Newspaper Articles Pertaining to Automobile Racing at:

Arkansas City Speedway

a.k.a

West Madison Speedway

Arkansas City, KS

 

1930

 

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Saturday, May 31, 1930, Page 12:

Lay New Clay on Race Track Sunday

            Cards appealing to members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce to meet at the racetrack at 7 a. m. Sunday to help lay a new clay surface on the track have been sent out by Harry V. Howard, president of the Arkansas City Racing Association.  The track was disked and scraped under the direction of Del Lawhe, city engineer, to prepare it for the new clay surface.

          The first racing event of the season will be July 4, when a celebration also is planned by the V. F. W., the junior chamber, and the racing association.  An elaborate fireworks display is scheduled for the night of the Fourth.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Tribune
Thursday, June 19, 1930, Front Page:

A Big Fourth

       The biggest attraction scheduled for the day is the automobile races which will be conducted under the auspices of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.  Harry V. Howard is the chairman of the racing committee and he has worked tirelessly for the past few weeks getting the track into A-1 condition for the Fourth of July races.  Mr. Howard received a message from Ted Allen, secretary of the Three A, or American Auto Association, yesterday, which gives official sanction number 2365 for the July races.  A number of entries have already been made for the races including Jimmy Martin of Wichita, who will enter his 13 and X-1, and Russell Hill, Dwight Moody, Andrew “Cokey” Fuller, and Joe Hutchinson, all prominent racers of this city.  Over 15 entries are expected for the races, which will attract entrants from all of Southern Kansas and Oklahoma.  Money for the prizes, which amounts to $1,300, has already been raised and the winners are assured of their awards.  J. F. Pickens has been authorized as the A. A. A. representative at the races.

          (Webmaster’s note:  According to the A.A.A. Contest Board Sanction Book, the Arkansas City Racing Association paid the A.A.A. both a $50 sanction fee and a $25 temporary license fee on June 18, 1930.  In return, they were granted Sanction #2365 to hold an A.A.A. dirt track race at Arkansas City, KS on July 4, 1930.)

 

 

Arkansas City Tribune
Thursday, June 19, 1930, Page 11:

Enter St. Louis Races

“Cokey” Fuller Will Participate In Summer Contest There

            Andrew “Cokey” Fuller, one of the most daring racers in southern Kansas, will enter the annual summer season of auto races at St. Louis.  He left Arkansas City today by auto and will enter the first race which will be held there Sunday.  Prize money amounting to $1,500 will be given away for ten Sundays in succession during the race season.  These races form one of the biggest racing events held in the United States this year.  “Cokey” will also be one of the most popular entries in the Fourth of July races which will be held here in two weeks.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Tribune
Thursday, June 26, 1930, Front Page:

Name Race Officials

Attorney H. V. Howard Will Make Radio Address Tomorrow

          J. F. Pickens, popular automobile salesman, will direct the annual Fourth of July races to be held at the Junior Chamber of Commerce track three miles west of the city on Madison avenue.  Mr. Pickens, who has been named the official representative of the American Automobile Association, will direct all of the races.  Other officials named for the races are: starter and referee, J. F. Pickens; assistant starter, Bob Park; Chief scorer, Roy Hume; assistant scorers Ralph Burgett and John Floyd; timer, Rae Hudson; assistant timers, Ed Crane and Vern Chaplin; chief steward, J. F. Pickens; stewards Roy Hume and Harry V. Howard.

          Tomorrow noon at 12:30 o’clock, Harry V. Howard, who has been chiefly responsible for the fine work done in making this racetrack one of the finest in Kansas and Oklahoma, will address the radio audience in behalf of Fourth of July races.  Mr. Howard is an attorney and a speaker of more than ordinary ability.  Already much interest has been shown in the races which will be the feature event of Arkansas City’s greatest Fourth of July celebration.  Hundreds of visitors from all of the cities in Arkansas City’s trade territory, are expected for the races.  To date, 14 entries have been made and the race fans are assured an afternoon’s entertainment, the like of which they have never seen before.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Tribune
Thursday, June 26, 1930, Page 11

Thursday, July 3, 1930, Page 13:

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Friday, June 27, 1930, Front Page:

Everything Ready for Big Fourth of July

Junior Chamber Meets to Talk Over Plans

Continue to Seek Funds

          A final effort will be made this week to put over the drive for $2,000 funds for the program.  A report will be made Wednesday night at the regular July meeting of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.

          It was announced that daylight fireworks will be set off at the racetrack between races in the afternoon.  The races commence at 1 p.m.  The time trials will be held in the morning, commencing at 9:30 o’clock.

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Saturday, June 28, 1930, Page 12:

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Monday, June 30, 1930:

Three More Racers For Fourth of July

          Three Additional racers have entered the Fourth of July speed events today.  Harry V. Howard, president of the Arkansas City Racing Association, announced.

