Newspaper Articles Pertaining to Automobile Racing at:

Arkansas City Speedway

a.k.a

West Madison Speedway

Arkansas City, Kansas

 

August – September, 1929

 

 

 

 

 

Arkansas City Tribune
Thursday, August 1, 1929, Page 8:

Has Quit Racing

Takes All “Mack” McAnally’s Time

          Mack McAnally, automobile race promoter but, until recently, race driver, has announced that he has quit race driving.  From now on, he will give his time to race promoting.  Monday, Mack left for a business trip to Cushing (Oklahoma), Tulsa, Ardmore (Oklahoma), Dallas, Ft. Worth, Wichita Falls, Frederick ( Oklahoma), and Hobart (Oklahoma).  He expects to make the round trip to these towns during the week, arriving here Saturday night.  He has races scheduled at some of the above towns.  At others, he intends to try and make arrangements to hold meets at them.  Mack is a fast driver.  When on the road, he averages 45 m.p.h.  No matter what kind of roads he is traveling, he keeps going 45 m.p.h.  When he comes to corners, it is the same story.  Around them he hoes 45 m.p.h.  About the only thing that makes Mack stop is a load of hay.  Mack claims his car scares at a load of hay and he slows down until he comes to a wide place in the road and then goes around and swings into his 45 m.p.h. gait again.  While his car scares at a load of hay, it won’t jump over.  If it would, over he would go.

            (Webmaster’s Note:  Marvin Wesley “Mack” McAnally (1902-1989) moved to Texas where he operated a garage.  He did promote at least two auto races under the name “McAnally Auto Races.”  They were on September 12, 1929 and September 14, 1929 at the Collingsworth County Fairgrounds at Wellington, Texas.  At the time, he claimed to be one of the world’s largest auto racing booking agents – a statement that was far from the truth.  He passed away at Aurora, Colorado and is buried in the Ft. Logan National Cemetery at Denver, Colorado.)

 

 

Arkansas City Tribune
Thursday, August 22, 1929, Page 8:

Race Track in A A A Class

Some Facts Showing What This Means to Arkansas City

          Arkansas City’s automobile racetrack is in the “A.A.A.” class which means that it is a licensed track coming under the rules and regulations of the contest board of the American Automobile Association.  In view of this fact, it might be of interest to the Arkansas City public to know something about the significance of the entry of the Arkansas City Automobile Association into the national association.

            “That contest board is the mouthpiece, the collective, the congress of American racing and it is a thing of power because it represents every faction from driver to public and, because harmonizes and coordinates every interest, crystallizing the whole into a force driving in concert and union upon one goal – the regulation and control of organized automobile racing throughout America.”  So states a recognized authority.

          It rules over the six great speedways in the nation and innumerable lesser tracks.  Its members represent the track owners, the drivers, the technical press, the automobile industry’s engineering brains, and the public.

          The chairman is Capt. E. V. “Eddie” Rickenbacker, who was idolized as a great racer before the world war and who was the nation’s hero as a great ace of the skies during the war.  Now, he is a manufacturer of aircraft engines and all the energy he once put into actual driving goes into the betterment of racing.  The contest board is made up of men whose experience, temperaments, and vocations make them envoys extraordinary of every interest identified with racing.

          It has taken a quarter of a century to evolve the board.  The first automobile races were extemporaneous affairs and amateurish.  Then the automobile club appeared and these organizations promoted racing meets for which each club created its own rules.  Inter-club races were next and standard rules were in demand.  In 1902, the Automobile Association promoted a set of rules and the contest board was created.

          Then, the automobile manufactures began to enter cars in races paying the drivers.  The day of the professional had dawned.  Barney Oldfield, one of the first professionals, and his contemporaries, soon became famous in the road races of his day.  It was but a step from that to the modern speedway.

          Through the contest board, automobile racing in this country has been brought to a high standard.  Competent authority states of the contest board: “When these men rule, there is the guarantee of the best that automobile racing has produced.  Where this board controls, there is the pledge of honesty and fair dealing of the maximum of safety, of the surety of obligations fulfilled.  And, in these guarantees lies the strength and power behind this great sport.”

          The Arkansas City racetrack promoters and local racers are especially rejoicing upon the high status of the local organization with its licensed track giving it every advantage offered by its connection with the American Automobile Association.  That the public will also rejoice when it comes to a knowledge of the full meaning, significance, and scope of the national organization, is a foregone conclusion.  A very successful future is predicted for the Arkansas City track.

