Independence Day

I.M.C.A. automobile races

West Side Racetrack

Wichita, Kansas - July 4, 1916

 

  

Wichita Beacon

Saturday - July 1, 1916 – Page 11:

 

 

 

 

Wichita Beacon

Wednesday - June 28, 1916 – Page 14:

 

Famous Woman Auto Racer to Drive in Wichita Races

            The only woman auto racer in the world – Miss Elfrieda Mais – will drive her $10,000 “Mais Special” in an exhibition race against time on the West Side Speedway July 4th.

Elfrieda Mais

            After dickering for a week, Tim Hurst, manager of the races, finally persuaded the woman “daredevil” to come to Wichita for the Fourth of July show.  This morning he received a telegram from her manager stating she had decided to accept the date and is preparing to come to Wichita immediately.

            Miss Mais and Mrs. Cuneo, wife of a New York banker, are the only female drivers who ever obtained licenses from the International Motor Contest Association to race.  Mrs. Cuneo quit the track a year ago following several defeats at the hands of Miss Mais, leaving the field open to her.  She now is the licensed “speed queen” of the I.M.C.A. surrounded by more than a hundred “kings”.  In the last year, she has hung up some pretty fast records that even the best of the men drivers have failed to lower.  Her races, however, are not competitive, only exhibitions being granted her by the clannish auto race association managers.

Elfrieda Mais

           Miss Mais lives in Indianapolis.  She is barely past the girlish stage, 24, and pretty.  At the age of 18, she forsook a social life to “go up in the air” in a biplane and the thrills lured here away.  She became a “bird woman”, becoming a professional several years ago and giving exhibitions all over the country.  When she quit flying for the motor car three years ago, she declared the air game was too tame for her due, it is said, to so many women flyers appearing in public.

Elfrieda Mais

          “So much competition”, she was quoted as saying, “drove me out.  Too many women drivers took away the dangers so I sent to the motor car.”           

Miss Mais will drive a machine built especially for her at a cost of $10,000 and will attempt to lower the Kansas records for various distances.  Mr. Hurst has hung up purses of $100 for each broken state record.  Besides this, he is offering $5,000 in prizes to the winners of the several different events.  With the signing last night of Juddy Kilpatrick, the smallest racing driver in the game – 110 pounds – ten of the best known American drivers had been obtained for the local races.  The entries up to date are:

“Wild Bill” Endicott - driving a “Sweeney Special”.

Louis LeCocq -French racing master, driving the Mercer with which he smashed the world’s one-hour record at Springfield on June 17, 1916.

Johnny Raimey - driving the famous Simplex Zip.

Fred Horey

George Clark

Eddie Hearne - veteran speed demon, driving Briscoe No. 8.

George Clark - Dixie champ, driving a Mercedes.

Joe Cleary - driving his big Fiat.

Fred Horey - Canadian champion, driving a Maxwell.

Johnny Mais - driving the “Mais Special” Mercer.

Juddy Kilpatrick - driving Briscoe No. 2.

Fred Woodbury - of Chicago, in the famous dirt track car, the Duesenberg.

 

 

Wichita Beacon

Friday - June 30, 1916 – Page 10:

 

Raimey Will Race in Wichita

            Johnny Raimey, veteran American speed king, will drive his famous “Simplex Zip” in at least three of the six big events to be staged on the West Side track July 4th.  After dickering with Raimey for several days, manager Tim Hurst has succeeded in getting Raimey’s consent to come here.  He wired his entry blanks, together with a $100 check which will be forfeited in case he, and “Zip,” do not take several whirls around the Wichita track on the date specified.

Johnny Raimey

            Raimey probably is one of the best known racing drivers in America today.  He began racing for a living away back in the days when the motor age first showed signs of dawning and has kept persistently and very successfully at it ever since, despite serious injuries received in many bad smashups.  The immortal Barney Oldfield, Louis Disbrow, and Early Cooper each have been defeated on several occasions by Raimey’s reckless plunging in meets of international importance.  When Disbrow married several months ago, his bride made him quit driving so he gave his big “Simplex Zip”, possibly one of the best known racing cars competing on the dirt tracks, to Raimey.  In 1913, Raimey won the Century Grind at Detroit and later that same year, lowered the world’s record in the 50-mile sweepstakes at St. Louis.  His last big win came at Jackson, MS last year when, in a sensational finish, he dashed past five leaders, putting two in the ditch and nearly turning over himself, and won the race.  Later that day, in a free for all event, he smashed the world’s two-mile circular dirt track record.  He will drive the “Simplex Zip” in the 10-mile, 15-mile, and 25-mile races here, Mr. Hurst said this morning, and he may enter in the free-for-all one-mile race on which the manager has hung an extra $100 bonus to the man lowering the present Kansas state record.

