In the inaugural motor racing events on the 1

Sunday 21st May 1905

In the inaugural motor racing events on the 1.39 mile dirt Morris Park oval, New York. Louis Chevrolet drove a Fiat to the fastest time in a 1 mile time trial and also won a 3 lap “Free for All” event, while Charles Basle drove the Flying Dutchman I Mercedes to victory in the 5 mile race. In reality, the course was a horse track that had lost the support of the New York horse racing community who turned their attention to the newly completed Belmont Park race track. Previous to the opening of Belmont Park, the Belmont Stakes had been held at Morris Park. Repurposed as an auto racing facility, the track struggled financially until it was sold to developers and eventually closed entirely in 1910. The rabid newspaper campaign against track racing after the August 1905 accidents injuring top stars Barney Oldfield, Webb Jay and Earl Kiser came at a terrible time for the facility. In addition to the May opener, Morris Park hosted two additional significant 1905 auto race meets held in June and July. Pictured in the inset of the above image is Louis Chevrolet in Major Charles Miller’s 90 horsepower Fiat. Talking to him is the long-time AAA official and the referee of the first Indianapolis 500 Art Pardington.

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