Wichita Beacon

Friday, October 14, 1915 – Front Page:

 

Human Wall Around Race Course At Speedway Park At Its Opening Yesterday

DeLloyd Thompson entertained the large crowd with daring aerobatics

 

Fourteen Thousand Saw Speedway Park Opening

Greatest Crowd in the History of Wichita

Flier Was A Wonder

Undertakers Drop Most Thrilling Affair

He Flew Upside Down

Races Were Fast on the Unfinished Track

Acres of Motor Cars and Walls of Persons About Speed Course Attested The Interest

            “Well, you’ll have to give it to Tom Hurst.  He sure did his best,” is what thousands of persons somewhat disappointed by the brevity of the races at Speedway Par k, said yesterday.  All realized that no man with brains enough to run a car would risk his life by running a car fast on such a track.  They realized also that Hurst has been handicapped by bad weather in the building of the speedway.  They enjoyed the wonderful work of DeLloyd Thompson and watched the races on the rough track and went away well satisfied.

At It Day and Night

            Although Mr. Hurst had a gang of men working on the track day and night, it was so soft after Tuesday’s rain that there was not a spot on it that was fast.  In places, it was so rough that the racers were compelled to slow down to ordinary road speed.  Barney Oldfield was on hand as advertised, but no one, after taking a look at the track, expected him to even attempt to break any records.  He did not disappoint them in this particular but made a few laps in one of his cars, much to their satisfaction.

            [Webmaster’s note:  At their November, 1915 meeting in New York City, the A.A.A. competition board fine Barney Oldfield $250 for driving an exhibition on an unlicensed racetrack on October 14, 1915 at Wichita, Kansas.]

 

 

K.O.M. CLASSIC

8 entrants but only 5 actually started - Advertised Total Purse: $500

Scheduled distance of 50 miles cut to 7 laps (10½ miles) due to rough racetrack

Driver

From

Automobile

Completed

Time

Average Speed

1

William “Candy” Cunningham

Fredonia, KS

Yellow Kid Ford

7 laps (10½ miles)

13:00

53 m.p.h.

2

Herbert LeRoy "Roy" Gillett

Fredonia, KS

Wampus Cat Ford

7 laps (10½ miles)

13:23

47 m.p.h.

3

William Ernest “Ernie” Crum

Wichita, KS

Buick

7 laps (10½ miles)

13:29

47 m.p.h.

4

Max Wilson

Wichita, KS

Wilson Special

7 laps (10½ miles)

14:35

43 m.p.h.

5

L. O. Gribble

Marion, KS

National

6 laps (9 miles)

DNF

DNF

 

Glenn M. Breed

Chanute, KS

Buick

DNS

 

 

 

Lee D. Hester

Iola, KS

Ford Bug

DNS

 

 

 

Charles E. Shaffstall

Coffeyville, KS

Studebaker

DNS

 

 

William “Candy” Cunningham in the “Yellow Kid” Ford

 Winner of the K.O.M. Classic

Herbert LeRoy "Roy" Gillett in the “Wampus Cat” Ford

2nd Place in the K.O.M. Classic

 

Webmaster’s note:  K. O. M. appears to have been an acronym for “Kansas – Oklahoma – Missouri”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        

 

SUNFLOWER DERBY

Advertised Total Purse: $5,000

Scheduled distance of 67 laps (100½ miles)

Distance cut to 10 laps (15 miles) due to a rough racetrack and persistent light rain

   Driver

Automobile

Car #

Completed

Time

Average Speed

1

Lee Gunning

Stutz “Scat”

7

10 laps (15 miles)

24:35

46 m.p.h.

2

Eddie Hearne

Case

5

10 laps (15 miles)

25:26

35 m.p.h.

3

Bill Endicott

Case “Comet”

9

10 laps (15 miles)

25.26.5

35 m.p.h.

4

Johnny Raimey

Briscoe

2

10 laps (15 miles)

25:50.5

35 m.p.h.

5

Louis Disbrow

Briscoe

8

10 laps (15 miles)

-

Running at finish

6

Hugh Judson “Juddy” Kilpatrick

Briscoe

22

10 laps (15 miles)

-

Running at finish

7

“Germany” Kiser

Duesenberg Tornado

4

10 laps (15 miles)

-

Running at finish

8

Albert “Dutch” Striegel

Stafford Special

10

10 laps (15 miles)

-

Running at finish

9

Tommy Milton

Mercer

11

10 laps (15 miles)

-

Running at finish

10

Irwin “Putty” Hoffman

Maxwell Bullet

6

10 laps (15 miles)

-

Running at finish

11

Louis LeCocq

Simplex Zip 

1

4 laps (6 miles) – DNF

 

Stripped gears

12

George Clark

 Maxwell Zip

17

3 laps (4½ miles) – DNF

 

Cracked crankcase

13

Fred Horey

Fiat Tornado

14

0 laps – DNS

 

Withdrew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     The following drivers and cars were pre-entered in this race but were not mentioned on race day:

 

Sig Haugdahl

Mercer

18

 

 

 

 

Johnny Mais

Mais Special

15

 

 

 

 

    One source also lists Billie Roedell as a competitor in these races but nothing more is known about him.

Eddie Hearne

Bill Endicott

Tommy Milton

Louis LeCocq

 

 

Everybody Vindicated

DeLloyd Thompson was vindicated.  So was diminutive Johnny Black who has been here more than a month telling the people every day that Thompson is the greatest airman in the would.  Persons who saw this magnificent master of the air in his demonstration yesterday said it was far and away better than anything they had ever seen, or even dreamed of.  Many of these persons saw Smith and other birdmen on the Pacific coast this summer too.  Thompson did more than he advertised to do.  The things that had been advertised as foolhardy and death defying were, in fact, so admirably and skillfully executed that they seemed simple.  After making one flight in which he treated the great crowd by showing them all the thrills apparently known to man or bird, Thompson made a second flight into the clouds during a hard shower of rain where he was almost out of sight at times.  After reaching a height of 3,500 feet, he looped the loop many times on his descent to earth, greatly to the gratification of spectators.  This second flight was not on the program, which shows that DeLloyd Thompson is a gentleman as well as an aviator and wants to give the public its money’s worth.

Best Track, His Hope

            No one could have been as sorely disappointed by the tameness of the racing as was Tim Hurst.  When the races were over, he announced that he expects to make this the best track in the United States and the next time he invites the public to the races, they will see something well worthwhile, baring bad weather, for which he disclaims any responsibility.

            “I have come to Wichita to live,” said he.  “Everything I have and more is in this venture and it has got to go.  We have the making of a mighty fast track here and Wichita is going to be placed on the racing map within the next year in a way to make it famous.”

Speedway Receipts

Total Attendance

 

Tickets

Cars

Seats

Total Receipts

14,125

 

$6,700

1,900

1,250

$9,850

 

 

Click you mouse on this photo to learn more about the entrants in the Sunflower Derby.

 

Webmaster’s Note:  The starting field for the Sunflower Derby was a stellar one with six of the competitors making a total of 26 starts, including two victories, in the Indianapolis “500”.  A seventh driver, Hugh Judson “Juddy” Kilpatrick drove in relief for Louis Disbrow in the 1913 Indianapolis “500”.

Lee D. Hester’s car was owned by B. T. Barber of Iola, Kansas and L. O. Gribble’s National was owned by William Hughes of Marion, Kansas.

If you know anything more about either William “Candy” Cunningham or Herbert LeRoy "Roy" Gillett, please contact Bob Lawrence.