NEWS FROM THE U.S.A.
K.ELLY PETILLO, the tiny California Italian crack, drove his 4-cylinder Miller Special to victory in the 200-mile National Championship race at Los Angeles on December 30th, defeating a fine field of big-time drivers, in one of the most thrilling title races in years. The race was slashed to 196 miles, due to heavy fog that drifted over the two-mile course in the closing laps.
Bill Cummings, of Indianapolis, driving Fred Frame’s Miller, managed to finish in eighth position, and thus was awarded the A.A.A. National Championship for 1934. Cummings, who is only 28 years old, won the Indianapolis race this year, and finished in the money in two other title events to capture the crown.
Due to the poor visibility, and the rather poor condition of the dirt course, the qualifying trials were dispensed with, and the drivers drew for starting positions from a hat. Mackenzie got the pole position, with George Barringer on the outside.
Mackenzie forged to the lead on the first lap, but was shortly overtaken by young Rex Mays, who set the pace for 50 miles until a clogged radiator forced him into the pits. Mackenzie again roared into the lead, and steadily began pulling away from the field. For over 75 miles the young Pennsylvanian shot his Miller around the course far ahead of the field, and while leading by three laps met with the worst of racing luck. ” Out of gas on the back stretch” the announcers informed the crowd.
Wilbur Shaw, driving the Miller ” 4 ” campaigned abroad by Lou Moore, shot into the lead ; but a few laps later, Petillo, who had been driving a canny race in third and fourth positions during most of the contest, began a spirited bid for the lead. Amid much excitement the little Italian succeeded in passing Shaw, and went on to win easily.
Wilbur Shaw finished second. Floyd Roberts, driving relief for Ralph Hepburn, was third ; Chet Gardner 5th, ” Doe” Mackenzie 4th, and Al Gordon 6th. The average was 81 miles per hour, and there were no accidents.
The race was worth $10,000, and drew nearly 45,000 spectators.
Cummings, by virtue of winning the A.A.A. title, will next season carry the numeral ” 1″ on the bonnet of his machine. Others will carry numbers corresponding with their A.A.A. ranking for the year, except the numerals 11, 13 20, 30, 40, etc. These are taboo with the A.A.A. * * * BY Our American Correspondent T. MERIWETHER-SMITH
Rex Mays Clinches Pacific Coast Title.
The popular young driver, Rex Mays, clinched the A.A.A. Pacific Southwest Championship in the last race of the year at Ascot Speedway, Los Angeles. Mays was closely followed by Floyd Roberts, and the title was not decided until this final 250-lap event, in which 1avs was fifth, while Roberts failed to finish the race. Mays, who is 22 years old, is considered the most promising driver in the nation. Al Gordon, 1934 Pacific titlist, won the 250lap race, the longest ever staged over the Ascot track.
International motor racing fans will be interested in a movement now reported to be nearing successful conclusion in Chicago, Illinois. According to several motor racing writers, plans have been perfected for a 600-mile International Gold Cup Race at Chicago, late this summer, for a prize of $100,000 and numerous trophies.
AccOrding to present plans the track will be entirely of Grand Prix road nature, and will embrace part of the grounds used in the recent World’s Fair Exposition. The course would be 13 miles in length, all over paved surface, and contain many difficult curves, as well as several straights in which speeds of well in excess of 100 miles per hour might be attained. Earl Newberry is mentioned as managing .director of the project.
All foreign race drivers, Carraciola, Von Stuck, Chiron—who is .very popular in the States—Lord Howe, Benoist, Guyot, Nuvolarf, Varzi, and others would be invited to participate.
This column will report future developments regarding this proposed mammoth international classic, which would be an annual fixture. The season 1935 in the States looms a far more successful one than the past year. Championship races are said to be in prospect for Langhorne, Milwaukee, Syracuse, Atlanta, Mines Field, Detroit, Roby, and Indianapolis among the old track’s. New courses are planned at Teterboro, N. J., Chicago, Illinois, and the metropolitan, N.Y., area. There is also some talk of a new Speedway in the Altoona section. Joe Dawson, veteran rate driver and 1912 Indianapolis winner, is said to be interested in having a road race conducted near Philadelphia. With the dirt tracks operating with the greatest success in
history, and the spectacular midget sport rising incredibly, it seems that 1935 is destined to be a banner year in United States motor racing annals. Noel Bullock, winner of the 1922 Pike’s Peak hill climb, and one of the West’s more famous drivers a decade or so ago, was lost recently in an airplane crash off
the California coast. He had been employed as a pilot for a large air line.
A.A.A. Final Standings, 1934.
A.A.A. now Sponsors Midget Motor Races.
The phenomenal rise in popularity of midget motor racing in the States during the last year has induced the A.A.A. to sponsor this type of racing. The cars, not really midgets in power, capable of attaining speeds of 100 miles per hour, have 70-inch wheelbase, 90 cubic inch motors, and very small, airplane type wheels,
In the last two months three indoor midget courses have been opened in Chicago, two indoor tracks in New York, and another in St. Louis. These tracks are approximately 1/5th of a mile, and are usually constructed inside huge armoury buildings. The races at Chicago draw seven thousand fans weekly.
Some of the finest dirt track and bigtime drivers are competing in these winter races, including Harold Shaw, Sig Hughdahl, Ted Tetterton, Frank Brisk°, Tony Willman, Jimmy Snyder, Art Scovell, and others.