Thursday, August 19, 1909, was opening day of the first auto racing program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Louis Schwitzer of Indianapolis, driving a Stoddard-Dayton won the first event, a five-mile dash for cars of less-than 230 cubic-inch displacement. Louis Chevrolet, driving a Buick won the first 10-mile event, and Ray Harroun, won another 10-miler, with a four-cylinder Marmon. Bob Burman won the featured 250-mile Prest-O-Lite trophy race with an average speed of 53.77 miles an hour, in his Buick.
Louis Strang won Friday’s 100-mile G and J Trophy Race with a speed of 64.74 miles an hour.
Eddie Hearne, Barney Oldfield, and Ralph DePlama scored victories in Saturday’s preliminary events
The program’s grand finale was Saturday’s 300-mileWheeler Schebler Trophy Race. Seventeen cars in the 450-600 cubic-inch displacement class vied for the huge seven-foot cup created by Tiffany’s of New York. Lee Lynch, driving a Jackson, was awarded first place, with an average speed of 55.61 miles an hour. Trailing in order were DePlama in a Fiat, Stillman in a Marmon, Harroun in another Marmon, Oldfield in a National, and Harry Stutz in an Indianapolis-built Marion.