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Society for the History of Automobile Racing



Contents – Volume I, Number 1
The Rules of the Game

The Rules of the Game

What we have here (with apologies to Jean Renoir and his La Règle du Jeu, of course) is simply a lot of “stuff” on rules – most of it concerning American racing. This is in part due to the void in this particular area and the happenstance of having such information available on my part. The theme of this consideration, if the use of such a word – “theme” – is allowed in this situation, is merely taking the time to record some of the rules of various events on the offhand chance that they might be of use to someone.

It is interesting how relatively little attention we seem to pay to having the rules and regulations of the various series at hand. In some cases it is because they are long and involved and complex and utter gibberish. In other cases it is because we have problems finding them. Some of the following bits and pieces of information are taken from a resource1 I have which might be some interest to those curious about how things were run at the dawn of automobile racing.

The rules governing the Gordon Bennett Cup – the Coupe Internationale as it was actually known, the Racing Rules of the American Automobile Association – the AAA or Three-A, and the rules for the Vanderbilt Cup are offered here since they are very useful when considering the period. While the rules for the two cup events are not as difficult to find as they once were, the early Racing Rules of the AAA are generally unknown to most. What is striking is how relatively little they would change over the ensuing years. These rules would form the basis of the Contest Rules of the AAA Contest Board when it began operations in 1909.

Continuing with the American theme, also included are the rules for the 1946 edition of the International Sweepstakes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They include the sliding displacement/weight scale for the International Formula of 1938. In addition, there is information on the NASCAR Grand National Circuit for the 1954 season.

Case History – The Gordon Bennett Cup rules2

The Automobile Club of France is the guardian of a cup donated by Mr. Gordon Bennett, which is intended as an international challenge trophy. It shall be competed fro under the following conditions:

I. Every foreign automobile club recognized by the Automobile Club of France is entitled to challenge for the cup and to dispute the possession of it with the Holding Club.

II. The clubs recognized are: The Automobile Club of Belgium; the Automobile Club of Austria; the Swiss Automobile Club; the Automobile Club of Turin; the Automobile Club of Great Britain; the Automobile Club of Germany, and the Automobile Club of America.
   Any club not mentioned in this list, desiring to be added thereto, must be accepted by a majority of the above-named clubs, providing this majority include the one or more clubs of the same country already recognized. Its name will then be added to the list and it will enjoy all the privileges of the recognized clubs.
   It is, nevertheless, well understood that on the notion of one club, duly carried, any club may be struck off the list.

III. Every qualified club wishing to challenge the Holding Club for the cup shall notify the latter of its intention before the first day of January in each year, by registered letter addressed to its president, and shall state the number of vehicles which will take part in the race. It shall also deposit with the Holding Club the sum of Three Thousand Francs. This sum shall be refunded if one of its representatives presents himself at the start. The President of the Automobile Club of France, even though his club does not take part in the race, shall always be informed by registered letter.

IV. Each club may be represented by one, two, or three vehicles, at its option, but the fact of its using but one or two shall not debar the other clubs from exercising the right to use three.
   If two or more clubs of the same country shall be admitted to the list of recognized clubs, it is well understood that that country can be represented by no more than three vehicles all told.
   The clubs of the same country shall in such a case have to agree among themselves which of their vehicles shall take part in the race. In the case of a disagreement, the vehicles shall be chosen in the order of entry.

V. The cup may be competed for every year between the fifteenth day of May and the fifteenth day of August. The exact date shall be determined by mutual agreement if the interested clubs before the first day of February in every year.

VI. In the case of the Holding Club receiving challenges from several clubs in due time, there shall be but one race wherein the challenging clubs and the Holding Club shall be represented by not more than three vehicles each.

VII. Vehicles qualified to compete must conform to the definition of the vehicle, as given in the Racing Rules of the Automobile Club of France, to wit:
   The carriage shall weigh at least 400 Kilos and not more than 1,000 Kilos, and shall carry at least two passengers, side by side, of an average minimum weight of sixty Kilos each, it being understood that in case the average weight of the passenger should not amount to sixty Kilos, the balance shall be made up by ballast.
   The carriage shall be weighed empty. By empty is meant without passengers or supplies (coal, petroleum, water, accumulators) and without tools or extra pieces, or baggage, dress, or provisions.
   Carriages which generate the necessary energy for lighting purposes from a mechanical device run by their motors shall be given an allowance of seven Kilos. The weight of the lanterns and horns is not comprised in the weight of the vehicles, but only that of the lantern holders.

VIII. The carriages in each and every one of their parts shall be entirely constructed in the country of the clubs which they represent.

IX. The carriages shall be operated by drivers appointed by the competing clubs. Their two seats shall be occupied during the entire duration of the race.

X. A commission shall act for the enforcement of these rules. Each competing club shall nominate a delegate. Mr. Gordon Bennett shall always be an ex-officio member of this commission. The Automobile Club of France, even though it does not take part in the race, shall also ex-officio be represented by a delegate in the commission.
   The delegates shall name outside of their own number a president, who, in the case of a tie vote, shall cast the deciding ballot. If the delegates should not be able to agree upon the choice of a president, then he shall be appointed ex officio by Mr. Gordon Bennett, or in his default, by the President of the Automobile Club of France. The commission shall appoint a starter, an umpire at the finish, and timekeepers. They shall not be bound to select such officers from among their own number.
   The commission is charged with the duty of enforcing strictly these rules and of passing upon and deciding all incidents which may occur. The race shall be confirmed by the commission.

XI. The race shall be held on the road, in a single stage, of a distance not less than 550 kilometers, and not more than 650 kilometers. This distance may be taken from one city to another, or may be divided into several round trips, each partial trip to be not less than 125 kilometers.
   The Holding Club shall choose the route; it shall make the same known in an exact and detailed manner by registered mail to the Challenging Clubs at least three months before the date fixed for the race.
   If, after such notification, a change of itinerary should be made, the same shall br communicated at once by registered mail to the competing clubs. No such change shall be permitted except in case of absolute necessity and only after receiving approval of the commission provided for by Article X hereof.

XII. The race shall be run in the country where the cup is held. The Holding Club, however, shall always have the right to run the race in France.

XIII. Starting shall be at intervals of two minutes. The order shall be as follows: first a carriage of the Holding Club; then a carriage of each of the contesting clubs, beginning with the club whose challenge was first received; then the second carriage of the Holding Club, followed in the same order by the second carriage of the other clubs. Finally the third carriages in the same order.

XIV. The carriage which shall cover the distance in the shortest time shall be declared the winner and shall win the cup for the club, even though it be the only one of its team to finish the course.

XV. In case of a dead-heat between the Holding Club and one of the Challenging Clubs, the Holding Club shall keep the cup.

XVI. In case of a dead-heat between two challenging clubs for the first place, they shall race over again, under these rules, within a period of two months, it being understood that at the end of such period may be later than provided for by Article V hereof.
   In case the two clubs should not be able to agree for the choice of route, they shall draw lots.
   Should one of the clubs refuse to run again, the other club shall ipso facto become the holder of the cup.

