INDEPENDENCE DAY

July 4, 1921

West Side Racetrack

Two Blocks North of Douglas Street between Glenn Street and Vine Street at 1800 West Third Street in Wichita, Kansas

 

 

 

 

Wichita Eagle

Sunday, July 3, 1921 – Page 11:

 

Essex Speedster in Races Here

Merle Warren in His Special Model Essex

which will be used to beat speed records at the West Side racetrack in the auto races which will be staged Monday afternoon, July Fourth.  Merle Warren of Newton, Kansas will drive the racer.  There will be seven events run off for prizes aggregating $1,000.  Among the drivers who will be here for the events are Merle Warren, Johnny Lee5, Billie Hedrick, Love Smith6, Harold Peterson8, Johnny Mais1, Mick Skaer2, and Walter W. Leathers.

 

 

Wichita Eagle

Tuesday, July 5, 1921 – Page 6:

 

Johnny Lee and Merle Warren Divide Most of Money in Local Events

Stock Model Best Race           

 

            As an auto speedway, the West Side track proved a failure Monday.  The half-mile track with its short straight-aways still shorter turns and poor condition of surface, entirely eliminated speed.  The races, or rather exhibitions, were tame as a result.

            Nine entries failed to show up cutting the field to five racing models of which one, the Harroun entry, crashed through the fence in the third event and was forced to withdraw.  The competition in four of the events rested exclusively with the Essex and Dodge entries.  The Mercer provided a poor third and the Studebaker withdrawing through engine trouble and lack of speed in its two tests, the fifth and sixth.

            The first event, an exhibition race between Marmon and Pierce Arrow models, was the nearest to a real race of the entire card.  Chain Robison3, at the wheel of the Marmon, gained the advantage over the speedier Pierce-Arrow driven by Martin, by his handling at the turns.  The race was nip and tuck to the last turn, the Marmon winning by half a car length.

            Twice, the fans were brought to their feet in the third event when the Harroun driver, Harold Peterson8, crashed through the fence at the first turn, tearing out 50 feet of the rail and posts.  The car veered across the center, radiator smashed and front axle bent but driver uninjured.  Again, in the sixth lap when the Mercer crowded the Essex which was trying to pass, the fence forced the Essex to back down and take the outside.  For the moment, it appeared a wreck could not be avoided.

            Event Results:

 

List of Entries

 Car #

 

Driver

 

From

 

Automobile

  2

 
Merle Warren 7

 

Newton, Kansas

 

Essex special

  3

 
Johnny Lee 5

 

Wichita, Kansas

 

Dodge special

  4

 

Billie Hedrick

 

Wichita, Kansas

 

Mercer special

  5

 

Love Smith 6

 

Wichita, Kansas

 

Studebaker

  6

 

Jack Weaver

 

Wichita, Kansas

 

Bowman’s Squaw 4

  7

 

Harold R. Peterson 8

 

Wichita, Kansas

 

Harroun

  8

 

 

 

 

 

Haynes

  9

 

Johnnie Mais 1

 

Dodge City, Kansas

 

Dodge special

10

 

Mick Skaer 2

 

Augusta, Kansas

 

Dodge

11

 

Walter W. Leathers

 

Wichita, Kansas

 

Harroun

 

 

Exhibition – Stock Models – 6 laps

 

Driver

 

Automobile

 

Time

1

Chain Robison 3

 

Marmon

 

3:00

2

_____ Martin

 

Pierce-Arrow

 

3:01

 

Bowmans Squaw

Al White collection

 

 

Exhibition – 6 laps

Jack Weaver drove the Bowmans Squaw 4 but engine trouble slowed the run.  

 

 

 

Time Trials – Best of 2 laps

 

Driver

 

Automobile

 

Time

 

Purse

1

Johnny Lee 5

 

Dodge

 

30.0

 

$50

2

James I. “Toots” Higgins 9

 

Essex

 

30.5

 

 

3

Harold R. Peterson 8

 

Harroun

 

38.5

 

 

4

Billie Hedrick

 

Mercer

 

39.0

 

 

 

 

 Open Heat – 10 laps

 

Driver

 

Automobile

 

Time

 

Purse

1

____  Martin

 

Essex

 

6:12

 

$100

2

Johnny Lee 5

 

Dodge

 

6:14

 

50

3

Billie Hedrick

 

Mercer

 

6:40

 

30

4

Harold R. Peterson 8

 

Harroun

 

Wreck

 

 

 

 

Open Heat – 10 laps

 

Driver

 

Automobile

 

Time

 

Purse

1

Johnny Lee 5

 

Dodge

 

6:13

 

$100

2

James I. “Toots” Higgins 9

 

Essex

 

6:22

 

50

3

Billie Hedrick

 

Mercer

 

 

 

30

 

 

Open Heat – 10 laps

 

Driver

 

Automobile

 

Time

 

Purse

1

Merle Warren 7

 

Essex

 

6:10

 

$100

2

Johnny Lee 5

 

Dodge

 

6:16

 

50

3

Billie Hedrick

 

Mercer

 

 

 

30

4

Love Smith 6

 

Studebaker

 

DNF

 

 

 

 

Special Open Heat – 10 laps

 

Driver

 

Automobile

 

Time

 

Purse

1

Merle Warren 7

 

Essex

 

6:07

 

$100

2

Johnny Lee 5

 

Dodge

 

6:18

 

50

3

Love Smith 6

 

Studebaker

 

DNF

 

 

 

 

                  Stock Models – 4 laps

 

Driver

 

Automobile

 

Time

 

Purse

1

Chain Robison 3

 

Marmon

 

2:47

 

$100

2

Mick Skaer 2

 

Marmon

 

2:49

 

 

3

____  Watkins

 

Winton

 

2:56

 

 

 

            Even from the promoter’s standpoint, the races were far from a success.  Nearly as many spectators scaled the fences as came through the gate.  It was estimated by the promoters that little more than $1,500 was taken in.  Winners received a total of $800 in the six paying events.

 

http://winfield.50megs.com/Skear_hd.jpg

Mick Skaer

Gary Agard collection

1 John Anton Mais (1888-1961) raced in the 1915 Indianapolis 500 automobile race.

 

2 Moyle Spencer “Mick” Skaer  (1904-1976) was residing in Augusta, Kansas at the time of this race.  He later moved to Pittsburg, Kansas.

 

3 William Chain Robison (1899-1974) later moved to Watertown, Massachusetts.

 

4 Bowmans Squaw was owned by Wichita Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealer Hart H. “Hal” Bowmam (1893-1972) and was powered by an Indian motorcycle engine.  Bowman later moved to Dallas, Texas where he took a position with the Dallas Aviation School.

 

5 Johnny Lee was from Wichita, Kansas.

 

6 Andrew Love Smith (1886-1949) is buried in the Girard Cemetery at Girard, Kansas.

 

7Merle Warren (1890-1948) is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery at Newton, Kansas.

 

8 Harold Reynolds Peterson (1894-1945) is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Wichita, Kansas.

 

9 James Irving “Toots” Higgins (1895-1947) is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Newton, Kansas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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