaders.info

Izod IndyCar Series 2013 Historical Record Book

by Tim Sullivan

[A word of caution: this time the gloves come off! One edition after the other has grave mistakes—so we will cite chapter and verse to underscore just how severe they are.]

Once again, with the publication of the Izod IndyCar Series Historical Record Book we come face to face with a sport that continues—not to mince words—to screw up its past. As with the two previous efforts, this year’s edition manages to continue to hopelessly mangle aspects of the sport’s past, its history. It is becoming all too evident—to paraphrase what was once remarked regarding generals and war—that the history of what is now known as “North American Indy car racing” is too important to be left in the hands of the IndyCar organization.

As in the previous editions, the problems begin on page six with the listing of the “All-Time Indy Car Champions 1909–2012.” Here is the listing for the national champions of the American Automobile Association (A.A.A.) to 1955, as listed in this edition:

1909            George Robertson (AAA)*                        1931            Louis Schneider (AAA)

1910            Ray Harroun (AAA)*                                 1932            Bob Carey (AAA)

1911            Ralph Mulford (AAA)*                               1933            Louis Meyer (AAA)

1912            Ralph DePalma (AAA)*                            1934            Bill Cummings (AAA)

1913            Earl Cooper (AAA)*                                   1935            Kelly Petillo (AAA)

1914            Ralph DePalma (AAA)*                            1936            Mauri Rose (AAA)

1915            Earl Cooper (AAA)*                                   1937            Wilbur Shaw (AAA)

1916            Dario Resta (AAA)                                    1938            Floyd Roberts (AAA)

1917            Earl Cooper (AAA)*                                   1939            Wilbur Shaw (AAA)

1918            Ralph Mulford (AAA)*                              1940            Rex Mays (AAA)

1919            Howard Wilcox (AAA)*                            1941            Rex Mays (AAA)

1920            Gaston Chevrolet (AAA)**                       1942–45    No Racing: World War II

1921            Tommy Milton (AAA)                                1946            Ted Horn (AAA)***

1922            Jimmy Murphy (AAA)                               1947            Ted Horn (AAA)

1923            Eddie Hearne (AAA)                                 1948            Ted Horn (AAA)

1924            Jimmy Murphy (AAA)                                1949            Johnnie Parsons (AAA)

1925            Peter DePaolo (AAA)                                1950            Henry Banks (AAA)

1926            Harry Hartz (AAA)                                      1951            Tony Bettenhausen (AAA)

1927            Peter DePaolo (AAA)                                 1952            Chuck Stevenson (AAA)

1928            Louis Meyer (AAA)                                     1953            Sam Hanks (AAA)

1929            Louis Meyer (AAA)                                     1954            Jimmy Bryan (AAA)

1930            Billy Arnold (AAA)                                      1955            Bob Sweikert (AAA)

 

Note that several years have asterisks (*) next to them. In the first two editions of the Izod IndyCar Series Historical Record Book the explanation for the years with a single asterisk (*) was written this way:

American Automobile Association (AAA) first created a National Track Championship in 1905. It was a series of races from 5 to 10 miles in length with points going to the first three finishing places. Barney Oldfield won most of the races and is considered the champion. However it is believed this championship may have been abandoned as AAA did not recognize it in subsequent years.

 Prior to 1916, Motor Age, the leading American automobile journal, selected their pick for the best driver of the year from 1909–and 1919. The following is a list of the Motor Age picks:

 1909 – Bert Dingley

1910 – Ralph Mulford

1911 – Harvey Herrick

1912 – Ralph DePalma

1913 – Earl Cooper

1914 – Ralph DePalma

1915 – Earl Cooper

1919 – Eddie Hearne

At the urging of Motor Age, AAA established an official points championship in 1916. The championship was discontinued during war years and not revived again until 1920. Sometime around 1926 or 1927, Val Haresnape, at the time the secretary of the AAA Contest Board, used existing AAA records to reconstruct a championship for the years of 1909 to 1915 and from 1917 to 1920. Unfortunately, records from those early years were sketchy and any points applied by Haresnape had no validity from the original time period. For example, it was a common practice for AAA to penalize drivers with a loss of points as well as money for rules violations. Also, there is disagreement as to which races could legitimately be considered official and therefore count toward the championship. AAA accepted Haresnape’s computations as official from 1927–28 and 1952–55. In 1951, racing historian Russ Catlin convinced AAA to change the 1909 champion from Bert Dingley to George Robertson and the 1920 champion from Gaston Chevrolet to Tommy Milton.