XVII. Within fifteen days after the confirmation of the race, the cup shall be handed over to the custody of the winner. In case of a dead-heat and pending the running off of the same, the cup shall remain in the custody of the Holding Club.

XVIII. If one of the challenging clubs should be alone represented at the start, it shall cover the whole course within a maximum time to be fixed by the commission provided for by Article X hereof. A failure to do so shall entitle the Holding Club to keep the cup.

XIX. It is well understood that no club shall ever become the owner of the cup; it may be only the holder thereof, subject to these rules.

XX. In case the Holding Club should cease to exist, the cup shall be handed over to Mr. Gordon Bennett, or in his default, to the Automobile Club of France.

XXI. The races for the cup, whether they take place in France or in another country, shall always be subject to the Racing Rules of the Automobile of France.

XXII. The traveling expenses of the members of the commission provided for by Article X hereof shall be borne by the clubs which they represent.
   The expense for the organization of the race itself (compensation and traveling expenses of timekeepers, posters, tips along the course, etc.) shall be disbursed by the Holding Club. After the race they shall be divided equally between the Holding Club and the challenging clubs. It is agreed that the sums due from the challenging clubs which do not take part in the race (and which thereby forfeited to the Holding Club the Three Thousand Francs named in Article III hereof) shall be paid by the Holding Club.

XXIV. All clubs whether holding the cup or challenging for it, thereby agree absolutely to conform strictly to all articles of these rules and in cases not herein provided for, to conform to all the articles of the Road Racing Rules of the Automobile Club of France.

Case History – Racing Rules of the American Automobile Association3


1. Sanctions. A person, association or club (hereinafter designated the Promoter) desiring to hold a race or series of races under the rules of the American Automobile Association, shall first obtain a sanction from the Chairman of the Racing Board. No announcement of such race or races shall be made until such sanction shall have been obtained.

2. Applications. Application for such sanction shall be made to the Chairman of the Racing Board and shall be accompanied by a fee of fifty dollars for non-members of the American Automobile Association, or ten dollars for members, and shall set forth the name and address of the Promoter; a schedule of the events and distances; the number and value of the prizes; the amount of the entry fees and details of the course. If the event is to be run on a public highway the Board may require evidence of the permission of the proper legal authorities.

3. Refusal. The Racing Board reserves the right to refuse a sanction without assigning a reason therefore.

4. Evidence of Precaution. Promoters, before sanctions will be granted, must, if requested by the Racing Board, demonstrate to the Board that every reasonable precaution to save harmless (in so far as possible) the general public and contestants has been taken. This includes laying dust, patrolling the course, closing highways, etc.

5. No Changes. After a sanction has been granted no change may be made in any of the details required to be set forth in the application for same, except with the approval of the Racing Board. No change in the itinerary of a road race may be made with the approval of the Racing Board. In the event of such approved change, the promoter must give the widest possible publicity to the change and shall be charged with the duty of advising all those interested, of such change.

6. Transgression. No sanction shall be granted to a promoter who shall have previously transgressed the racing rules of the American Automobile Association, or permitted their transgression at a meeting under his management, until he shall have been restored to good standing by formal action of the Racing Board.

Duties of Promoters

7. Entry Blank. On receipt of a sanction the promoter shall prepare an entry blank, which shall show the details set forth in Rule 2; the date of the closing of entries; the address to which entries must be sent ; and which shall require the entrant to supply the name of the operator; the machine he will drive; the name of the maker; the motive power; the weight; the number of cylinders; the rated horse-power; and the date of mailing the entry. It shall bear upon its face the words, “Under the rules, and with the sanction of the Racing Board of the American Automobile Association.”

8. Send Copies. A copy of the entry blank shall, immediately upon its issue, be forwarded to the Racing Board. A copy of these rules shall be sent by the promoter to every entrant.

9. Send Rules. Each driver shall be provided with a copy of these rules before competing in any event which may be promoter thereunder.

10. Send Records. The promoter shall forward to Secretary of the Racing Board within forty-eight hours after the meet, a complete record of the meet, showing the winners of each event and the times made, which record shall be signed by the referee and timers.

11. Programme Contain. The programme shall bear upon its face the words: “Under the rules and with the sanction of the Racing Board of the American Automobile Association,” and shall set forth the distance of each race; description of prizes and their value; a copy of the rule relative to the classification of automobiles for racing; the manner of starting; a list of the names of the of the officials strictly in accordance with the rules relating to same; and a list of the entrants and their numbers.


12. Entries. The acceptance of the entries shall be limited to persons who have not, since the first day of January 1903, taken part in any automobile race or hill climbing test not sanctioned by the Racing Board of the American Automobile Association; and who have never knowingly competed with a person not eligible under the rules and rulings of the Racing Board; who agree, by their signatures to the prescribed entry blank, to recognize the jurisdiction and decisions of the Racing Board of the American Automobile Association in racing matter; and who have not been debarred from competition in events over which the American Automobile Association or the governing bodies of other nations have jurisdiction.
   The act of competing in an unsanctioned meeting, or in an unsanctioned event, shall disqualify without of the Racing Board, and such disqualification shall remain in effect until removed by formal action of the Racing Board.

13. Car and Operator. An entry shall consist of a combination of operator and car, the latter being described at the time of the entry. No change of car shall be permitted after an entry has been filed, nor of operator with the consent of the Referee.

14. Receipt and Acceptance of Entries. No entry shall be accepted after midnight of the day set for the closing of entries, no entry shall be accepted unless accompanied by the entry fee and all the details required to be set forth in the entry blank. Acceptance of an entry under other conditions shall be sufficient reason for the refusal of a subsequent sanction to the offending Promoter.

15. False Entry. Should a false declaration be made intentionally by an entrant, the Racing Board may, in its discretion, disqualify the entry and penalize the entrant.

16. More than One Car. Entrants, when declaring more than one car for an event, shall specify in detail each car declared at the time of entry.

17. Assumed Name. Any person who desires to race under an assumed name must first register such name with the Racing Board, and shall continue to race under the name so registered until withdrawn by permission of the Racing Board.

18. Amateur. An amateur driver is one who does not race for hire, or who is not actively engaged in the automobile trade, or who does not make his livelihood or any part of it as a result of his racing, or who has never been declared a professional by any sport governing body.


19. Automobile, Motor Car, Car. An automobile, motor car or car within the meaning of these rules, is a four-wheeled track or road vehicle propelled by self-contained mechanical means, and provided with suitable brakes, a differential gear or its equivalent, and a reverse gear.

20. Standard Classification. The standard classification of motor cars shall be by weight as follows:
   (A) Cars from 1432 to 2204 pounds.
   (B) Cars from 851 to 1432 pounds.
   (C) Cars from 551 to 851 pounds.
   (D) Cars from 110 to 551 pounds.

21. Other Classifications. In races where classifications other than those provided in Rule No. 20, are scheduled, such details and the details of the classification must be submitted to the Racing Board for approval before the announcement of the event.