          Pat Cunningham, of St. Joseph, one of the most daring dirt track racers in the country, has entered and promised to ring another race driver with him.  Another spectacular race driver who has entered is Jimmy Davis, of Duncan, Oklahoma.

          The track has been well packed and the finishing touches will be put on the new surface Thursday night.  Mr. Howard asked that all Arkansas Cityans keep off the track from now until after the races to give workers a chance to smooth it off and wet it down.

          Admission prices fixed by the racing association are:  Adults, $1; children 12 to 17, 50˘; children 7 to 12, 25˘.  The admittance prices were announced when it was rumored that the price would be much higher.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Wednesday, July 2, 1930, Page 2:

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Thursday, July3, 1930, Page 8:

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Thursday, July 3, 1930, Page 14:

City’s Fourth of July Fete the Best Ever

          Although the automobile races, the feature of the day’s program, do not begin until 1 p.m., the time trials will commence at 9 o’clock in the morning.  In the time trials, the cars will spend around the half-mile oval in a race against time, each car taking the track separately and with no opposition.  The results of these time trials will determine the starting positions in the afternoon races.  It seems certain that more than a dozen dirt track drivers in the Southwest will survive these trials to race in the five feature races.

The Thrills of Racing

          Those who like thrills should get them in man-sized lots at the speedway tomorrow.  Few sports are as thrilling as dirt-track auto racing with the powerful cars roaring down the straight-aways and kicking up huge clouds of dust as some daring driver skids around a turn.  Time after time, these daredevil drivers will court disaster as they risk everything to pass another car on the curves.  Prizes totaling well over $1,000 have brought the best drivers in this part of the country to Arkansas City for the holiday races.

A Fireworks Display

          As a special feature, hundreds of dollars worth of fireworks will be discharged between the races for the crowds at the speedway.

          J. F. Pickens will be the official A. A. A. Representative, starter, and referee; Bob Parks will be assistant starter, Roy Hume will be chief scorer, Ralph Burgett and John Floyd will be assistant scorers, Roy Hume and H. V. Howard will be race stewards, Rae Hudson will be timer, and Ed Crane and Vern Chaplin will be assistant timers.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Friday, July 4, 1930, Front Page:

Time Trials This Morning

          Time Trials for the big races were to be run off this morning preparatory to the outstanding event of the day which will begin at 1 o’clock at the dirt track west of the city.  $1,300 in prizes will be awarded to the winners of the automobile races this afternoon and the event is expected to draw one of the hugest crowds ever gathered in the city.  Besides races, several hundred dollars worth of fireworks will be discharged.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Saturday, July 5, 1930, Front Page:

St. Joseph Racer Wins Big Money

Cunningham Takes Most Prizes Out of Races

Many Thrills

Fuller, Eddy Furnish Excitement; Exhibit Courage

          While plenty of pile-ups and several exhibitions of nervy and sensational driving thrilled the crowd at the fourth of July races here, the events were unmarred by serious injury or death of any of the drivers.  Several times, it seemed almost certain that some of the drivers would be injured seriously in their mad dash around the half-mile track.

          The first race started the thrills when Gilbert Eddy, of Arkansas City, driving Joe Hutchinson’s special, smashed through the outside fence on the back straightaway, ripping out several yards of the fence and piling up in the ditch.  Eddy was uninjured and the car was brought back and fixed up in time to be entered in the third event.  Except for a tire, the Hutchinson special was not seriously damaged.

Drove With Tire Gone

          R. Bray, of Hutchinson, driving a Fronty-Ford special, gave the crowd another thrill in the first event when he threw his right front tire near the end of the race, but hung doggedly into the running taking curves at neck breaking speed to win third money.

          Pat Cunningham, of St. Joseph, driving a B & B special with a supercharger, showed the field his heels in the first event, the F & T Oil Company Special Stake, and demonstrated that unless he had an accident, he would be ahead all the way.  Cunningham won $500 of the $1,235 prize money paid out.

          Andrew Fuller, of Arkansas City, in his Gallivan, challenged Cunningham’s supremacy in the first race and gave the crowd the prettiest exhibition of driving on the curves of the afternoon.  Cunningham roared into the curves and came out askew skidding and throwing dirt, but his motor was so powerful and its pickup so great that he would jump away from the field on the straight stretches.  Fuller gained consistently on the curves where he showed his mastery of his car and the art of taking curves, skidding little, and coming out of the straight under a full head of steam, but he was unable to gain on Cunningham on the stretches.

          Bray fitted another tire on his machine and walked away with the first prize of $75 in the second event.  He was far ahead of the field.