 

 

Wichita Beacon

Monday – July 3, 1916 – Page 13:

 

Racers Are Here; Everything Ready

Speed Fiends Waiting for the “Go”.

Motor Races on the New Track in West Wichita, the July Fourth Event

 

Car #

Driver

 

Car

“Wild Bill” Endicott

 

Eddie Hearne

1

“Wild Bill” Endicott

 

Sweeney Special

2

Irwin “Putty” Hoffman

 

Briscoe

4

Fred Horey

 

Fiat

5

George Clark

 

Case

8

Eddie Hearne

 

Briscoe

 

George Clark

 

Cliff Woodbury 

11

Louis LeCocq

 

Mercer

12

Joe Cleary

 

Tornado

14

Juddy Kilpatrick

 

Maxwell

16

Cliff Woodbury

 

Duesenberg

 

Louis LeCocq

 

Fred Horey 

24

Johnny Mais

 

Mais Special Mercer

 

 

Exhibition Only:

24

Miss Elfrieda Mais

 

Mais Special Mercer

 

            All is set for Wichita’s speed carnival on the West Side track tomorrow afternoon.  With the ten drivers and their cars already in the city and the advance sale of tickets breaking even the record made last year when it rained (October, 1915 races at nearby Speedway Park), the indications this morning were that Tim Hurst’s prediction might be fulfilled.  The manager has predicted a crowd of 20,000.

            “New records should be established with weather conditions favorable,” said “Wild Bill” Endicott after he had taken a whirl around the track in a test spin yesterday afternoon.  “The course is in fine shape and is banked high enough on the curves to accommodate record smashing speed.”

They Came on Saturday

            Endicott, Hearne, and Cleary arrived Saturday night.  In a special car yesterday morning, the other drivers came.  Then the unloading began.  The ten big cars were shuffled out of the car in an hour, while a big crowd looked on.  Then they were driven to uptown garages where final tuning ups were administered to the engines.  Among the cars were two famous machines.  One, the Maxwell owned by Endicott, was the car in which Barney Oldfield smashed the world’s non-stop record on the Pacific Coast last spring.  The car was driven 301 miles without a stop for oil, air, or gas, making an average speed of 86.7 m.p.h. for the distance.

            The other famous car is the Case No. 5, the machine driven by the late Bob Burman in the Vanderbilt cup race in February, 1915.  Burman, leading the race after making the fastest lap in the meet, drove into a “hole” made by other drivers and turned over.  Darlo Resta won the race after the accident.

Where Cars Are Waiting

            Endicott’s cars, the Maxwell and Sweeney Special, went to the Mid-West garage on North Topeka; Hearne’s Briscoe and Hoffman’s Briscoe went to the Briscoe Salesrooms on North Emporia; Horey’s Fiat went to the Mid-West garage; Johnny Mais’ Mais Special was taken to Swain’s garage on North Lawrence; Cleary’s Tornado went to the Jeffrey garage on North Topeka; Clark’s Case went to the Elk’s garage on North Topeka; and Louis LeCocq’s Mercer went to Swain’s garage on North Market.

            Final plans for handling the crowds were made Saturday by Mr. Hurst and the city officials.  The street car company will operate special service on the Mt. Carmel line which runs to the gates of the track.  Two squads of policemen will be on duty near the track, one on the outside to direct motorists and the other on the inside to park the cars.  A sign was placed at Glenn St. on West Douglas yesterday to direct motorists to turn two blocks north on that street to get to the track.

Tickets for the Children

            Manager Hurst this morning offered the children’s home tickets to take every child in the home to the races.

 

 

Wichita Eagle

Tuesday – July 4, 1916 – Page 7:

 

Famous Pilots Will Enter Today’s Races

Track is in Fast Condition and Drivers Predict New Dirt Speedway Records for Half-Mile Circle

            Daring the weather man to let the sun shine today, ten of America’s greatest racing drivers prepared last night to accept the banter of smashing world’s dirt track records on the West Side track this afternoon.  Yes, there was an eleventh dare.  That one came from Tim Hurst, the talkative manager of the races, who promises, if the sun shines, to accommodate 20,000 humans in a comfortably thrilling way.  As a matter of fact, the whole thing depends on Mr. S. Peterson, official forecaster of the weather, and up to a late hour last night, the indications were that the sun would bring happiness with morning.