22. Two Persons to be Carried. In Classes “A” and “B” cars must carry at least two persons seated side by side, whose per capita weight shall not be less than 132 pounds. (60 kilos.)
   By way of exception, in races on tracks and for record breaking, vehicles seated fro two will be allowed to be occupied by one person only, but the necessity for two persons is indispensable in races on roads.

23. Weigh in Empty. The weight of the cars in the several classes shall be computed in an empty state, i.e., without operators, supplies (fuels, lubricants, water or batteries), tools, spare parts, luggage, clothing, provisions, lamps, lamp brackets and horns.

24. Magnetos. Cars supplied with magnetic generators, actuated by the motor, shall be allowed a maximum of 15 pounds (7 kilos).

25. Motor Exhausts. Motor exhausts shall not be directed towards the ground by reason of the dust created and the subsequent danger to the following competitors. The direction of the exhaust will be checked and regulated before starting.

26. Distinguishing Marks. Cars shall not be allowed to carry any distinguishing mark other than the official designations provided by the promoters, which shall consist of a number placed on each the right and left side of each car, and where possible, on the front of the bonnet or hood.


27. Referee. The principal officer of a race meet shall be a Referee, whose duty it shall be to exercise general supervision over the affairs of the meeting and to act as the representative of the Racing Board. He shall, if necessary, assign the judges, timers, umpires, clerk of the course, and starter to their respective positions and instruct them as to the rules. He shall receive all protests and render decisions thereon, subject to appeal to the Racing Board as provided for hereafter in these rules. It shall be his duty to enforce and make a full report to the Chairman of the Racing Board of transgressions thereof either by promoters, contestants or officials.

28. Judges. There shall be three Judges whose position shall be on, or at the edge of the course, two at one end and one at the opposite end of the tape. The numbers of the placed cars shall be taken, one each by the three Judges respectively. The decision of the Judges as to the order of finishing shall be final. The judging of the cars shall be determined by the instant contact of the tires of the front wheels with the tape.

29. Timers. There shall be three Timekeepers whose sole duty it shall be to accurately calculate, report and record the elapsed time of placed contestants. The Board may require evidence of the competency of timers.

30. Starter. It shall be the duty of the Starter, after he has been advised by the Clerk of the Course that the contestants are ready, to ascertain that the Timers are ready and then give the signal to start by firing a pistol. He shall have absolute control of the competitors from the time they are reported by the Clerk of the Courses until the start has taken place. In the event of a moving start, the Starter alone shall have power to decide what is a fair start and may use a flag instead of a pistol as a signal.

31. Clerk of the Course. There shall be a Clerk of the Course, with as many assistants as may be necessary. It shall be his duty to notify competitors, in due time, of the events in which they are entered; to see to the arrival of the competitors to the starting point on time and place them in their respective positions.

32. Umpires. There shall be two or more Umpires, whose duty it shall be to take positions assigned them by the Referee, to note carefully the progress of the race and be prepared to report upon claims of unfair driving by contestants.

33. Scorer. There shall be an official scorer, whose duty it shall be to keep a proper record of the time of each event, which shall be signed by each of the timekeepers.


34. Failure to Start. Any entrant to a race who fails to appear or fails to start the race, unless excused therefrom by the Referee for a good and sufficient reason, shall be reported to the Racing Board by the Referee, and by the Board subjected to discipline by suspension, disqualification or other penalty in such degree as in its judgment seem best to the Board.

35. Method of Starting. Starts may be standing, moving or flying. Due notice of the method must be given on the programme, but in the event of failure to state the method a standing start shall prevail.

36. Standing Start. In a standing start the car must be stationary with its front wheels on the tape until given the word or signal to go. Time will be taken from the word or drop of the flag or the firing of a pistol.

37. Moving Start. In a moving start cars must start at a point between two and three hundred yards back of the tape. The pace from this point to the tape must be taken from the pole or inside car.

38. Flying Start. In a flying start a car may start at any distance back of the tape and cross the tape at the highest possible speed. This method of starting may be employed only where a single car is running for a record or in a time trial.

39. Position. In all races the position of the contestants at the start shall be decided by lot.

40. Delay. A contestant who fails to respond promptly to the call of the Clerk of the Course shall forfeit his right to his position and shall take the outside. There shall be no delay at the start on account of absentees and no contestant shall be permitted to take a place in the line after the contestants have been reported to the Starter by the Clerk of the Course.

41. Starting Cars. Starting of cars must be effected only by means of the motor, and without other means, as pushing by hand, lever, etc. This rule applies not only to the start at the beginning of the event, but to resting after any stoppage for any cause whatever, except as provided in Rule 54.

42. Referee’s Decision. In the event of a protest relative to the classification of a car or other matter which shall affect the right of a car to start, the Referee may, unless able to render an immediate decision, allow the car to start and render his decision as soon after the event as may be possible.

43. Demonstrate Ability. The referee and the judges may, in their discretion, require the operator of any car to demonstrate his ability to properly handle the car in which he proposes to compete.

44. Prohibit. The referee shall have absolute power to prohibit any car which he considers unsafe, unsuitable, or of improper construction to start in any event.


45. Heats. The Referee shall, in case there are a larger number of entrants than can safely be started in one race, divide the contestants by lot into two or more heats, each as nearly equal in number as possible, and a final, In case a competitor is not able to start in the heat for which he was drawn, the Referee may transfer him to another heat at his discretion. The positions of the contestants in heats shall be according to the number drawn, the lowest number taking the inside with the at least four feet intervening between the hubs.

46. Final Heat. The winners of each heat and any second car that makes faster time than any heat winner, shall compete in the final heat.

47. Dead Heat. In case of a dead heat the event shall be run again, unless the contestants agree, between themselves, as to the disposition of the prizes.
   In the event of dead heat being run off, the same car and the same operator shall be obliged to compete in the final heat.

48. Walkover. In the event of a “walkover” it shall be optional with the Referee whether the contestant be required to go the whole or a part of the distance. The Referee may impose a reasonable time limit.


49. Time Start and Finish. The time of the start and finish shall be determined by the instant of contact of the tires of the front wheels with a tape, laid across the course.

50. Handicap. In a time handicap the time shall be taken from the start of the scratch contestant.

51. Disagreement of Watches. In the event of disagreement of the watches, two agreeing, their time shall be official. Should all the watches disagree, the middle time shall be official.

Rules of the Course

52. Course and Stand. No person other than the officials, contestants and one assistant for each contestant shall be allowed upon the course. Contestants and attendants must leave the course as soon as the event in they are engaged has ended.

53. Leaving the Course. A competitor who leaves the course for any cause, must, if he desires to continue the race, start from the point at which he withdrew. A competitor who leaves the track or road, or is unable to continue, in a race run in heats, shall not be allowed to compete in a subsequent heat of the same race.

