Photograph from the Jeff Adams collection
This panoramic photograph was taken with a cirkut camera at the automobile races held on September 11-12, 1925 at the Kiowa County Fair at Hobart, Oklahoma. Adults had paid $1 to view the races from the grandstand while children got in for 25˘. You will probably need to scroll to the right to see the whole photo. Written on the original photo are the following identities:
The car at the far left is unidentified.
The car second from left is the #15 owned and driven by John Gerber of Meriden, Kansas who is shown standing just behind the car. Gerber set the fastest time of 33 seconds flat in time trials and was leading a race on Saturday afternoon (September 12th) when he punctured a tire and rolled the car. He was ejected from the car and injured his shoulder in what was the worst crash of his racing career.
The #5 car third from left is a Dodge owned by “Red” Gardner and driven by Sam Jewell both of Duncan, Oklahoma. That is Mrs. Jewell and Mrs. Gardner standing beside the car.
The fourth car from left is unidentified.
The #7 car fifth car from left is owned and driven by Phineas Comador “Dad” Harrier of Hiawatha, Kansas.
Neither the driver nor owner of the #6 Pooles special, sixth from left, are identified.
The #7 car seventh from left was owned and driven by “Red” Gardner of Duncan, Oklahoma.
The eighth car from left is a Chevrolet driven by Henry F. “Wingey” Williams, a one-armed driver from Wichita Falls, Texas.
The #400 car ninth from left is an over-head cam Chevrolet driven by George Souders of Indianapolis, Indiana. Souders went on to win the 1927 Indianapolis “500” and finished third in his only other start in that race in 1928.
The #28 car tenth from left is a Fronty Ford driven by Al Kocpke of Topeka, Kansas. The number does appear at first to be “22” in this photo but, upon close examination it is obvious that the number on the car had been altered from the #22 it once carried to #28.
The flagman standing on the infield of the racetrack and to the far right in the photo is George Hatton who co-promoted these races with Tim Hurst.
15 cars were entered in these races at Hobart with 12 cars actually competing. Besides the cars identified above, others known to have been entered in these races were driven by Harley Wells of Miami, Oklahoma; Gib Bryan and John Busby both of Hobart, Oklahoma; John Boling of Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Harvey Vance whose hometown is unknown.
If you can identify anyone else in this photograph, or any of the other cars shown, please contact Bob Lawrence at: sprintguy @ cox.net
to view another panoramic photograph of early racing cars taken with a cirkut camera