Harvest Auto Racing Classic

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The Harvest Auto Racing Classic was a series of three automobile races, held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday September 9, 1916, four months after the 1916 Indianapolis 500.

Race history[edit]

The Harvest Classic was a unique event in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During 1909 and 1910, the track had held auto race weekends which consisted of from 16 to 24 races, involving several different classes of cars. Starting with 1911, a different promotional strategy was initiated, and the track held only one race annually, the Indianapolis 500. The track adhered to this plan of one race per year from 1911 to 1993, with one exception. In 1916, with the United States on the verge of entering World War I, track management foresaw the possibility that the track may have to shut down the following year. In an effort to generate some additional profits, to get through the down time, the track held an additional event in September. This consisted of three races, all for the same class of cars (the same cars as were used in the Indianapolis 500). The event was sanctioned by AAA, and the 100-mile feature race counted toward the 1916 National Championship.

The two preliminary races each paid separate prize money, and neither served as a "heat" race, or qualifying race, for the longer, 100-mile feature. But they did not pay points towards the national championship. Johnny Aitken swept all three races.

Race results[edit]

Year Date Race Winning Driver Car Race Distance Time of Race Winning Speed Starting
Miles Laps
1916 Sept 9 1 United States Johnny Aitken Peugeot 20 8 00:12:37.35 95.068 mph 10
Sept 9 2 United States Johnny Aitken Peugeot 50 20 00:32:40.33 91.821 mph 9
Sept 9 3 United States Johnny Aitken Peugeot 100 40 01:07:05.04 89.440 mph 12


  • Dill, Mark; "A Forgotten Classic;" 2006 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Official Program; Indianapolis Motor Speedway; 2006.
  • Scott, D. Bruce; INDY: Racing Before the 500; Indiana Reflections; 2005; ISBN 0-9766149-0-1.
  • Galpin, Darren; A Record of Motorsport Racing Before World War I.
  • Champ Car Stats (http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1916.htm)