          At the start of the third event of the afternoon, it appeared that Fuller, who took Eddy’s place at the wheel of Hutchinson’s car, would win the event until the car blew a piston and was forced to slow down.  At the start, Robert Landon, in Dwight Moody’s special, took the lead with Fuller close behind.  Landon, however, pocketed Fuller on the turns and straight-aways so frequently that it appeared there would be a wreck.  Then, while Landon was devoting so much attention to keeping Fuller behind, Irwin swept into the lead and won the first prize of $50.  Landon took second money and Fuller finished third with a blown piston.

          The Kanotex and Shell Sweepstakes, main event of the afternoon, kept the crowd on its feet all the way.  At the first turn in the eight-mile race, Fuller and Davis collided and, for a second, it seemed that Landon would pile up in the mess.  Davis turned square across the track and Fuller’s machine hit Davis and sent Davis through the inside rail.

Fuller Into Fence

          That slowed Fuller down but, by a daring spectacle of driving, he set about to keep in the money.  Cunningham was ahead of the field and lapped one of the cars before he finished.  No one ever really challenged him all the way round.  Later in the race, as Fuller was trying to pull ahead, he swung into the fence and tore out a strip of railing, but pulled his car back into the track and continued, even though a two-by-four tore a big hole in his left arm.

          Cunningham won the $350 first prize easily.  Bray took second, Fuller swept into third place with a damaged car and an injured arm, and Landon came in fourth.

          In the final event, a four-mile race, the Union State Bank Special Stake, Landon took first after Jimmie Martin, of Wichita, threw a tire and lost the lead.  Martin continued his dash around the track with his right rear tire off, making a beautiful drive and finishing second.  Jimmy Davis got his car back into the race to take third money.

          The St. Joe driver set the pace in the time trials yesterday morning as well as in the money races.  He established a new track record by turning the half-mile in 30.8 seconds.

          Before the races started, Rube Perkins, Del Rio, Texas “cowhand” gave an exhibition of blind driving turning the track twice with his eyes tightly blindfolded.  Perkins made a 230 mile drive Thursday, blindfolded, advertising the races and the Fourth of July celebration.

          The Arkansas City municipal band played during the afternoon braving the sun and choking dust to fill in the delays with music, which pleased the crowd.

          A loudspeaker system, owned by Starr Wetmore and installed through the courtesy of the Ruckel-Kilburn Chevrolet Co., was used to give the time of the races and announce unusual features as well as to play phonograph records before the band arrived.

Crowd Small

          The crowd was much smaller than was expected and smaller than the events deserved to draw, race officials felt.

          Harry V. Howard, president of the Arkansas City Racing Association, said that the races cleared money, but not as much as had been hoped.  The races were among the best dirt track races ever staged in this section and were run with an impartiality that won compliments of the drivers.  The drivers all expressed complete satisfaction with their treatment.

          Officials of the races were: J. F. Perkins, Official A.A.A. representative and starter and referee; Bob Parks, assistant starter; Roy Hume, chief scorer; Ralph Burgett and John Floyd, assistant scorers; Rae Hudson, timer; Ed Crane and Vern Chaplin, assistant timers.

          Members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce worked through the afternoon selling and taking tickets and selling programs.  A corps of deputy sheriffs, under Hal Payne and Walt Gray, handled the parking in fine shape and kept the crowd well in line.

          Daylight fireworks gave the crowd a big thrill as the bombs burst high in the air, unfurling flags attached to parachutes, paper figures which floated to the ground, and other attractions.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Tribune
Thursday, July 10, 1930, Page 10:

Successful July 4th

Automobile Racing Honors Go To Out-of-Town Racer

          Those who witnessed the racing event held at the Arkansas City racetrack west of the city, the Fourth of July, will agree that they were afforded plenty of thrills.  Pat Cunningham, of St. Joseph, MO, driving a B. and B. special with a supercharger, captured the big money for the day winning $500 of the $1,235 offered.

          Andrew “Cokey” Fuller, Arkansas City’s favorite for honors, showed his unusual ability as a driver in his own Gallivan, furnished many of the thrills of the meet.  Gilbert Eddy, a local driver who drove Joe Hutchinson’s special in the event, also gave the crowd a thrill when he plowed along the outside fence on the straightaway resulting in a pileup in the ditch.  R. Bray, of Hutchinson, was another thriller when he drove a Fronty-Ford special throwing a tire but continuing the race and winning third money.

          The sweepstakes race, which was furnished by the Kanotex and Shell refineries, was the big event of the day.  This was an eight-mile trek.  Fuller and Davis collided in this event forcing Landon, who was right upon them, to do some fancy driving to keep clear of the wreck.  In the course of this race, Fuller, who was trying to pull ahead of Cunningham who was leading the field, swung into the fence tearing out a strip of railing and cutting a gash in his left arm.  However, he continued the race winning third money.

          Although the crowd which attended the races was small, it was enthusiastic, which furnished a great incentive for the racers.  Daylight fireworks shot off between the events, were also an added attraction which featured the racing events.