This note was, by and large, mostly twaddle, especially the claim that Motor Age urged the Contest Board to establish a national championship. Likewise, it was Arthur Means, not Val Haresnape, who created, during his tenure as secretary and then assistant secretary—working for Haresnape in the latter capacity—to the Contest Board, the retroactive national championships. Given that there were no points with which to penalize drivers, it was, therefore, scarcely a “common practice” to do so.

The note for those seasons designated with the single asterisk (*) in the 2013 edition of the book has been changed to the following:

The American Automobile Association (AAA) first created a National Motor Car Championship in 1905, points being awarded to the first three finishers in a series of short events generally ranging from five to 10 miles in length. Although Barney Oldfield won most of the races and was declared the champion, AAA evidently discontinued the procedure inasmuch as neither the 1905 season, or Oldfield’s title were referenced in subsequent years.

Several publications during the years prior to AAA establishing an official points championship in 1916 did make efforts to determine a driver of the year/champion. Some even developed their own points systems for that determination. The AAA championship was discontinued after 1916 during the war years and not revived until 1920. Sometime in 1926 or 1927, Arthur Means and Val Haresnape, at the time secretary of the AAA Contest Board, used existing AAA records to reconstruct a championship for the years of 1909 to 1915 and 1917 to 1919. Unfortunately, records from those early years were sketchy and any points applied by Means and Haresnape had no validity from the original time period. AAA accepted these computations as official from 1927–1928 and 1952–1955. In 1951, racing historian Russ Catlin convinced AAA to change the 1909 champion from Bert Dingley to George Robertson.

One should—and must—give credit where credit is due and the revised note for the 1909–1915 and 1917–1919 seasons does a much better job of explaining the situation that resulted in the rather confusing problem of the retroactive A.A.A. national championships. The author of the Izod IndyCar Series Historical Record Book, Tim Sullivan, the statistician of the IndyCar organization, does appear to have paid at least some attention to the feedback provided from the earlier editions. It should be duly noted that the information concerning the 1905 season finally gets the name of the championship contested that year correct.

In the previous editions, here is the note accompanying the second asterisk (**) referring to the 1920 season:

AAA had two different listings for the 1920 season. At the start of the year, 11 races were listed as counting toward the championship, but at the end of the season, AAA determined the championship to be based on the results of five races giving Gaston Chevrolet the championship. These results were considered official by AAA from 1920–26 and 1929–51. The 11-race championship was first recognized in 1926 with Tommy Milton as champion and was considered official for 1927 and from 1952 to 1955, the final year that AAA sanctioned auto racing.

This was, of course, utter twaddle too and simply echoed—regurgitated might be more accurate—the complete nonsense concocted by the supposed “racing historian” Russ Catlin (and reiterated by his apologist Bob Russo) based on a complete misunderstanding of the worksheet prepared by Arthur Means for the 1920 season. There is simply nothing from contemporary sources to support the Catlin conspiracy theory. That it was repeated in the previous editions of the Izod IndyCar Series Historical Record Book reflected the poor research conducted by the authors—Steve Shunck being listed as the co-author with Sullivan for the previous editions.

Here is what the 2013 edition says about the 1920 season:

The 1920 championship was for five races and won by Gaston Chevrolet. These results were considered official by the AAA from 1920–1926 and 1929–1951. An 11-race championship was first recognized in 1926 with Tommy Milton as champion and was considered official for 1927 and from 1952 to 1955, the final year that AAA sanctioned auto racing.

Needless to say, this is much better than the nonsense that was in the previous editions.

 

The note for the third asterisk (***) regarding the 1946 seasons in the previous editions remains unchanged for the 2013 edition:

AAA in 1946 had an original schedule which included not only the six traditional championship races as listed by recent historians but numerous other sprint car races on tracks of short length (less than 1 mile) and duration (mostly 15–20 laps). Ted Horn won the championship based not only on the six races that have been traditionally listed but also the one with all of the races. In annual meetings in December, 1946, AAA abandoned the counting of the sprint car races in the championship for 1947. The following is the 1946 top-ten in points as listed in an AAA bulletin as of December 31, 1946:

  •  1. Ted Horn – 2,448
  • 2. George Robson – 1,544
  • 3. Emil Andres – 1,348
  • 4. Bill Holland – 1,280.6
  • 5. Tommy Hinnershitz – 896.8
  • 6. Walt Ader – 850
  • 7. Jimmy Jackson – 800
  • 8. Joie Chitwood – 693
  • 9. Rex Mays – 613
  • 10. Duke Dismore – 454

As far as it goes, this note accurately reflects the situation regarding the 1946 national championship season. The problem is this, however:

This book is the official publication for North American Indy car racing statistics dating to 1946, and includes records compiled by the following the sanctioning bodies: American Automobile Association (AAA), United States Auto Club (USAC), Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), Indy Racing League IRL), Champ Car, and INDYCAR.

If the Izod IndyCar Series Historical Record Book is the “official publication” or source—it was called the “official reference” in previous editions—for information and statistics back to the 1946 season, then where are the other events that comprised the 1946 national championship season? On page 95, only six events are listed. Therefore, this means that there are a great number of races for that season that are missing!

For those who purchase the book, here is an addendum for the 1946 national championship season, listing the all the events counting towards the championship, including the rest of the usually events omitted from what purports to be the “official” record for such statistics:

31 March / Atlanta, Lakewood Speedway, Mike Benton Sweepstakes, 20 miles.

                  Jimmie Wilburn, (Jimmie Wilburn) Morgan Offenhauser

                  * This was an invitational event and did not count towards the nat’l championship.

14 April / Mechanicsburg, Williams Grove Speedway, 15 miles

                  Walt Ader, (Ted Horn Enterprises) Schrader Offenhauser

28 April / Mechanicsburg, Williams Grove Speedway, 15 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

5 May / Trenton, New Jersey State Fairgrounds, 20 miles

                  Joie Chitwood, (Fred Peters) Peters Offenhauser

5 May / Dayton, Dayton Speedway

                  Initially postponed to 9 June due to track construction delays and then cancelled.

12 May / Winchester, Funk’s Speedway

                  Rain, not held.

19 May / Mechanicsburg, Williams Grove Speedway, 15 miles

                  Joie Chitwood, (Fred Peters) Peters Offenhauser

26 May / Reading, Reading Fairgrounds, 12.5 miles

                  Walt Ader, (Ted Horn Enterprises) Schrader Offenhauser

26 May / Winchester, Funk’s Speedway, 15 miles

                  Bus Wilbert, (Charles Engle) Engle Offenhauser

26 May / Langhorne, Babcock’s Langhorne Speedway

                  Canceled

30 May 1946/ Indianapolis Motor Speedway, International 500 Mile Sweepstakes

                  George Robson, (Thorne Engineering) Thorne Sparks

30 May / Trenton, New Jersey State Fairgrounds, 20 miles

                  Johnny Shackleford, (Ted Nyquist) Peters Offenhauser

30 May / Altamont, Tri-County Fairgrounds, 15 miles

                  Bumpy Bumpus, (Bumpy Bumpus) Bagley Hal2 June / Atlanta, Lakewood Speedway, 25 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

9 June / Mechanicsburg, Williams Grove Speedway, 15 miles

                  Joie Chitwood, (Ted Nyquist) Peters Offenhauser

9 June / Thompson, Thompson Speedway, 15 miles

                  Oscar Ridion, (Oscar Ridion)

                  * This event moved from its original 2 June date to 9 June.