54. Cars not to be Pushed. Cars must not be pushed, except by own crews. This rule may be departed from under only the two following conditions:
   (a) On leaving the enclosure, when approaching the starting line, and
   (b) When necessary to get out of a bad place, not properly a part of the course, such as fording a stream, ditches, etc.

55. Foul Driving. Intentional foul driving shall be punished by disqualification for all subsequent events at the meeting, as well as the event in the which the foul practice occurs, and may be further penalized by the Racing Board by suspension not exceeding six months for the first offense and permanent suspension for a second offense.

56. Special Track Rules.
   (a) Passing. It shall be the duty of the operator of the leading car to hold the inside as nearly as may be practicable. One contest overtaking and passing another, must pass on the outside unless the car in front shall be so far from the inside as to render it safe to pass on the inside. After having passed to the front a competitor shall not take the inside, or cross in front of the competitor passed, unless a lead of a full length of his car has been established, under penalty of disqualification.
   (b) Rail. All track races shall be run with the left hand of the operator toward the rail.
   (c) Passengers as Assistants. A competitor may, if he elects, carry one assistant as a passenger. After having been passed by the Clerk of the Course no car shall receive attention at the hands of any person other than the competitor and his assistant.

57. Special Road Rules.
   (a) Rules of the Road. Operators must comply with the regulations for road traffic, which include:
      (1) Keep to the right when overtaken.
      (2) Keep to the left when overtaking,
      (3) Pass to the right when meeting a vehicle moving in the opposite direction.
   (b) Give Warning. Cars shall give warning of approach as often as may be necessary, by means of a horn, or trumpet, or other instrument of like character. Bells or gongs may not be substituted.
   (c) Officials. The usual officials provided for in track racing events, viz., referee, judges, timers, clerk of the course, starter, umpires and scorer, shall obtain in road races, with the exception that the number of timers may be increased with the demands of the event. All officials must be approved by the Racing Board before serving in their various capacities.
   (d) Umpires’ Duties. Umpires shall be placed at each turn in the course or circuit. It shall be their duty to report to the Referee on all matters which seem to demand the same. It shall be their further duty to know by observation as to whether or not an operator is hindering or otherwise willfully obstructing another car, or obstructing the course, contrary to these Rules.
   (e) Checkers’ Duties. Checkers. In addition to the officials already provided for there shall be appointed a requisite number of officials who shall be known as checkers. They shall be located at points designated by the promoter. In addition to checking cars in their order of passing, it shall be their duty to enforce compliance with these Rules.
   (f) Time Check Box on Car. To facilitate checking, every car competing shall be equipped with a box of uniform pattern to receive the control vouchers provided. These boxes shall be supplied to each competitor by the promoter, he taking therefor a deposit if $5.00, which sum shall be returned to the competitor upon the return of the box to the promoter. These boxes shall be made securely fast to some part of the car, conveniently available to the timers and checkers.
   (g) Times at the Controls. In passing through controls the time of arrival shall be taken on the instant the front tire shall have stopped at a point of contact with the tape, and the time shall again be taken on the instant of starting from the tape at the exit of such controls.
   (h) Timers at Controls. The timer at the entrance of the control shall make a note of the instant the tires come to a rest at the tape, making note of the same on the card, deliver this card to the person conducting the contestant through the control, who shall, upon his arrival at the exit, deliver the same to the second timer, who shall thereon make note of the time of departure. This card must be deposited in the competitor’s time check receptacle after the official record shall have been completed.
   (i) Timer’s Card. The timer or checker at the exit of control shall deposit the voucher in the box in advance of the time of start, noting thereon the instant of start.
   (j) Pilots through Controls. Contestants shall be preceded through controls either by a person mounted in a bicycle, or shall be accompanied by a person competent to estimate the speed of the car, in order that as nearly as possible the full limit of time set for passing through the control shall have been consumed.
   (k) Follow Pilots. Competitors must conform fully with the regulations established by the pilots mounted on bicycle, or be regulated by the instructions of the official who shall accompany him through the controls. Competitors are warned that any deviation from this rule will result in penalizing them in the full time required for the control.
   (l) Failure to Pass Control. Any competitor who shall fail to pass through a control, either by neglect, or willfully, shall be disqualified from further competition in the event.
   (m) Two Cars from Control. If two vehicles shall come to the entrance of the control simultaneously, the checker or timer shall send them away together, from the limit of the control.
   (n) Repairs and Supplies in Controls. While a car is passing through a control no repairs shall be made and no supplies shall be taken on.
   (o) Reports of Officials to Referee. Immediately upon the close of the event, checkers and timers at all control stations, umpires and checkers along the route of the race, shall at once prepare reports of all that transpired, and immediately transmit the same to the Referee.


58. Records. No time shall be accepted as an official record unless taken by at least three official timers.

59. Surveyor’s Certificate. Claims for record must be accompanied by a surveyor’s certificate as to the correctness of the distance run measured, if on the track, three feet from the pole, and of on the road, at its center, together with evidence that the course is level.

60. Intermediate Distances. In event of an attempt to lower the record for a given distance the acceptance of records at intermediate distances will not be allowed.

61. Unofficial Times. Times made in events where classification other than that provided in Rule No. 20 shall obtain, shall not be recognized as official, although awards may be made on their results.

Protests, Complaints and Appeals

62. Protests and Complaints. Protests or complaints of any kind must be made to the Referee within twenty-four hours after the finish of the race involved. The protestant or complainant must accompany his complaint or protest with a fee of $10.00, which shall be forfeited to the promoter if the protest be not sustained. A protest, once lodged, may be withdrawn only by consent of the Racing Board.

63. Contestants’ and Owners’ Protests. Contestants shall be allowed to complain in regard to foul driving, interference, or any other irregularity which shall have interfered with his rights under these Rules during progress of the event.
   Complaints or protests on other matters, as to classification, eligibility to start, etc., may be made only by the owner or owners of competing car.

64. Appeal to Racing Board. An appeal from the decision of the Referee may be made to the Racing Board by the owner of the car against which the decision was made. Such an appeal must be forwarded to the Board within ten days after the rendering of the decision and must set forth fully the facts of the case, accompanied by sworn statements or affidavits necessary to substantiate the claim, and a copy thereof sent at the same time to the Referee from whose decision the appeal is taken. A fee of $50.00 must be sent with the appeal, which fee will be returned if the decision appealed from be reversed. No member of the Racing Board may sit on the Board when it is considering an appeal from a decision which he has rendered, or in which he is personally interested.


65. Suits for Damages, Etc. All suits of a civil or penal character, of any kind whatsoever, arising from competition in races held under these Rules, must be borne and resulting judgments satisfied by the competitor responsible for the action.


66. No Betting Permitted. The making or laying of bets or wagers shall not be permitted, recognized or tolerated.


67. Disqualify. Disqualification for any infraction of the foregoing rules shall debar the offender from participation in any and all of the awards for the event in which he competed.