            All of the finishing touches were administered yesterday afternoon.  The drivers tuned up their engines, and washed off the oil spattered, dust laden, stripped-for-business speed makers.  The track was given a final going over to the entire satisfaction of drivers, which, by the way, is a whole lot.  The grandstand was completed and stands in readiness to accept the thousands.  The infield and the parking surrounding the course were cleared to accommodate 2,000 motor cars with their spectators.  Tim Hurst lined up his small regiment of ticket sellers, ushers, boy scouts, policemen, and gave to them their final instructions.  They were: “Be courteous.”  The “ham and” experts and the cold pop, popcorn, peanuts, and ice cream venders lugged their wares to the big park.  And, last but not least, Tim Hurst arranged to have physicians and ambulances on the grounds to rush to the aid of anyone injured.  Gill’s ambulance will be waiting for the driver who crashes against anything but the winning wire this afternoon.

            “The ambulance,” Bill Endicott explained smiling, “is as important around a motor race as the ticket seller.”

            The advance sale of tickets has been enormous, more than 2,000 being sold during the last two days at Dockum’s and Tilford’s.  Manager Hurst said last night he would keep his downtown ticket offices open until the races begin at 3 o’clock sharp.

            Bad blood exists between several of the drivers and an old grudge may be settled this afternoon.  This feud is between George Clark, champion of Dixie, and “Wild Bill” Endicott and began several months ago when, one claims, the other “pocketed” him unfairly in a race causing defeat.  They swear to get even this afternoon and the other drivers do not relish the idea of a settlement on the same track with them.

            “I’ll run you out of gasoline and into the ditch,” Clark told Endicott heatedly last night while they were entering their numbers on the official blanks sent by the International Motor Contest Association.

            “If you do, you boob, you’ll go faster than that old boat can take you,” retorted Endicott.

            Endicott drives one of the most noted cars in the game, as does also Clark, and if they keep their word, either some records or some fences ought to be broken.  Endicott’s car, the Sweeney Special, has in it the old Maxwell engine used by Barney Oldfield in the Grand Prix at Los Angeles in 1915 when he shattered the world’s non-stop record.  Clark’s car, the famous Case No. 5, was the car in which the late Bob Burman turned over in the Vanderbilt Cup race when he was ahead of the field by five miles.  After the accident, Dario Resta won the event in his Peugeot but the performance before the accident went down as an epochal event in the racing world’s history.

            All of the drivers last night declared they believe records can be made on the track.  Miss Elfrieda Mais, the woman driver, will attempt to lower both the Kansas State and the world’s mile record for women in her specially built car.  She will drive only against time.  The car she will drive was driven by Johnny Mais in the 500-mile race at Indianapolis last year finishing “in the money.”  (Webmaster’s Note:  Actually, John A. Mais is credited with finishing in 22nd place in his only start in the Indianapolis “500”, the 1915 race which only started 24 cars and that only paid back ten places.)  Johnny Mais will drive the car in the other events this afternoon.  The crowd will be handled by a company of 50 boy scouts and a squad of 20 policemen under the personal direction of Chief Hay.  The street car company also will send me to assist in handling the people.

            70 children from the Children’s Home will be taken to the track in a special car.  They will go as the personal guests of Tim Hurst.  The manager also asked the old people at the Masonic home to attend as his guests.  A section of the grandstand will be set aside for them.

            If any records are broken this afternoon, the new ones will be hung up as official.  That much was settled yesterday morning when official sanction of the races was received by Mr. Hurst from I. S. Mahan of the International Motor Contest Association.

            Huff Dorward, of Chicago, will start the events.  The other officials are: Referee Tom DeBruier, Detroit; judge Harry Tallor, Hutchinson; scorers Oren B. Wertz, sporting editor of The Beacon; Homer Johnston, sporting editor of The Eagle; C. C. Bayless and Alex Hyde.  The timers will be J. Elmer Reese, Hal M. Black, William Wylde, Rube Arnold, P. D. Askew, C. B. Morganthauler, and Billy Shands.

            The elimination heats, the first event on the program, will be started shortly before 3 o’clock.  After that, the events will be run off in quick succession.