          All in all, the program presented in Arkansas City the Fourth of July was one of the most successful ever put on here.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Monday, July 21, 1930, Front Page:

Speedy races at the Track

Fans See Exciting Events at Speedway West of the City

          Arkansas City was the center of interest for auto racing enthusiasts of Kansas and Oklahoma yesterday as a fast field of stock car drivers pitted skill and speed on the Arkansas City Racing Association’s dirt track west of the city on Madison Avenue.

          The Speedy Ford roadster owned by Matt Ward, of Duncan, Oklahoma, showed its heals to the field in the three events in which it was entered, once with Ward behind the wheel and twice with Andrew “Cokey” Fuller, Arkansas City Speed king, at the controls.

          Fuller was not entered in the races and came to the track in the role of spectator and he relieved Ward, who was handicapped by an infected hand, and piloted his machine to victory in two of the most important events on the program, the 12˝ mile sweepstakes and the match race between the Ford and Chevrolet.

Wins by Shade

          His duel with L. B. Ward in the match race was the closest event on the program.  Fuller edged out his rival by one-fifth of a second, the two cars crossing the finish line almost neck-and-neck.

          In the sweepstakes, Fuller got away to a lead on the start and held his advantage throughout the race.  L. O. Hughes, driving a Chrysler “75”, pressed him close for the first few laps but the Arkansas City ace gradually drew ahead and finished almost a quarter of a lap ahead.  Hughes came in second with Joe Muhlher taking third money in his Chevrolet.  Jack Shore, of Oklahoma City, suffered the only mishap of the program in the first race, a five-mile event for the seven speediest cars in the time trials, when he crashed into the fence on the east straightway early in the race.  Both car and driver escaped injury.

Ward Wins Opener

          Matt Ward piloted his Ford into an early advantage in the opener and held his lead throughout.  A thrilling finish topped off the race with Hughes pressing his Chevrolet close behind the flying Ford.  Hughes caught up with his rival at the start of the final turn into the home stretch but Ward held the inside track and outmaneuvered his opponent to win.  Hughes finished second and Muhlher third.

          Louis Irwin, of Arkansas City, fought hard for second place in the early part of the race but was forced out in the latter part when his car became overheated.  Irwin won the final event on the program, a consolation race for non-money winners.  The race was a All-Arkansas City affair.  Gilbert Eddie finished close behind Irwin for second place with his Ford roadster and Jimmy Snyder, driving a Pontiac, was third.

          After a sensational start, the match race between Fuller and L. B. Ward was called back after the first four laps when the judges ruled that the hood of Ward’s car had been unfastened at the start of the race.  Ward got away to a lead of almost a quarter of a lap when Fuller had trouble shifting gears on the start, but “Cokey” staged a tremendous spurt to almost catch up with Ward at the end of the first lap.  He passed the Chevrolet in the third lap.  Ward’s hood began flapping and he stopped to fasten it.  Fuller waited for him but Ward stopped at the stand and the race was run over.

          Jack Shore, of Oklahoma City, won the second event, a five-mile race for non-winners in the opener and the remainder of the field, leading the eight-car field to the finish line.  H. F. Williams, a one-armed driver of Wichita Falls, TX, was second and L. B. Ward was third.

          Because his rainbow-colored Ford touring was easily the best performing “junk” entry in the race, Max Richards, of Arkansas City, won the five-mile race for cars valued at less than $50, by almost a full lap over his nearest opponent.  Richard’s machine was the only entry in the race which maintained a smooth running engine through the five-mile race.  Carl Schroeder, of Arkansas City, was second and Ira Patten, of Ottawa, (Kansas) third.

          Louis Irwin tied with Matt Ward for time trial honors but lost the position to the Duncan driver in the coin toss.  L. O. Hughes and Doc Newman tied for third.

          The races drew a fair-sized audience to the track.  Members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce assisted in handling the traffic.  The race was worked by the same officials as were used in the Fourth of July program.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Wednesday, August 27, 1930:

Labor Day Will Be Quietly Observed

          Labor Day will probably be a quiet day in Arkansas as no celebration, or demonstration has been scheduled here.  The racetrack has not been leased for any races this year.  It is probable that many will observe the holiday much the same as Sunday by either staying at home, or enjoying motor rides or picnics.

 

 

To see newspaper articles about the speedway’s beginnings and races run before 1930.

 

To see results of races at Arkansas City Speedway a.k.a. West Madison Speedway on July 4, 1930.

 

To go to the Arkansas City Speedway a.k.a. West Madison Speedway home page.

 

To go to the History of Auto Racing at the Cowley County Fairgrounds, Winfield, KS home page.

 

To go to the History of Motorcycle Racing at the Cowley County Fairgrounds, Winfield home page.

 

For Links to other interesting websites.

 

To contact Bob Lawrence.