Powers of Racing Board

68. Powers of Racing Board. The Racing Board reserves the right to veto the appointment of any race official; to assign dates; to inquire into and deal in its judgment with all matters relating to racing, subject to the rules; to disqualify either temporarily or permanently, persons guilty of infraction of these Rules; to determine who are and who are not eligible to compete; to interpret these Rules and to decide any issue not covered herein as it may consider advisable.

69. Amendments. These Rules may be amended by the Board of Directors of the American Automobile Association.

Case History – The Vanderbilt Cup rules4

First. The cup shall be known as “The William K. Vanderbilt. Jr. Cup.”

Second. The cup is to be competed for annually through the American Automobile Association or its successor.

Third. The distance of the race is to be not less than 250 miles nor more than 300 miles. The course must be over a regularly used highway and the competition is under no circumstances to be held on a track.

Fourth. Challenges must be filed before March 15 of each year, entries closing on that date. No postponements on account of weather conditions to take place after the date of the race has been settled on by mutual agreement between the holding and challenging club.

Fifth. Competition shall be allowed only to clubs that are recognized by or affiliated with the American Automobile Association and to clubs recognized by or affiliated with the Automobile Club of France.

Sixth. Not more than ten cars shall represent any one country.

Seventh. During 1904 and 1905, the first two years after the establishment of the race, the contest must be held in the United States. Subsequent to 1905 contests may be held within the country holding the cup.

Eight. Challenge fees must be accompanied by a fee of $500 for each car entered. In the event of non-appearance, or failure to start, the entire fee of $500 shall be forfeited to the holding club.

Ninth. The annual contests are to be governed by the Road Racing Rules of the American Automobile Association (when held in the United States) and the Road Racing Rules of the Automobile Club of France (when held in a foreign country).

Tenth. Each contestant, when challenging, assumes (a) all expenses incidental to his participation and (b) all liability for criminal or civil suits for damages caused by him.

Eleventh. When the contest is held within the United States, the American Automobile Association shall:
   1. Select and name the course to be covered.
   2. Secure the necessary legislation or local government consent.
   3. Assume all expenses incidental to the above, and of all officials, control stations, marking the course, etc., and take in return all forfeited fees and such portions of the entrance fee as is not already provided for.
   4. Name the first, second, third and each succeeding car in the order of finishing, together with their times.
   5. Have the course thoroughly policed, turns suitably indicated and danger points warned.
   6. Appoint all officials with their credentials.
   7. Control all neutral zones.

Twelfth. When the contest is held within a foreign country, the Automobile Club of France shall be charged with the foregoing duties.

Thirteenth. Turns shall be indicated as follows:
   Right. Red banner, right side of the road, hundred yards before turn is reached. A second red banner on near right side of corner.
   Left. Same as above, except that banners should be blue.

Fourteenth. Straight-ahead intersections should be marked with white banners placed as above.
   Straight-ahead junctions: two white banners placed as above.
   Railroad crossings: Green banner placed one hundred yards before.
   Sharp or dangerous declines: Yellow banner one hundred yards before.

Fifteenth. Neutral zones are to be indicated by black streamers stretched across highways from a fixed point with the number of the zone indicated by white letters; streamers to be three feet by ten feet; letters at least 18 inches high by 6 inches wide. Inscription to read “Neutral.”

Sixteenth. Controls shall be indicated by white streamers, similarly placed, of like dimensions, with the word “Control” and the number of said control consecutively arranged in black; all letters and figures to be not less than six inches in with and eighteen inches in height.

Seventeenth. All contests shall be governed by a commission composed of the following: the racing board of the American Automobile Association, the donor of the cup, Mr. William K. Vanderbilt, Jr., and one member of the Automobile Club of France, to be named by the president of the A.C.F. This commission to serve whenever the contest takes place in the United States. During such years when the contest is held on foreign soil the commission shall be composed as follows: the donor, Mr. William K. Vanderbilt, Jr., one member of the racing board of the American Automobile Association and the sports committee (or racing committee) of the Automobile Club of France.

Eighteenth. Competing cars must carry a distinguishing number arranged consecutively and drawn by lot after the date of the closing entries. The number so drawn shall indicate the number of starting.

Nineteenth. There shall be no restrictions as to the weight of competing cars that they must weigh between 881 and 2,204 pounds and carry two passengers, seated side by side, whose weight must be al least 132 pounds each.

Twentieth. Cars must be weighed in by official weighers on the day preceding the race and equipment noted for checking when appearing at the starting line.

Twenty-first. Cars must start in the order of drawing at intervals of 60 seconds. Time of each car to be taken at the time fixed for its departure. Failure of the car to be present at that moment will cause it to lose as much time as elapses from the time of the given start until the moment it crosses the line.

Twenty-second. During the contests of 1904 and 1905 the first car will be started at daylight or as soon after as the commission deem it safe.

Case History – Information from the Entry Blank for the Thirtieth Annual International Sweepstakes

The following information is taken from the specimen entry blank for the 1946 running of the International Sweepstakes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.5 The information from the entry blank is offered to provide insight into the transition being made as the Post-War era was beginning. It also lays out the Supplementary Regulations that applied to the event. One imagines that the 1946 entry blank did not differ very much from those used in the years just prior the Second World War.

I think that the some of the minutiae found on the entry blank are food for thought about the side of motor racing that so many seem to conspicuously avoid, the actual conducting of an event by the promoter or the organizing club. It is certainly a less exciting pursuit of information than what might have happened on the track, but no less interesting once one sheds the blinders and takes a holistic view of the sport. Note the stipulation on the entry form for a contribution to the Benevolent Fund.

An automobile race for cars and drivers in good standing with the Contest Board of the A.A.A. subject to Rules 5 and 6 of Approved Supplementary Regulations, will be held as described hereafter, under OFFICIAL SANCTION No. 3960.

Distance 500 Miles (804.67 Kilometers)

Name of Car Model and Year
No. of Cylinders            Bore in Inches         Stroke Inches
Piston Displacement Cu. In.      Supercharger?            Four or Two Cycle?
Front, Rear or 4-Wheel Drive?            Gasoline or Diesel?
Weight of Car               A.A.A. Car Registration No.
Name of Owner
Address of Owner
Name of Driver                  A.A.A. Registration No.
Address of Driver
Name of Mechanician               A.A.A. Registration No.
Address of Mechanician

It is hereby understood that the car described above and driver named are to appear at the above-mentioned meeting, except as provided in the rules of the Contest Board, particularly Rules 101 and 110 (as of December 1, 1940) thereof.

All rules and regulations of the Contest Board, A.A.A., and the approved supplementary regulations are hereby made a part of this contract.

BENEVOLENT FUND – In addition to the regular entry fee of $125.00, the entrant, in signing this entry form, agrees to pay a special fee of $20.00 to the Contest Board representative which payment is requisite before the car or driver shall be eligible for practice. Of this amount $10.00 is assessed to the driver, although the entrant is held responsible for the payment of the entire amount. Where a riding mechanic is used, either in practice or the race, payment of an additional $10.00 is required and entrant in that event will be held responsible for payment of $30.00. An additional payment of $10.00 shall be required from each relief driver or relief mechanic before being allowed to drive in practice or in the race.