 

 

Arkansas City Tribune
Thursday, August 22, 1929, Page 8:

 Webmaster’s note:  The photo on the left side of this ad is of car #26 driven by John Boling of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The other two pictures are of different Fords, both of which were being driven by Andrew “Cokey” Fuller of Arkansas City.

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Thursday, August 22, 1929, Page 16:

Berg and Hume Named To Head Race Committee

Matt Berg and Roy Hume, representing the American Automobile Association, will be in charge of the Labor Day races here, it was decided yesterday at the meeting of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.  Tom Pringle and L. J. Richardson will assist Galen Dunn in charge of finances, Art Hill will head the guard, and Ernest Snodgrass will have charge of the concessions.

          Mack McAnally, in charge of publicity and preliminary arrangements, reported 12 entry blanks received, all representing first class A.A.A. drivers.  A substantial increase in prizes to be offered Labor Day was decided upon.  Oil for the track is being furnished by the Kanotex refinery and is being put on today.

           (Webmaster’s note:  According to A.A.A. Contest Board Sanction Records, Mack McAnally paid a $50 sanction fee and was granted sanction #2227 to hold an A.A.A. dirt track race at Arkansas City, Kansas on September 2, 1929.)

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Thursday, August 29, 1929, Page 11:

Track in Fine Condition Now

Expect 15 Auto Racers Here for Labor Day Events

The new Arkansas City half-mile automobile speedway will be the scene of its second big racing program of the summer within less than a week.  Next Monday afternoon, more than a dozen daring drivers will pilot their specially constructed cars around the banked bowl at faster than a mile-a-minute clip.

          The Arkansas City Racing Association and Junior Chamber of Commerce are making plans to care for the largest crowd ever in this city for a sporting program.  The Labor Day races here are expected to draw more than 10,000 visitors from Kansas, Oklahoma, and Northern Texas.  With no races scheduled for Cushing (Oklahoma), the usual crowd of Oklahomans and Texans that annually attend the races there, will come to Arkansas City instead.

15 Cars in the Races

          Mack McAnally, manager of the Labor Day races, believes he will have about 15 cars in the races.  Twelve drivers already have signed.  The cars are being overhauled, oiled, and greased this week and will be in first class condition Monday.

          Among the drivers are three from Arkansas City who form one of the outstanding trios on the Middle Western dirt tracks.  Andrew “Cokey” Fuller, daring Osage Indian who has built up an exceptional reputation on the dirt tracks, will pilot his Gallivan Special.  Fuller was the outstanding driver in the Fourth of July races here and will enter the Labor Day program as the favorite with the fans.  It is reported that Fuller is driving his last year on Kansas and Oklahoma tracks as he is to drive on the bigger tracks in the East next season.

          Louis “Speed” Irwin, who never fails to thrill the crowds because of the tremendous speed with which he hurls his car into the turns, will be another popular feature of the races.  At the recent races in Winfield, Irwin had a close escape from possible death when he took one of the turns at such speed that his car skidded out of control and crashed through the inside fence.  He escaped without a scratch.

          Dwight Moody’s midget car is the third member of the team.  The tiny mount looks too small to seat a driver but it surprises the most hardy racing fans with the terrific noise and speed which it is capable of attaining.

Track is Better

          The track is greatly improved over its condition in July when the dedicatory races were held.  All the soft spots have been corrected and the oval now presents one of the fastest clay-top speedways in Kansas and Oklahoma.

          The track has been sanctioned by the A.A.A. and all records established will sand as official state or national marks.  With the track in such good condition, McAnally believes that the fast field of drivers will set a new state mark for a half-mile bowl.  It is practically certain that the times will exceed those of the Fourth of July races.

          Oil for the track, furnished by the Kanotex Refinery, has been applied and the dragging of the track started today.

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Friday, August 30, 1929, Front Page:

18 Will Enter Monday Races

Labor Day Event Draws Large Numbers of Drivers

          Eighteen entries have been received by the Arkansas City Racing Association for its big racing program Labor Day.  The list of drivers who will appear on Arkansas City’s half-mile dirt speedway includes some of the outstanding dirt track drivers in the Middle West and Andrew “Cokey” Fuller, holder of the track record for the half-mile dash, will have a real task when he defends his honors against the speedy field that will line up against him in the time trials and match races.

Fuller the Favorite

          Fuller, because of his outstanding performance on the Arkansas City track during the Fourth of July races, will be a popular favorite again Monday.  The field, Labor Day, will be one of the toughest the flashy Osage Indian ever has bucked however, and Fuller will face one of the most exacting tests of his racing career.

