West Side Racetrack

Wichita, Kansas – October 12, 1916

 

 

 

Time Trials – 2 Laps

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

Jerry Wonderlich

San Francisco, California

Marquette Buick

1:10.50

Lee Oldfield1

Washington, Iowa

Oldfield Special

1:12.75

Hugh Doyle

 

Sunbeam

1:15.25

King Kelley

 

Mercer

1:17.25

Capt. Harvey Kennedy

 

Edwards Special Maxwell

 

 

 

Exhibition Time Trial – 1 Lap – Time:  33.2 seconds

Driver

Automobile

Capt. Harvey Kennedy

Barney Oldfield’s Christie

This was supposed to be a two-lap run but a tire went down on the Christie at the beginning of the second lap and Kennedy pulled up.  This was the last known appearance anywhere of this famous car.  What became of it after this date is unknown.

 

 

6-Lap Race – Time: 3:59.25

Finish

Driver

From

Automobile

1

Jerry Wonderlich

San Francisco, California

Edwards Special Maxwell

2

Lee Oldfield1

Washington, Iowa

Oldfield Special

3

Hugh Doyle

 

Sunbeam

4

Capt. Harvey Kennedy

 

Edwards Special Maxwell

Capt. Harvey Kennedy broke a part on his Edwards Special Maxwell in this race causing him to limp along in last place in each of the races on this date.  Spectators held their breath at one point during this race when Oldfield crashed into the inside fence near the starter’s stand but after knocking off a few boards, he went on.

 

 

10-Lap Race – Time: 6:51.2

Finish

Driver

From

Automobile

1

Jerry Wonderlich

San Francisco, California

Edwards Special Maxwell

2

Lee Oldfield1

Washington, Iowa

Oldfield Special

3

Hugh Doyle

 

Sunbeam

4

Capt. Harvey Kennedy

 

Edwards Special Maxwell

Doyle led the first eight laps of this race before both Oldfield and Wonderlich passed him.  Oldfield and Wonderlich then battled it out to the finish.

 

 

Australian Pursuit – 10 Laps – Time:  6:33.3

Finish

Driver

From

Automobile

1

Hugh Doyle

 

Sunbeam

2

King Kelley

 

Mercer

3

Jerry Wonderlich

San Francisco, California

Marquette Buick

 

 

Feature – 25 Laps – Time:  16:45.25

Finish

Driver

From

Automobile

1

Jerry Wonderlich

San Francisco, California

Marquette Buick

2

Lee Oldfield1

Washington, Iowa

Oldfield Special

3

Hugh Doyle

 

Sunbeam

4

Capt. Harvey Kennedy2

 

Edwards Special Maxwell

This race was a fight to the finish between Wonderlich and Oldfield with Doyle leading a lap every now and then.  They were dead even at the end of the nineteenth lap.  Oldfield lead laps 20 – 21 and Wonderlich lead laps 22-24 before Oldfield passed him to take the victory.

 

 

Attendance:

5,736

Race Promoter:

Capt. Harvey Kennedy

Announcer:

Jimmy Burns

Judges:

J. H. Turner

 

J. T. Nuttle

 

Gene Moriarity

 

Charles Moebacher

 

Hal M. Black

 

 

 

 

 

1 Leonidas Wellington “Lee” Oldfield (1889-1978) was born at Newton, Kansas and was not related to Barney Oldfield.  In fact, Barney Oldfield claimed that race promoters would purchase old race cars that Barney Oldfield had driven and then have Lee Oldfield drive them while claiming to the assembled crowd that there was a family connection between the two when there was not.  Lee Oldfield is best known for crashing a green #11 Knox race car into a crowd of spectators at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York on September 16, 1911 killing eleven of those spectators.  President William Howard Taft had left those races just moments before the accident happened. The eleven fatalities in this race were the most anywhere to that date, and would remain the most in the United States until there were twelve fatalities at the Yellow River Dragstrip in Georgia on March 2, 1969.  Oldfield’s accident is said to have been the origin of the superstitions that it was bad luck to drove a green race car and that car numbers that read the same up-side-down as they did right-side-up (such as the number 11), were bad luck.  Lee Oldfield attempted to qualify for the 1912 and 1937 runnings of the Indianapolis 500 but his times were too slow for him to qualify for either race.  Lee Oldfield passed away at Cathedral City, California.

 

 

 

 

 

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