In addition to the above payments, for each car entered and attempting to qualify or engaging in practice running between May 1 and May 30, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation will pay $20.00 where the driver rides alone and $30.00 where a mechanic is carried. The total so collected shall be contributed by the A.A.A. to the Contest Board Benevolent Association, Inc.

LIABILITY – The entrant in signing this agreement and in consideration of the right to use the track under the conditions outlined and in consideration of the right to compete for the prizes and trophies to be awarded elects to use said track at his or its own risk and thereby releases and discharges said Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation, the Contest Board and the American Automobile Association, together with their successors, assigns, officers, agents and employees, from all liability for injuries to person, property or reputation, suffered by him or his employees as a result of the race or races or events contemplated under this entry blank, or practice or preparation therefor, and whether caused by any condition of the track or grounds or the conduct of any officer, agent, representative or employee of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation or the American Automobile Association or A.A.A. Contest Board engaged in any matter connected with the preparation for, supervision of, or conduct of said race.

Signature of Entrant
P.O. Address

Displacements and Corresponding Weights of Race Cars Under A.A.A. National Championship Regulations – 1942

Piston Displacement Supercharged Non-supercharged
  Minimum Weight* Minimum Weight **
40.639 cu. in. (666 cc.) 881.840 lbs. (400.000 kgs.) ….
42.714 cu. in. (700 cc.) 829.291 lbs. (406.555 kgs.) ….
48.816 cu. in. (800 cc.) 938.795 lbs. (425.835 kgs.) ….
54.918 cu. in. (900 cc.) 981.300 lbs. (445.115 kgs.) ….
61.020 cu. in. (1,000 cc.) 1,023.805 lbs. (464.395 kgs.) 881.840 lbs. (400.000 kgs.)
67.122 cu. in. (1,100 cc.) 1,066.309 lbs. (483.675 kgs.) 910.169 lbs. (412.850 kgs.)
73.224 cu. in. (1,200 cc.) 1,108.814 lbs. (502.955 kgs.) 938.498 lbs. (425.700 kgs.)
79.326 cu. in. (1,300 cc.) 1,151.319 lbs. (522.235 kgs.) 966.827 lbs. (438.550 kgs.)
85.428 cu. in. (1,400 cc.) 1,193.823 lbs. (541.515 kgs.) 995.156 lbs. (451.400 kgs.)
91.530 cu. in. (1,500 cc.) 1,236.328 lbs. (560.795 kgs.) 1,023.485 lbs (464.250 kgs.)
97.632 cu. in. (1,600 cc.) 1,278.883 lbs. (580.075 kgs.) 1,051.814 lbs. (477.100 kgs.)
103.734 cu. in. (1,700 cc.) 1,321.338 lbs. (599.355 kgs.) 1,080.143 lbs. (489.950 kgs.)
109.836 cu. in. (1,800 cc.) 1,363.842 lbs. (618.635 kgs.) 1,108.472 lbs. (502.800 kgs.)
115.938 cu. in. (1,900 cc.) 1,406.347 lbs. (637.915 kgs.) 1,136.801 lbs. (515.650 kgs.)
122.040 cu. in. (2,000 cc.) 1,448.852 lbs. (657.195 kgs.) 1,165.131 lbs. (528.500 kgs.)
128.142 cu. in. (2,100 cc.) 1,491.356 lbs. (676.475 kgs.) 1,193.460 lbs. (541.350 kgs.)
134.244 cu. in. (2,200 cc.) 1,533.861 lbs. (695.755 kgs.) 1,221.789 lbs. (554.200 kgs.)
140.346 cu. in. (2,300 cc.) 1,576.366 lbs. (715.035 kgs.) 1,250.118 lbs. (567.050 kgs.)
146.448 cu. in. (2,400 cc.) 1,618.870 lbs. (734.315 kgs.) 1,278.447 lbs. (579.900 kgs.)
152.550 cu. in. (2,500 cc.) 1,661.375 lbs. (753.595 kgs.) 1,306.776 lbs. (592.750 kgs.)
158.652 cu. in. (2,600 cc.) 1,703.880 lbs. (772.875 kgs.) 1,335.105 lbs. (605.600 kgs.)
164.754 cu. in. (2,700 cc.) 1,746.384 lbs. (792.155 kgs.) 1,363.434 lbs. (618.450 kgs.)
170.856 cu. in. (2,800 cc.) 1,788.889 lbs. (811.435 kgs.) 1,391.763 lbs. (631.300 kgs.)
176.958 cu. in. (2,900 cc.) 1,831.394 lbs. (830.715 kgs.) 1,420.093 lbs. (644.150 kgs.)
183.060 cu. in. (3,000 cc.) 1,873.898 lbs. (849.995 kgs.) 1,448.422 lbs. (657.000 kgs.)
189.162 cu. in. (3,100 cc.)   1,476.751 lbs. (669.850 kgs.)
195.264 cu. in. (3,200 cc.)   1,505.080 lbs. (682.700 kgs.)
201.366 cu. in. (3,300 cc.)   1,533.409 lbs. (695.550 kgs.)
207.468 cu. in. (3,400 cc.)   1,561.738 lbs. (708.400 kgs.)
213.570 cu. in. (3,500 cc.)   1,590.067 lbs. (721.250 kgs.)
219.672 cu. in. (3,600 cc.)   1,618.396 lbs. (734.100 kgs.)
225.774 cu. in. (3,700 cc.)   1,646.725 lbs. (746.950 kgs.)
231.876 cu. in. (3,800 cc.)   1,675.055 lbs. (759.800 kgs.)
237.978 cu. in. (3,900 cc.)   1,703.384 lbs. (772.650 kgs.)
244.080 cu. in. (4,000 cc.)   1,731.713 lbs. (785.500 kgs.)
250.182 cu. in. (4,100 cc.)   1,760.042 lbs. (798.350 kgs.)
256.284 cu. in. (4,200 cc.)   1,788.371 lbs. (811.200 kgs.)
262.386 cu. in. (4,300 cc.)   1,816.700 lbs. (824.050 kgs.)
268.488 cu. in. (4,400 cc.)   1,845.029 lbs. (836.900 kgs.)
274.590 cu. in. (4,500 cc.)   1,873.358 lbs. (849.750 kgs.)

* Increasing by 1.928 kgs. (4.25 lbs.) for each increase of 10 cc. (0.61 cu. in.) of displacement.
** Increasing by 1.285 kgs. (2.83 lbs.) for each increase of 10 cc. (0.61 cu. in.) of displacement.

First Prize $20,000
Second Prize $10,000
Third Prize $5,000
Fourth Prize $3,500
Fifth Prize $3,000
Sixth Prize $2,200
Seventh Prize $1,800
Eighth Prize $1,600
Ninth Prize $1,500
Tenth Prize $1,400
Total Prize $50,000

In addition to above prize monies a consolation prize will be awarded, the amount and manner of distribution to be announced on or before May 30th, 1946. However, minimum consolation prize shall not be less than $500.00.