          Two of Fuller’s most dangerous opponents Labor Day will be Louis “Speed” Irwin, who will drive a new and faster car than he ever has piloted before, and Earl Hoverden, holder of the Texas state record for the half-mile test.

Some More Expected

          There are several other drivers who will enter who have yet to make their official entry.  Among them are several Arkansas City drivers.

          Four entries have also been received for the Model “T” Ford novelty race.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Saturday, August 31, 1929, Front Page:

More Drivers Enter Races

21 Listed to Compete in Labor Day Meet Here

          With three more entries recorded today, the list of cars which will compete on Arkansas City’s half-mile automobile speedway Monday, Labor Day, now includes 21 racers.

          Louis “Speed” Irwin, who will drive Russell Hill’s Fronty-Ford Special; Dwight Moody’s fast Chevrolet Special with a driver yet to be announced, and Eddie Graves, Wilson, Oklahoma; who will drive his own Graves Brother Special, are the new drivers in the races.  Both Irwin and Moody are Arkansas City men.

          Earl Hovenden, champion dirt track driver of Texas, added another record to his credit last week when he set a new track record on the Frederick, Oklahoma speedway while taking firsts in every race.  When Hovenden meets Andrew Fuller, victor in the Fourth of July races here and one of the fastest drivers in the Middle West, race fans may be assured of one of the most exciting programs of the year.  The two meet on the tracks rarely each season but, when they do, the track sparkles with speed.

          Two other drivers, both rating among the fastest drivers on the Southwest’s dirt tracks – Louis “Speed” Irwin, of Arkansas City; and Cotton Grable, of Houston, will drive W. J. Mihovel’s Chrysler Special, are out to give Fuller and Hovenden a full day of fast competition.  With the field filled with 17 other drivers, all fast and daring, the Arkansas City Labor Day races are bound to be one of the outstanding dirt track races of the year.

          A crowd estimated at 5,000 saw the dedicatory races here Fourth of July.  A much faster brand of races will be possible Monday with the racetrack in improved condition and some of the most daring drivers in the West entered, and race officials are planning to take care of a crowd that they expect to exceed 8,000 for the Labor Day program.

To see the entry list.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Monday, September 2, 1929, Front Page:

Racers Ready For First Time On The Track

Time Trials Take Place This Morning

Match Races at 2

Keen Competition

Expect Better Time to be Made Than on July 4

          Everything is set for the second big program of automobile races on the Arkansas City half-mile speedway this afternoon at 2 o’clock.  At a meeting of the race drivers, A.A.A. officials and members of the Arkansas City Racing Association last night in the offices of Mack McAnally, manager of the races, it was decided to run the time trials at 10:30 o’clock this morning instead of at 2 o’clock this afternoon.  The match races will start promptly at 2 o’clock with Matt Berg, A.A.A. official, in charge.

Some of the Best Are Here

            The races this afternoon are pitting some of the fastest drivers in the Southwest against each other and it is fairly certain that the speed fans will not see any one driver dominating the track today.

          Every driver of importance on the tracks of Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas is entered in Arkansas City’s Labor Day program.  Among the outstanding are Cotton Grable, who drives a Chrysler Special; George Barringer, who drives a Bammel Special; Andrew Fuller, who drives a Gallivan Special; Louis Irwin, who drives a Fronty Ford; Earl Hovenden, who drives a Fronty Special; and Joe Taylor, who drives Dwight Moody’s Chevrolet Special.

          Grable, Barringer, Hovenden, and Fuller hold practically all of the track records on the dirt tracks of the Southwest.  The four, pitted together, are expected to provide all the thrills that an automobile race car hold.  Barringer’s Bammel Special holds several track records on the Pacific coast, also.

A Flying Exhibition

          It was announced this morning that Pete Hill is expected to fly to Arkansas City this afternoon in a Travel Air stock biplane.  He will give a half-hour stunt flying exhibition over the racetrack, probably between two and three o’clock.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Monday, September 2, 1929, Front Page:

Favorite of Today’s Automobile Races

          Andrew “Cokey” Fuller, one of the most widely known dirt track drivers in the Middle West, enters today’s automobile races on the Arkansas City half-mile speedway a big favorite over the field.  Fuller will meet faster competition today than he raced on Fourth of July here, and an even break with the field would be a great victory for the plucky Arkansas City Osage Indian.