16 June / Flemington, Hunterdon County Fairgrounds, 12.5 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

16 June / Indianapolis, Indiana State Fairgrounds

                  Cancelled

23 June / Greensboro, Central Carolina Fairgrounds, 12.5 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

23 June / Thompson, Thompson Speedway, 12.5 miles

                  Oscar Ridion

23 June / Dayton, Dayton Speedway, 15 miles

                  Elbert Booker, (Lawrence Jewell) Jewell Hal

29 June / Dayton, Dayton Speedway, 10 miles

                  Bus Wilbert, (Charley Engle) Engle Offenhauser

30 June / Langhorne, Babcock’s Langhorne Speedway, 100 miles

                  Rex Mays, (Bowes Racing) Bowes/Stevens Bowes/Winfield

30 June / Thompson, Thompson Speedway, 12.5 miles

                  Joe Verebley

30 June / Columbus, Powell Speedway, 7.5 miles

                  Joie Chitwood, (Ted Nyquist) Peters Offenhauser

4 July / Atlanta, Lakewood Speedway, 20 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

4 July / Allentown, Allentown Fairgrounds

                  Cancelled

7 July / Mechanicsburg, Williams Grove Speedway, 15 miles

                  Johnny Shackleford, (Ted Nyquist) Peters Offenhauser

7 July / Atlanta, Lakewood Speedway, 50 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

14 July / Reading, Reading Fairgrounds, 15 miles

                  Joie Chitwood, (Ted Nyquist) Peters Offenhauser

20 July / Selinsgrove, Selinsgrove Speedway, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

20 July / DuBois, Gateway Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

21 July / Langhorne, Babcock’s Langhorne Speedway, 20 miles

                  George Robson, (Paul Weirick) Sparks/Weirick Offenhauser

21 July / Dayton, Dayton Speedway, 10 miles

                  George Connor, (Norm Olson) Olson

22 July / Selinsgrove, Selinsgrove Speedway, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

27 July / Harrington, Kent-Sussex County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

28 July / Mechanicsburg, Williams Grove Speedway, 15 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

3 August / Washington, Washington County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

4 August / Columbus, Powell speedway, 7.5 miles

                  George Robson, (Paul Weirick) Sparks/Weirick Offenhauser

10 August / Bedford, Bedford County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

11 August / Batavia, Genesee County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

11 August / Langhorne, Babcock’s Langhorne Speedway, 20 miles

                  George Robson, (Paul Weirick) Sparks/Weirick Offenhauser

11 August / Winchester, Funk’s Speedway, 10 miles

                  Elbert Booker, (Lawrence Jewell) Jewell Hal

18 August / Mechanicsburg, Williams Grove Speedway, 15 miles

                  George Robson, (Paul Weirick) Sparks/Weirick Offenhauser

18 August / Skowhegan, Skowhegan Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

24 August / Hamburg, Erie County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

25 August / Hopwood, Uniontown Speedway, 10 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

25 August / Dayton, Powell Speedway, 10 miles

                  George Robson, (Paul Weirick) Sparks/Weirick Offenhauser

30 August / Essex Junction, Champaign Valley Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

31 August / Flemington, Hunterdon County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

31 August / Altamont, Tri-County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

31 August / Hamburg, Erie County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

1 September / Flemington, Hunterdon County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

1 September / Winchester, Funk’s Speedway, 10 miles

                  Charles van Acker

1 September / Richmond, Strawberry Hill Raceway, Atlantic Rural Expositions Grounds

                  Cancelled

2 September / Atlanta, Lakewood Speedway, 100 (97) miles

                  George Connor, (Ed Walsh) Walsh/Moore/Kurtis Offenhauser

2 September / Flemington, Hunterdon County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

2 September / Richmond, Virginia State Fairgrounds

                  Cancelled6 September / Rutland, Vermont State Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Lee Wallard, (Ted Nyquist) Peters Offenhauser

7 September / Port Royal, Juniata County Fairgrounds, 8 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

8 September / Mechanicsburg, Williams Grove Speedway, 15 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

15 September / Reading, Reading Fairgrounds, 12.5 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

15 September / Indianapolis, Indiana State Fairgrounds, 100 miles

                  Rex Mays, (Bowes Racing) Bowes/Stevens Bowes/Winfield

22 September / Milwaukee/ West Allis, Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, 100 miles

                  Rex Mays, (Bowes Racing) Bowes/Stevens Bowes/Winfield

22 September / Great Barrington, Great Barrington Horse Track, 4 miles

                  Joie Chitwood, (Ted Nyquist) Peters Offenhauser

22 September / Trenton, New Jersey State Fairgrounds

                  Cancelled

22 September / Dayton, Powell Speedway, 5 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

23 September / Allentown, Allentown Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

28 September / Bloomsburg, Columbia County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

 28 September / Shelby, Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Walt Ader, (Ted Horn Enterprises) Schrader Offenhauser

28 September / Atlanta, Lakewood Speedway, 20 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

 29 September / Trenton, New Jersey State Fairgrounds, 20 miles

                  Joie Chitwood, (Ted Nyquist) Peters Offenhauser

 4 October / Frederick, Frederick Fairgrounds

                  Cancelled

 5 October / Winston-Salem, Forsythe County Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Tommy Hinnershitz, (Ted Horn Enterprises)

