NEWS FROM THE U.S.A. LOUIE MEYER WINS ASCOT ROAD RACE AND OAKLAND 250-MILES CLASSIC WITHIN A WEEK— INDIANAPOLIS HUMS WITH PRE-RACE ACTIVITY.
BY Our American Correspondent T. MERIVVETHER-SMITH
THE 1928-29-33 National Racing Champion, Louie Meyer, has inaugurated his 1934 season with two brilliant victories in long, gruelling stock car races in California. Meyer was fourth in his first start of the year, the Mines Field Gilmore Cup road race in February. Ascot Speedway, Los Angeles, staged a 151-mile road race on a hilly, dirt course, on April 22nd. The course, about
miles in length, ran about three-quarters of the Ascot track, then cut out over the hills behind the track, winding up a 25 per cent. grade, and back on to the speedway.
Louie Meyer won this race, exhibiting a brand of skilful, cunning driving that proved unbeatable. Driving a Ford V-8, Meyer averaged 51.33 miles per hour for the winding, rough course, beating Ted Horn to the finishing wire by seven seconds. In spite of the tricky course, there were no accidents other than many hectic skids, and a few sorties into the hay barriers on the curves. Al Gordon finished third ; Cliff Bergere, fourth ; Danny DePaolo, fifth ; Rex
Mays, sixth ; Stubby Stubblefield, seventh ; Woody Woodford, eighth ; Chet Gardner, nine ; Eddie Meyer, tenth. They were all driving Ford V-8 roadsters. A Plymouth and a Willys finished the race, but out of the money. Frame, Indianapolis and Elgin winner, was forced out with a broken spindle. The lone Terraplane entry was also forced out of the grind.
Oakland Speedway, a fast mile dirt course, was the scene of a 250-mile road race late in April. Louie Meyer again demonstrated his superior skill in these long distance affairs, coming from behind to win the event in the closing laps. There were no accidents of a serious nature. Meyer defeated Ted Horn and Danny DePaolo in a stirring closing drive. Danny —brother of Peter DePaolo—is rapidly developing as a speedway driver, and may yet rival the great record set up by his more noted brother. Meyer did the 250-miles at over 70 miles per hour.
Ira Hall began his 1934 season with a triumph in the 15-mile feature race on the dirt track at Rockville, Indiana. He was driving a Vance Special, and beat Kelly Petillo and Harry McQuinn to the finish. Five mile sprints were won by Al Miller, Ira Hall, and Emil Andres. Mauri Rose was unplaced at these races.
Langhorne Speedway, Pennsylvania, opened the Eastern season, and Johnny Hannon provided the fireworks, winning the 100-mile feature race in easy style. He led throughout in his Miller Special. Lloyd Vieux was second, Maynard Clark third, and Billy Winn fourth. The next day, April 29th, Hannon captured the feature race at Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Fred Frame has entered three machines in the Indianapolis race, two Miller 4 cylinder jobs, and the front-drive Miller 8 in which Arnold captured the 1930 event. Frame is expected to drive the famous “
catfish” streamlined job, while Rex Mays is said to be slated for the MillerDuesenberg 4. No driver has been picked for the eight-cylinder front-drive, but it may be handled by Paul Bost, according to experts. Harry Hartz has entered only one car for the 1934 race, the Hartz-Miller frontdrive in which Frame won the 1932 event. It will be driven by either Cliff Bergere
or Billy Arnold. Arnold, out of racing for nearly two years, has had several
talks with Hartz regarding the car, and may be seen at the wheel on May 30th. He is recognized as the most spectacular driver of the present day school. Bill Cummings, favourite with the race fans everywhere, will drive Mique Boyle’s
4-cylinder Miller front-drive in the race, while the team’s fast 8-cylinder job will be handled by George Barringer.
Chet Gardner is to drive the 16-cylinder Sampson entry, again boasting a radio broadcasting and receiving hook-up with the pits. Jack Petticord, veteran dirt track campaigner, who has not competed at Indianapolis since 1927, has entered a streamlined, ultra-hotted-up Ford V-8 machine, which has produced several
fast laps in practice sessions at the speedway. Petticord enjoyed a successful season last year. Chet Miller is scheduled to drive the front-drive Studebaker job in which Dave Evans secured sixth position last year. Chet and Al Miller drove the Hudson
entries last year, but they are not listed this season.
Paul Butler has entered a special machine, said to be powered with a Lincoln motor.
Leon Duray is expected to drive a 16-cylinder 2-cycle car in the race, with Mauri Rose handling his 4-cylinder Mallory machine.
Frank Brisko has re-designed his Miller 4-wheel-drive, streamlined it more effectively, and installed a 4-cylinder motor.
Wilbur Shaw and Kelly Petillo are driving the 4 and 8-cylinder Gilmore entries. Dave Evans and Stubby Stubblefield are listed to pilot the two Cummins Diesel entries, a pair of entries that are attracting the eyes of the motor world. These cars, one a 2-cycle, are much
shorter and lighter than Cummins’ entry in the 1931 race, which ran the 500-miles without a stop to finish in 14th place. They are both equipped with Rootes blowers.
Peter DePaolo and Lou Moore are expected back from Tripoli in time to qualify for the big race.
Among the entries for the race are found every type of motor now racing in the States : 4, 6, 8 and 16-cylinder jobs ; a rotary valve engine ; a pair of 2-cycle cars ; oil burners ; and radically streamlined converted stock jobs. A frontdrive 6-cylinder machine has been entered by the veteran mechanic, Roscoe Dunning. There are 53 entries in the classic.
The limit of 45 gallons of petrol is expected to keep the record of 104 miles per hour, made by Meyer last year, safe for at least another 12 months. However, reports from the speedway, hinting of new discoveries in very heavy petrol, producing several more miles per gallon, give the drivers a slight hope of shattering the mark.