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Monday, September 2, 1929, Page 10:

Louis “Speed” Irwin

Louis Irwin is one of the most spectacular dirt track drivers in this part of the country and never fails to provide thrills for the crowds at the races.  He hurls his car into the turns at such a great speed that many believe he drives over his head.  At the recent races in Winfield on a bad skid, he crashed through 30 feet of fence but luckily escaped without a scratch.

(Webmaster’s Note:  This same picture had been used in a similar ad 11 months earlier, on page 11 in the October 6, 1928 issue of the Winfield Daily Courier touting a race to be run at Winfield, Kansas on October 9, 1928.  In the earlier ad though, the driver was identified as Russell Hill of Arkansas City, Kansas.  If anyone knows who really is standing beside the car in this picture, please contact Bob Lawrence.)

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Monday, September 2, 1929, Page 10:

A Fast Texas Entry

 

          George Barringer, of Houston, who will drive a Bammel Special, is one of the speediest racers on the dirt tracks and, barring accidents, should be a winner in at least one race today.  Barringer holds a score of track records in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

(Webmaster’s Note:  This same picture had been used in a similar ad 11 months earlier, on page 12 in the October 12, 1928 issue of the Winfield Daily Couriertouting a race to be run at Winfield, Kansas on October 13, 1928.  In the earlier ad though, the car was identified as one belonging to Joe Hutchinson of Arkansas City, Kansas.  It is unlikely that race publicist Mack McAnally had a photo of Barringer and probably used this old one of Hutchinson’s car in Barringer’s place.  If anyone knows anything more about this car, or the man seated therein, please contact Bob Lawrence.)

 

 

 

 

Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Tuesday, September 3, 1929, Front Page:

Earl Hovenden Cops Honors In Labor Day Race

Wins Both Events Which the Entered – Grabs Sweepstakes

Fuller In Trouble

Engine Difficulties of Favorite’s Car Are Costly

Wins $210 Purse – The drivers who participated in the Labor Day automobile races here yesterday received their prize money this afternoon.  Earl Hovenden received the winner’s purse taking $210 in prizes.  Cotton Grable received $140.41 as his share.  The total purse amounted to $590.20.  The next race meet for the drivers who raced here will be at Cushing (Oklahoma) next week.

          Earl Hovenden was the hero of Arkansas City’s first annual Labor Day automobile races yesterday.  Three years ago, a mechanic in an Arkansas City garage.  Today, holder of a score of track records on the speedways of the Southwest.  Hovenden flashed his Fronty Special across the finished line first in the two most important races of the day – the only two in which he was entered.  Hovenden also tied with Andrew Fuller for first in the time trials, each turning the half-mile in 31.1 seconds, tying Fuller’s track record set July 4.  Hovenden also won the three-mile race for the six fastest cars, as determined by time trials, and the sweepstakes for all the cars.  In each race, he was pressed hard by Cotton Grable, Houston, Texas driver and Louisiana state dirt track champion.

          The First Match Race – The three-mile race for the six fastest cars was a matched in thrills only by the 10-mile sweepstakes that closed the program.  Hovenden and Grable, who finished “one” and “two”; Andrew Fuller, winner of the Fourth of July races here, who finished third; Louis Irwin; George Barringer; and Jimmy Martin were starters.

          Fuller had the “pole” and hurled his Gallivan Special to the front on the first turn.  As the field flashed past the judges stand at the finish of the first half-mile lap, Fuller was leading and Hovenden, Grable, Irwin, Barringer, and Martin followed closely in the order named.

          After two laps, Martin dropped from the race but, for three-laps, the others held their original positions.  Fuller and Hovenden fighting fiercely for the scant lead Fuller held over the Duncan, Oklahoma driver.

Fuller Has Engine Trouble

          Going into the fourth lap, “Cokey” Fuller’s Gallivan Special slowed considerably when its engine began bucking and Hovenden sped into the lead on the east straightaway.  Fuller fought off Grable during the fourth lap but dropped to third on the sixth and final turn of the half-mile bowl.

          After the race, it was discovered that Fuller’s trouble was with his pistons and he was out of the remainder of the races for the day.

          Six drivers started the second race – an eight lap, four mile feature – but one dropped out on the first lap.  Louis “Speed” Irwin, Arkansas City, was an easy winner, finishing a half-lap ahead of Cotton Grable, second place driver, and three-quarters of a mile ahead of the last car.  Joe Taylor, driving Dwight Moody’s Chevrolet Special, and Jimmy Martin, driving his Martin Brothers Special, had a tight race for third and fourth in the race.  The lead changed hands four times, Martin finally nosing out Taylor as the two went into the last turn.