Study These Conditions to Avoid Misunderstandings


The following additional Rules and Conditions have been approved by the Contest Board of the American Automobile Association, and govern the conduct of the meeting with the same force as the Book of Contest Rules. They will be strictly enforced. Please do not ask us to change them. The management wants to treat all entrants alike, believing that it is only good sportsmanship to do so.

1. Entry Blanks – Must be completely filled out, including the duplicate, and complete data given on every question set forth. Entries positively close at midnight, May 1, 1946.

2. Entrance Fee – The entrance fee for each car shall be $125.00, payable at the same time the entry is made. $100.00 of the entry fee will be refunded on each car which attempts to qualify. No entry fee will be refunded for entries that fail to arrive at the Speedway, or do not attempt to qualify.

3. Eligibility –

   (a) Displacement – Supercharged engines will be limited to a maximum piston displacement of 183.060 cubic inches (3,000 cc.). Non-supercharged engines will be limited to a maximum piston displacement of 274.59 cubic inches (4,500 cc.). (See complete table of sizes and weights.)

   (b) Wheelbase – The minimum wheelbase shall be ninety-nine (99”) inches. The A.A.A. Technical Committee shall have the right and power to determine the safety factors and handleability of all cars with respect to this regulation.

   (c) Weight – (See complete table of sizes and weights.) In the weight of the vehicle are included the oil in the transmission chamber and differential, and the tires. It does not include water in the radiator, the oil for the motor, the gasoline in the fuel, the set of tools or spare wheels. Net minimum weight of the car must lie within 35 pounds of the requisite minimum weight for the piston displacement of the car. Any unnecessary equipment or additions to the structure of the car will not be considered in the total weight of the car except as ballast. The maximum weight allowable as ballast shall, in any case, not exceed 35 pounds, and such weight must be securely and safely fastened in place to the satisfaction of the Technical Committee.

   (d) Body Type and Measurements – The body may have one or two seats. In any case it must represent a minimum exterior width of 32.46 inches (85 cm.) measured within a vertical plane, tangent to the rear of the steering wheel, and perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle. The line of measurement must be based on a minimum height of 9.84 inches (25 cm.). Open pontoons or those of makeshift construction not permitted. (See detailed drawing showing application of measurements.)

   (e) Carburetor fittings of brass may be required by the American Automobile Association Technical Committee if in its opinion die cast parts are insufficiently supported or reinforced.

   (f) Brakes – Each car must be equipped with a braking system which must operate the brakes effectively and simultaneously on all four wheels.

   (g) Transmission – The transmission system must incorporate a declutching device and a reverse as well as a forward speed.

   (h) Fuel Tank – Fuel tank must be constructed and tank supported in such a manner as to insure against breakage. The construction and suspension of fuel tank and fuel lines shall be subject to the approval of the American Automobile Association Technical Committee.

   (i) Engine Lubricating Oil Supply – Oil supply for entire engine lubricating system unlimited. No further supply may be taken on during the race. No engine oil supplies will be allowed in the pits after the race starts. Neither may loose containers of oil be carried in the cars. Note Paragraph (o), Section 3, will be strictly enforced.

   (j) Starting Engines at Pits – Pushing cars at pits to start engines will not be permitted. All engines must be started at pits by self starter or hand crank.

   (k) Fire Wall – A fire wall is required between the engine compartment and the driver’s cockpit. If wall is aluminum it should not be less than 3/16-inch thick. The fire wall construction shall be subject to the approval of the A.A.A. Technical Committee.

   (l) Steering – Steering must permit a movement of front wheels at least 20 degrees in either direction. Steering wheel must have a steel insert for unit rim and spider. Steering gear ratio my not exceed 15:1 unless approved by A.A.A. Technical Committee.

   (m) Tire Ring Link Locks – Wheels may be required to be equipped with an approved tire ring link lock. Balancing lugs for wheels and tires must be approved by the A.A.A. Technical Committee. No lugs more than two inches in length will be permitted and lugs must be securely fastened.

   (n) Parts – American Automobile Association Technical Committee may require that steering mechanism or any other parts to be new and proportioned to the car. The Chairman of the Technical Committee may demand or permit any changes pertaining to safety. The American Automobile Association Technical Committee shall have the right to require Magnaflux examinations of crankshafts and/or other parts. However such examination may be made and certified to before arrival at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, provided certification report if such Magnaflux examination is made by responsible persons or organizations, and states exactly the parts examined and adequately identifies each tested part by distinctive die mark or other suitable methods.

   (o) Oil and Grease Leakage – Leakage of lubricants will not be tolerated. American Automobile Association Technical Committee may bar any car having excessive leakage from using the track.

   (p) Inspection After Race – Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the A.A.A. Contest Board reserve the right to inspect, for non-compliance with the rules, any or all cats finishing the race.

4. Practice, Qualification Trials and Speed Requirements –

   (a) To be eligible, each car must show an average speed of 115 miles per hour in an official speed trial of four complete laps of the track. Three trials may be permitted if necessary but all cars qualifying on the first or second attempts will not be permitted additional trials. (See Rule 142.) Diesel motor driven cars will be allowed a five-mile-an-hour handicap in the qualification trials only and will compete for starting position on that basis up to five cars. Speed trials will be held on a date to be announced by the management not later than May 1, 1946. Drivers failing to qualify on said date will have an opportunity to qualify on a later date under the same conditions; date and time to be announced by a bulletin to be posted by the Chief Steward. Cars qualifying after official date, however, lose starting position to which trials would entitle them.

   (b) All material or equipment advertised as having been used in the race must have been used and specified in qualification trials.

   (c) Beginning May 1, 1946, no cars will be permitted on track until American Automobile Association Technical Committee has examined, Magnafluxed and approved steering mechanism. American Automobile Association Technical Committee shall have the right to subject any other parts ot an examination if in its opinion it is deemed necessary.

5. Number of Cars to Start – Thirty-three cars will be permitted to start. In event of more than the specified number of cars entering, the thirty-three fastest cars in the official speed trials as provided in paragraph 4, will e eligible; provided, however, that the driver’s ability, condition and the design of the car be approved by the Technical Committee of the American Automobile Association. If and when the thirty-three fastest cars as determined by the qualification trials have earned the right to start THE STARTING FIELD WILL BE CONSIDERED CLOSED and no cars or cars, even though they shall have met the speed requirements specified in paragraph “A” of Rule No. 4, shall have the right or be permitted to start should there be vacancies in the starting field. Ties will either be redriven or tossed for an those entrants may elect.

6. Car Tests – The Chief Steward shall have the right to require cars or cars of unknown origin or quality to run under his direction or supervision, or that of a committee appointed by him for a distance of ten complete laps at each of the following speeds: 85, 95, 105, 110, and 115 miles per hour, before receiving approval for practice or qualifying.