 5 October / Atlanta, Lakewood Speedway, 20 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

6 October / Goshen, Good Time Track, 100 miles

                  Tony Bettenhausen, (Bill Corley) Petillo Offenhauser

 6 October / Mechanicsburg, Williams Grove Speedway, 15 miles

                  Lucky Lux

 6 October / Greensboro, Central Carolina Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

 6 October / Dayton, Powell Speedway, 25 miles

                  Hal Robson, (Paul Weirick) Sparks/Weirick Offenhauser

 12 October / Richmond, Strawberry Hill Rcwy, Atlantic Rural Expositions Grounds, 10 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

 12 October / Charlotte, Southern State Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

 12 October / Spartanburg, Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds

                  Cancelled

 13 October / Greensboro, Central Carolina Fairgrounds, 7.5 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

19 October / Raleigh, North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 10 miles

                  Walt Ader, (Ted Horn Enterprises) Schrader Offenhauser

 26 October / Charlotte, Southern State Fairgrounds, 15 miles

                  Hank Rogers, (Ted Nyquist) Peters Offenhauser

 27 October / Mechanicsburg, Williams Grove Speedway, 25 miles

                  Bill Holland, (Ralph Malamud) Malamud Offenhauser

 27 October / Greensboro, Central Carolina Fairgrounds

                  Cancelled

 9 November / Shelby, Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 15 miles

                  Ted Horn, (Ted Horn Enterprises) THE Offenhauser

10 November / Richmond, Strawberry Hill Raceway, Atlantic Rural Expositions Grounds, 12.5 miles

                  Tommy Hinnershitz, (Ted Horn Enterprises) Garnett Offenhauser

Here is a listing, by driver, of the wins during the 1946 season, the main events in the case of those for Sprint Cars:

  • Ted Horn, 19
  • Bill Holland, 18
  • Joie Chitwood, 7
  • George Robson, 6
  • Walt Ader, 4
  • Rex Mays, 3
  • Bus Wilbert, 2
  • Johnny Shackleford, 2
  • Oscar Ridion, 2
  • Elbert Booker, 2
  • George Connor, 2
  • Tommy Hinnershitz, 2
  • Bumpy Bumpus, 1
  • Joe Verebley, 1
  • Charles van Acker, 1
  • Lee Wallard, 1
  • Tony Bettenhausen, 1
  • Lucky Lux, 1
  • Hal Robson, 1
  • Hank Rogers, 1

Which, of course, brings us to the major, continuing flaw in these Izod IndyCar Series Historical Record Books: despite the various disclaimers in the notes there continues to be the inclusion of the retroactive seasons into the statistics that are generated. This criticism is specifically aimed at such categories as the “official” listing of race winners and similar lists, as well as the inclusion of these seasons among those seasons with contemporary champions.

To see Ralph De Palma (another problem: it is misspelled as “DePalma”) being listed as in a tie for 16th on the list with 24 wins when that inflates his total by 20 does raise an eyebrow. That Earl Cooper is 21st on the list with 20 wins and Ralph Mulford being listed as tied for 26th with 17 wins is ludicrous given that neither ever won an event during a season which awarded a championship raises both eyebrows in what can only be deemed as nothing less than amazement.

Although these are certainly grave flaws and serious historical errors, the rest of the Izod IndyCar Series Historical Record Book does provide the only source for the championship records of the various racing organizations. This alone almost tends to mitigate the problems regarding the A.A.A. championships.

Hope springs eternal. One hopes that the next edition of the Izod IndyCar Series Historical Record Book will finally get things correct, as well as include the not so minor problem that the Contest Board found itself in when the results of the George Vanderbilt Cup were protested and there was the sticky issue as who won the 1936 championship. That the problem was the Contest Board changing the points schedule and then was not sure if the change applied to the current season, 1936, or was to become effective with the next season, 1937, might indicate that there might be excellent reasons as to why the history of the A.A.A. national championship is such a mess.

 

Copyright 2013, Don Capps (speedreaders.info).

Izod IndyCar Series 2013 Historical Record Book
by Tim Sullivan
IndyCar, 2013
No ISBN
  • Excellent recap on the gaps in the “official” record book. I’m very interested in what happened in 1936 and 1937. Those will be the next two seasons that I put under the microscope. Thank you for your continued hard work Mr. Capps.

    Comment | Eric Hall , July 16, 2013
RSS Feed - Comments

Leave a comment

(All comments are moderated: you will see it, but until it's approved no one else will.)