1909 AAA Championship Car season
|1909 AAA Championship Car season|
|AAA National Championship Trail|
|Start date||June 12|
|End date||November 6|
|National champion||George Robertson (unofficial)|
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
|Track||Location||Type||Notes||Pole Position||Winning Driver|
|June 12||Portland Race 1 (43.8)||Portland Road Race Course||Portland, Oregon||14.6 mile road course||Stock class, costing $1600 or under||Howard Covey|
|Portland Race 2 (43.8)||Limited to stock chassis of less than $3000||Charlie Arnold|
|June 12||Wemme Cup Race (102.2)||Free-For-All class.||Bert Dingley|
|June 18||Indiana Trophy Race (232.74)||Crown Point Road Race Circuit||Crown Point, Indiana||23.27 mile road course||Limited to stock chassis of maximum of 300 ci||Joe Matson|
|June 19||Cobe Trophy Race (395.65)||Limited to stock chassis of over 300 ci||Louis Chevrolet|
|July 5||Denver Trophy Race (290)||Brighton Road Race Course||Denver, Colorado||14.5 mile road course||Limited to stock chassis, Open engine||Eaton McMillan|
|July 10||Ferris Trophy Race (202.42)||Santa Monica Road Race Course||Santa Monica, California||8.417 mile road course||Limited to stock chassis, light cars||Harris Hanshue||Harris Hanshue|
|July 10||Shelter Trophy Race (202.42)||Limited to stock chassis, heavy cars||Bert Dingley|
|August 19||Prest-O-Lite Trophy Race (250)||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Indianapolis, Indiana||2.5 mile dirt oval||Stock chassis, 301–450 ci; Billy Bourque and his riding mechanic Harry Holcomb fatally injured||Bob Burman|
|August 20||G & J Trophy Race (100)||Stock chassis.||Lewis Strang|
|August 21||Wheeler-Schebler Trophy Race* (245)||Limited to stock chassis; Charles Merz broke through the outer fence, crashed into a crowd, and rolled over; his mechanician Claude Kellum was thrown out and died along with two spectators, Howard Jolliff and James West; others were injured||Leigh Lynch|
|September 6||Vesper Club Trophy Race** (212)||Merrimack Valley Course||Lowell, Massachusetts||10.6 mile road course||Limited to stock chassis, 301–450 ci||Lee Lorimer||Bob Burman|
|Yorick Club Trophy Race** (159)||Limited to stock chassis, 231–300 ci,||John Coffey||Louis Chevrolet|
|Merrimack Valley Trophy Race** (127.2)||Limited to stock chassis, 161–230 ci; Arthur Otis, a passer-by, who had entered the foggy race track, fatally struck by Joe Matson's car in practice||Joseph Grinnon||Billy Knipper|
|Lowell Trophy Race** (318)||Limited to stock chassis, 451–600 ci||George Robertson|
|September 29||Riverhead Class A*** (227.5)||Riverhead Road Race Course||Riverhead, New York||22.75 mile road course||$4001 and over; James Bates, riding mechanic for Herbert Lytle, fatally injured||Ralph DePalma|
|Riverhead Class B*** (182)||$3001–4000||Frank Lescault|
|Riverhead Class C*** (136.5)||$2001–3000||William Sharp|
|Riverhead Class D*** (113.75)||$1251–2000||Louis Chevrolet|
|Riverhead Class E*** (91)||$851–1250||Arthur See|
|October 9||Philadelphia Race (202.5)||Fairmount Park||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||8 mile road course||Stock Chassis||George Robertson|
|October 23||Portola Road Race (258.16)||Portola Road Race Course||San Leandro, California||21.18 mile road course||A tire which had flown off Howard Hall's car knocked down a spectator, Peter McKiterick, who later succumbed to his injuries.||Jack Fleming|
|October 30||William K. Vanderbilt Cup (278)||Long Island Motor Parkway||Long Island, New York||12.64 mile road course||Limited to stock chassis, 301–600 ci||Lewis Strang||Harry Grant|
|November 6||Cactus Derby (480)||Los Angeles to Phoenix||California to Phoenix||Point to Point||Limited to stock chassis||Joe Nikrent
* Race halted at 235 miles due to track breaking up. AAA report states that race was halted at 245 miles.
** Event sanctioned by Automobile Club of America, 301–450, 231–300 & 161–230 run simultaneously.
*** All classes run simultaneously.
Leading National Championship standings
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.
* 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.
- "Two perished in auto race". The Evening Citizen. Ottawa, Canada. Associated Press. August 20, 1909.
- "Death claims further toll". The Evening Sentinel. Rochester, Indiana. August 23, 1909.
- "Fatal injury to man at Lowell". The Day. New London, Connecticut. August 31, 1909.
- "All records broken; spill costs one life". Daily Press. Newport News, Virginia. Associated Press. September 30, 1909.
- "Flying tire may cost man's life". Oakland Tribune. October 24, 1909. Archived from the original on December 7, 2015.
- "Victim of flying auto tire dies". The San Francisco Call. December 15, 1909.
- http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1909.htm accessed 9/16/10
- http://www.rumbledrome.com/10stats.html accessed 9/16/10
- http://www.motorsport.com/stats/champ/byyear.asp?Y=1909 accessed 9/16/10