          An Arkansas City car came close to winning another race when Dwight Moody’s Chevrolet was first at the end of the ninth lap of a 10-lap race – the third race of the day.  Jimmy Martin again staged a flying finish and nosed out Joe Taylor, driving Moody’s car, on the last lap to win first prize money.  Taylor had led the entire race until the ninth lap when Martin grabbed a short lead.  Jack Mayfield, driving a Fronty, was third.

          The Consolation race, a three mile event, was won by Jack Mayfield in his Fronty, who finished ahead of H. C. Walker, of Dallas, Texas; and V. B. Brown, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

            The 10-mile, 20-lap sweepstakes found Hovenden and Grable still disputing the right of each other as speed king of the day.  The two “lapped” the last car on the seventh lap and “Lapped” the field before the finish of the race.

Grable Into A Fence

          Hovenden led during all the early laps but, on the eighth mile, Grable slipped past Hovenden on a turn and thundered past the grandstand with a lead of barely 30 feet.  Pressed closely as he went into the last turn of the next lap, Grable crashed into the inner fence on the turn, losing his lead to Hovenden.  Grable’s car was not damaged and , with boards a flying, he continued on with the race not even slowing after the minor crash.  He had lost too many precious seconds however, and was forced to finish second to the Fleet Hovenden in the sweepstakes race.  George Barringer, Austin, Texas; driving a Bammel Special, finished third.

          The two Arkansas City cars in the sweepstakes, Irwin’s and Moody’s, both were forced out before the race was ended.  Irwin dropped from the race on the fourth lap with engine trouble.  Moody climbed from sixth on the first lap to fourth on the fourth lap and held that position over for four more miles.  On the next lap, Taylor, driving Moody’s car, skidded on the first turn, crashed into the outside rail, and left the race.  The back part of the car was damaged but no one was injured.  About 20 feet of railing was torn down.

 

 

Arkansas City Tribune
Thursday, September 5, 1929, Page 7:

Labor Day Races

“Cokey” Fuller’s Car Was Withdrawn From Race

Sweepstakes Winner Secured Prize of $234.02

Crowd Estimated at 1,500

          Owing to the fact that his Hutchinson-Fuller Special scored a cylinder, Andrew “Cokey” Fuller, the public’s favorite for the Labor Day races, was forced out of the race following the first event.  The races, held Monday, were scheduled to be a walk-away for Fuller and he started out good in the first event but, on account of engine trouble, he was forced to give his place in the races to other contestants, but did manage to finish third.

            An estimated crowd of 1,500 people witnessed the local Labor Day races held at the Arkansas City Speedway park west of the city, under the auspices of the A.A.A., and were promoted by the Arkansas City Junior Chamber of Commerce.  The races were held under the rules of the American Automobile Association contest board, with Mack McAnally, local race promoter, superintendent of races.

          Earl Hovenden, of Duncan, Oklahoma, in his Fronty Special, won the prize money for the day scoring first place in event two and in the sweepstakes.  His winnings for the day wee estimated at $234.02.  Cotton Grable took second money by scoring second place in event two and in the sweepstakes.  His winnings were estimated at $140.41.

          Some good driving was displayed in several events of the race but the most exciting event of the day was when Jimmy Martin of Wichita, in his Martin Brothers Special No. 13, and Joe Taylor, driving Dwight Moody’s Chevrolet Special No. 2, ran a close race in event two.

          Louis Irwin, also of this city, in a Fronty Special No. 5, displayed some very good racing and was one of the keenest competitors in the entire six events of the race.

          Despite the teeming sun, the large crowd enthusiastically received the races and, according to the comments of many race enthusiasts, the races for the day were a success.

          Officials for the Labor Day races were: O. M. Berg of Cushing Oklahoma, official representative of the contest board of the American Automobile Association, was the official starter.  Jim Pickens of this city, was the chief scorer; Roy Hume was the chief timer and Jack Norton was the clerk of the course.  Mr. McAnally, the superintendent of the races, was especially given credit for the fine way the races went over and the way he handled the business of the day.

 

 

To go to the next page of newspaper articles about auto racing at Arkansas City Speedway.

 

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

 

To go to Results of Races at Arkansas City Speedway a.k.a. West Madison Speedway

 

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

 

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

 

For Links to other interesting websites.