Order of Races

            (1)  Elimination Time Trials – To determine the six fastest cars and drivers eligible to start in the 25-mile free-for-all.  All trials to be with flying start.  In event of tie in qualifying time, it shall be decided by the toss of a coin.

            (2)  Five-Mile – Class C, Division 2, limited to cars of 450 cubic inches piston displacement.  Eligible cars for this event are:

Car #

Driver

 

Car

 

Entrant

16

Cliff Woodbury

 

Duesenberg

 

 

1

“Wild Bill” Endicott

 

Sweeney Special

 

 

24

Johnny Mais

 

Mais Special Mercer

 

John A. Mais

12

Joe Cleary

 

Tornado

 

Cliff Craft

4

Fred Horey

 

Fiat

 

 

 

            (3)  Exhibition, one mile – Miss Elfrieda Mais, the only woman auto racing driver in the world in a race to break the Kansas record.  She will drive the Mais Special, the car Johnny Mais drove in the Indianapolis 500-mile race last year (1915).  Miss Mais holds the woman’s one-mile circular dirt track record of 53 seconds.  (Webmaster’s Note: Despite appearing under the name “Miss Elfrieda Mais”, Elfrieda was the wife of driver Johnny Mais.  She was killed at Birmingham, Alabama in 1934 when a stunt crash through a burning wall, complete with dynamite, went wrong.)

            (4)  Tire and Wheel Change Novelty Race – This race was placed on the program to show fast work of drivers in all long distant contests.  Special prize of $100 to crew making fastest time in one and one-half miles, with tire and wheel change.

            (5)  Consolation, three miles – Open to cars and drivers not qualifying in the 25-mile elimination heats.

            (6)  Twenty-five mile race – Six cars qualifying in elimination heats to contest in this event.

 

 

 

Wichita Eagle

Wednesday – July 5, 1916 – Front Page:

 

7000 People Watch Clark Keep Promise

Wins Elimination Event and Two Auto Races at West Side Track

Endicott and Woodbury Are Other Winners

Time in 25-Mile Event Was 1:22 a Mile

            George Clark kept his word.  The threat that he thrust in the face of “Wild Bill” Endicott Monday night was carried out yesterday afternoon on the West Side Race Track when he literally “ran ‘em out of gasoline.”  Clark, driving his powerful Case No. 5 plowed his way through a sea of dust to victory in the 25-mile event.  Earlier in the meet, he shot the big Case over the course at a terrific speed finishing a lap – ½ mile - in 36 seconds flat, the fastest lap of the day.

            Clark’s drive was a dogged one.  He started last.  A sea of dust rose up ahead of him but he never slowed down.  Frequently, he would spurt out ahead to pass a straggler but never died he put on the brakes.  Hearne, in his Briscoe No. 8, led away from the starting line and the pace he set was terrific.  At the end of the fourteenth mile however, he developed engine trouble.  Endicott, driving Maxwell No. 14, took the lead.  Plainly, Endicott and Hearne were the favorites with the crowd.  Every time they roared past the stretch, the stands quaked with the cheers.

            At the 20th mile, Clark began gaining constantly.  Out of clouds of dust, his big red car would emerge only to pass someone.  Early in the race, he went ahead of the Briscoe No. 2 driven by Irwin Hoffman.  Then he shot past Fred Horey’s Fiat like a cannon ball on the stretch in front of the grandstand.  Not until then did the crowd appear to consider Clark in the running.  From the cheers, it was evident that the spectators never thought of but two winners – Hearne or Endicott, but when he went by Horey, they began considering the Case, and seriously too.  Clark was half a lap behind Endicott at the 21st mile and at the 22nd, Endicott began slowing up.  He waved to his mechanic for water as he flew past on the next lap and, on the next, he pulled in to cool the over heated engine.  In a second, Clark took the lead and was a half-lap to the good.  He finished that way, still driving steadily.

            The meet was full of thrills from the start.  Early in the elimination heats, the cars gouged a big hole in the west curve which hampered fast driving considerably.  Once, Miss Elfrieda Mais turned completely around when she crashed into the hole at 60 m.p.h.  For an instant, it looked as though she were going to somersault through the fence but she quickly righted the car and was away after a record she could not reach after that.  Her exhibition on the turn drew great applause from the stands.

            The curves were short but banked well enough to afford a speed of 30 - 35 m.p.h.  This the drivers made throughout the meet.  On the stretches, they averaged a speed of 65 – 70 m.p.h.  On some spurts, Clark, Endicott, and Hearne drove nearly 80.

