1909 AAA Championship Car season

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1909 AAA Championship Car season
AAA National Circuit Championship
Season
Races 24
Start date June 12
End date November 6
Awards
National champion United States George Robertson
Chronology
Previous season Next season
1905 1910

The 1909 AAA Championship Car season consisted of 24 races, beginning in Portland, Oregon on June 12 and concluding with a point-to-point race from Los Angeles, California to Phoenix, Arizona on November 6. There were three events sanctioned by the Automobile Club of America in Lowell, Massachusetts. The de facto National Champion as poled by the American automobile journal Motor Age was Bert Dingley. Points were not awarded by the AAA Contest Board during the 1909 season. Champions of the day were decided by Chris G. Sinsabaugh, an editor at Motor Age, based on merit and on track performance. The points table was created retroactively in 1927 keeping Dingley as champion. In 1951 the championship standings were reworked, stripping the traditional champion of his title and giving it to George Robertson. All championship results should be considered unofficial.

Schedule and results[edit]

Date Race Name
Distance (miles)
Track Location Type Notes Pole Position Winning Driver Winner Car
June 12 Portland Race 1, 43.8 Portland Road Race Circuit Portland, Oregon Road Race Stock class, costing $1600 or under Howard Covey Cadillac
Portland Race 2, 43.8 Limited to stock chassis of less than $3000 Charlie Arnold Pope Hartford
June 12 Wemme Cup Race, 102.2 Free-For-All class. Bert Dingley Chalmers Detroit
June 18 Indiana Trophy Race, 232.74 Crown Point Road Race Circuit Crown Point, Indiana Road Race Limited to stock chassis of maximum of 300 ci Joe Matson Chalmers Detroit
June 19 Cobe Trophy Race, 395.65 Limited to stock chassis of over 300 ci Louis Chevrolet Buick
July 5 Denver Trophy Race, 290 Brighton Road Race Circuit Denver, Colorado Road Race Limited to stock chassis, Open engine Eaton McMillan Colburn
July 10 Ferris Trophy Race, 202.42 Santa Monica Road Race Circuit Santa Monica, California Road Race Limited to stock chassis, light cars Harris Hanshue Harris Hanshue Apperson
July 10 Shelter Trophy Race, 202.42 Limited to stock chassis, heavy cars Bert Dingley Chalmers Detroit
August 19 Prest-O-Lite Trophy Race*, 250 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indianapolis, Indiana Dirt Oval Stock chassis, 301–450 ci. Bob Burman Buick
August 20 G & J Trophy Race, 100 Stock chassis. Lewis Strang Buick
August 21 Wheeler-Schebler Trophy Race**, 245 Limited to stock chassis Leigh Lynch Jackson
September 6 Vesper Club Trophy Race***, 212 Merrimack Valley Course Lowell, Massachusetts Road Race Limited to stock chassis, 301–450 ci Lee Lorimer Bob Burman Buick
Yorick Club Trophy Race***, 159 Limited to stock chassis, 231–300 ci, John Coffey Louis Chevrolet Buick
Merrimack Valley Trophy Race***, 127.2 Limited to stock chassis, 161–230 ci Joseph Grinnon Willie Knipper Chalmers Detroit
Lowell Trophy Race***, 318 Limited to stock chassis, 451–600 ci George Robertson Simplex
September 29 Riverhead Class A****, 227.5 Riverhead Road Race Circuit Riverhead, New York Road Race $4001 and over Ralph DePalma Fiat
Riverhead Class B****, 182 $3001–4000 Frank Lescault Palmer Singer
Riverhead Class C****, 136.5 $2001–3000 William Sharp Sharp Arrow
Riverhead Class D****, 113.75 $1251–2000 Louis Chevrolet Buick
Riverhead Class E****, 91 $851–1250 Arthur See Maxwell
October 9 Philadelphia Race, 202.5 Fairmount Park Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Road Race Stock Chassis George Robertson Simplex
October 24 Portola Festival Race, 258.16 Portola Road Race San Leandro, California Road Race Jack Fleming Pope Hartford
October 30 William K. Vanderbilt Cup, 278 Long Island Motor Parkway Long Island, New York Road Race Limited to stock chassis, 301–600 ci Lewis Strang Harry Grant Alco
November 6 Cactus Derby, 480 Los Angeles to Phoenix California to Phoenix Point to Point Limited to stock chassis Joe Nikrent
Louis Nikrent
Buick

* William Bourque and his riding mechanic Harry Holcomb fatally injured on lap 58

** Race halted at 235 miles due to track breaking up. AAA report states that race was halted at 245 miles. Claude Kellem, Charles Merz's riding mechanic, was killed. Merz's car broke through the fence and crashed into spectators fatally injuring Howard H. Jolliff and James West.

*** Event sanctioned by Automobile Club of America, 301–450, 231–300 & 161–230 run simultaneously.

**** All classes run simultaneously.

Leading National Championship standings[edit]

 #  Driver Points
1 George Robertson* 1480
2 Louis Chevrolet 1300
3 Joe Nikrent 1110
4 Bob Burman 1100
5 Bert Dingley 920

* Bert Dingley was poled as national champion in 1909 and held his championship when points were applied in 1927. These are the final standing as of 1951 after AAA revised the championship trail for 1909. The earliest know occurrence of George Robertson holding the title was in the 1952 Indianapolis 500 program.

The points paying system for the 1909–1915 and 1917–1919 season were retroactively applied in 1927 and revised in 1951 using the points system from 1920. Points were awarded as follows.

Miles/
Position
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
40 80 45 25 15 10 x x x x x
50 100 55 30 20 10 5 x x x x
60 120 65 35 25 15 x x x x x
80 160 80 45 30 20 x x x x x
100 200 110 60 35 20 15 10 5 x x
150 300 160 90 50 30 20 15 10 x x
200 400 210 110 60 40 25 15 10 x x
250 500 260 140 80 50 35 25 15 10 5
300 600 420 220 120 70 45 35 25 15 10
400 800 420 220 120 70 45 35 25 15 10
500 1000 520 270 140 90 60 50 40 35 30

See also[edit]

American Championship Car Racing

References[edit]