            Bill Endicott won the five-mile raced in which were entered only the cars of 450 cubic inches piston displacement.  This race was a thriller from the start, Horey taking the lead and holding it until the fourth mile.  Then, “Wild Bill” gave an exhibition of driving.  He smashed into the curves on the next two laps, skidding far away toward the fence in great gobs of dust to the amusements of the crowd.  On the last lap, Endicott caught up with Horey and, on the stretch, they were neck-and-neck.  Now, the stands were cheering themselves hoarse.  Within 100 yards of the finish tape, Endicott’s car leaped ahead by a foot, crossing the tape that way.  It was the most sensational finish of the entire meet.

            Manager Tim Hurst said late last night that he has made no plans for the future.  He declared the race was a success, financially and otherwise, and showed plainly that Wichita is “on the racing map.”  He indicated that he may carry out plans for a big $75,000 speedway north of the city which, if built, would have a large track and put the city on the “big league” racing circuit.  Definate announcement concerning future plans will be made public in a few days, Mr. Hurst said.

Paid Admissions

6,300

Total Receipts

$5,501.50

Total Attendance

6,600

Several hundred viewed the races from housetops and boxcars on the outside of the grounds.  It was estimated that fully 500 saw from the outside.  Including the people in the speedway park and the spectators on the outside, it was estimated that the crowd numbered 7,000

 

Elimination Time Trials

1 lap of the ½-mile track:

 

Driver

 

Car #

 

Automobile

 

Time (in seconds)

1

George Clark

 

5

 

Case

 

36.0

2

Eddie Hearne

 

8

 

Briscoe

 

36.6

3

Fred Horey

 

4

 

Fiat

 

37.2

4

“Wild Bill” Endicott

 

14

 

Maxwell

 

37.2

5

Johnny Mais

 

24

 

Mais Special

 

38.0

6

Cliff Woodbury

 

16

 

Duesenberg

 

39.0

7

Irwin “Putty” Hoffman

 

2

 

Briscoe

 

39.0

8

Cliff Craft

 

12

 

Tornado

 

40.0

 

 

Five-Mile

10 laps

Limited to cars of 450 cu. in. piston displacement

 

Driver

 

Car #

 

Automobile

 

Time

  

Purse

1

“Wild Bill” Endicott

 

14

 

Maxwell

 

6:46.0

 

$1,000

2

Fred Horey

 

4

 

Fiat

 

6:46.1

 

250

3

Johnny Mais

 

24

 

Mais Special Mercer

 

 

 

100

 

 

Exhibition

1 mile (2 laps)

Driver

 

Car #

 

Automobile

 

Time

 

Existing State Record*

 Miss Elfrieda Mais

 

24

 

Mais Special Mercer

 

1:23.4

 

1:12.0

*Although the time of 1:12.0 appeared in Wichita newspapers as the Kansas State Record, a time of 1:06.8 for this distance had been set by Johnny Ramey in a Briscoe on the half-mile Kansas State Fairgrounds racetrack in Hutchinson, Kansas on September 24, 1915.

 

 

Novelty Race

1½ miles (3 laps)

Plus a pit stop to change one tire and wheel

 

Driver

 

Car #

 

Automobile

 

Time

 

1

George Clark

 

5

 

Case

 

3 laps of track

2:35.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change one tire and wheel

   22.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total time

2:57.4

 

 

Three-Mile Consolation Race

6 laps

 

Driver

 

Car #

 

Automobile

 

Time

 

Purse

1

Cliff Woodbury

 

16

 

Duesenberg

 

4:16.2

  

$500

2

Irwin “Putty” Hoffman

 

2

 

Briscoe

 

 

 

200

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100

 

 

Twenty-Five Mile Race

50 laps

 

 

Driver

 

Car #

 

Automobile

 

Time

 

Purse

1

George Clark

 

5

 

Case

 

34:06.6

 

$2,000

2

“Wild Bill” Endicott

 

14

 

Maxwell

 

34:27.6

 

500

3

Johnny Mais

 

24

 

Mais Special Mercer

 

 

 

250

4

Fred Horey

 

4

 

Fiat

 

 

 

 

5

Eddie Hearne

 

8

 

Briscoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Webmaster’s Note:  Although prominently advertised in pre-race hype, Johnny Raimey and Louis LeCocq apparently did not show up for these races at Wichita on July 4, 1916.  Instead, they raced each other in a match race at Boone, Iowa on that date.

 

 

 

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