7. Drivers’ Tests – The Chief Steward shall have the right to require drivers to prove their ability to drive on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before they will be permitted to use the track for practice. These demonstrations shall be for a distance of at least ten laps each at the following speeds: 85, 95, 105, 110 and 115 miles per hour and shall be made under the supervision of the Chief Steward or a committee appointed by him.

8. Name – the following regulations shall govern the naming of all cars in this class:

   All names are subject to the approval of the Contest Board at the time of registration. The initial naming of a car must be made not later then the date of the closing of entries of the first competition in which it is entered. No change in naming of car will be permitted after May 15, 1946.

Cars may be named –

   (a) After an automobile manufacturer, provided the main components (that is presumed to be the engine and transmission at least) are designed by said manufacturer. The intention is to permit factories to race either under the name of their product or incognito, as they prefer. If under their trade-mark name, the factory should at least design and have supervision during the construction of its car.. Factories will not be permitted to race a product as their own in the case of cars purchased already constructed. All disputed cases are to be referred to the Contest Board, who as a committee of the whole will hear the evidence pro and con, and their decision shall be final.

   (b) After an individual owner or owner driver. This is to permit any race car to be named after a bona fide individual owner.

   (c) After a recognized accessory in national use and upon regular sale, provided that the accessory designated must be actually used in its regular way in or upon the car.

   Names Prohibited – A car may not be named after a manufacturer by others unless the written consent of the manufacturer concerned is filed with the Contest Board on or before the first application for registration, nor is a car to be permitted to resemble the product of any American manufacturer without such written consent. This regulation apples particularly to radiator, hood, hub caps, and other individual characteristics.

   No change in name after the initial christening may be made without first obtaining approval of the Contest Board. In general, cars renamed for a manufacturer or an accessory may be required to be altered substantially in appearance. In no case will they be permitted to be named for a second accessory, provided there is a bona fide sale and the new accessory is actually used, as in the first instance. There is no intention to restrict renaming of cars after new private owners. In all cases, however, notice must be given the Contest Board not less than thirty days prior to the authorized use of the new name, even where permission is granted.

9. Car Numbers – Drivers holding 1941 championship rating will be assigned, insofar as practical, championship numbers. However, numbers eleven, thirteen, twenty, thirty, forty, etc., will be dropped. Management reserves the right to assign any number it deems necessary, Every car must carry its identification number prominently painted as large as practical on each side of the tail, also hood and/or cowl.

10. Cancelling Event – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation reserves the right to cancel the event and return the entrance fees unless a satisfactory number of entries has been received by midnight, May 1, 1946, the date on which entries will close.

11. Postponement – In the event of rain the race will be postponed until Friday, May 31, 1946, or some subsequent date.

12. Declaring Race Abandoned – The Chief Steward and/or Referee shall have the authority to stop the race after ten cars have finished. The Chief Steward and/or Referee shall also have authority to stop the race at any time should, in their opinion, an emergency exist.

13. Competency of Drivers – Any driver who, in the opinion of the officials or Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation or a special committee of five, does not show sufficient skill and judgment in the handling of his car to make him a safe factor in competition shall be declared ineligible to participate in this event or the practice period incident thereto. The decision of the special committee must be accepted as final.

14. Physical Condition of Driver or Mechanic – Any driver or mechanic who, on the day of the race, gives evidence of exhaustion or other physical incapacity making him a potential danger to others on the course, may be barred from further competition. The status of his eyesight, heart action, blood pressure and general condition must have been approved by the Speedway surgeon at least five days before the contest.

15. Naming Driver – Entrant agrees to supply Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation, or A.A.A. representative in charge, with name of driver of this car not later than May 15, 1946.

16. Crew – Each car must carry a driver and may carry a Mechanician. After start of race, only four bona-fide crew members shall be permitted on apron for work on car when car is at standstill at pit. Driver, and Mechanician (if any), of each car may be changed if incapacitated during the race, but only at the end of a lap and upon application to the Technical Committee or Contest Board Representative. In case of disability or accident to the driver of the car, but in no other instance, the Mechanician shall be allowed to replace the driver at any part of the course and continue the car to its pit at the completion of that lap, where a report shall be made to the Technical Committee. A relief driver for each car may be nominated not later than day before the event.

17. Relief Drivers – No driver will be accepted as a relief driver unless he has driven the car or one of the same kind, type or series during the practice period, or has the approval of an accredited A.A.A. senior official.

18. Technical Inspection During Race – Any car that collides with the retaining wall or another car is expected to stop at pit immediately for inspection. Failure to do this may subject entry to disqualification.

19. Caution Flag, Signal or Yellow Light Display – When caution flag, signal or yellow light is displayed, car must be reduced to a safe speed. All cars must maintain their position with relation to the car ahead after the caution flag or signal has been displayed. Failure to comply may subject car and driver to disqualification. Caution flag or signal will displayed immediately in event of rain or trouble of any nature.

20. Use of Track Extension – Any driver using the safety apron of the track, except in case of emergency, may be subject to disqualification by the Referee.

21. Disqualification – No entrant or mechanic shall have any claim for damages, expenses or otherwise, against the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation, or any of its officials, representatives or assigns, or the Contest Board or the A.A.A., or their officials, agents or representatives by reason of disqualification of either car or driver.

22. Pit Rules – Pit badges will be distributed at the drivers’ meeting. Proper deportment in each individual pit is charged to the entrant. He will see that pitmen are selected who will serve him, and that all pitmen are instructed in the following:

   (a) Pitmen must remain, as far as possible, in their own pit. Promiscuous visiting will not be tolerated.

   (b) No one will be allowed on track or the pits without the proper badge, which must be visible at all times.

   (c) There must be no standing on the pit rails. It interferes with the view of the infield.

   (d) Cars must be kept arranged in an orderly manner parallel to the track and as close to the pit wall as possible.

   (e) Pitmen shall keep their eyes on their own car at all times, ready to help their driver.

   (f) Neatness and cleanliness are required to present a proper public appearance. GREASE-SOAKED CLOTHING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

   (g) Each entrant of a single seater automobile will be allowed credentials for a crew of eight men, which shall include a relief driver. For each additional single seater car entered by him he is entitled to credentials for six additional men. Each entrant of a two-seater automobile will be allowed credentials for a crew of nine men, which shall include a relief driver and a relief mechanic. For each additional two-seater entered by him he is entitled to credentials for seven additional men.

   Relief drivers and relief mechanics are not allowed in the pits.

23. Payment of Prize Money – Prize money will be paid to ENTRANTS of winning cars twenty-four hours after the finish of the race, except in case of protest.

24. Intermediate Prizes – All intermediate trophies are awarded under deeds of gift, copies of which will be supplied by the Speedway management on request.

Case History – Specifications for the 1954 Season – NASCAR

In the overall scheme of things within the community of those considering themselves automobile racing historians, the American sport of stock car racing generally gets short-changed. The paucity of even a handful of books outside of those written by Greg Fielden covering the sport can be rather depressing. Although the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing – NASCAR – is the topic of quite a number of books, few belong on the reference shelf. What follows might of some interest to those willing to look beyond the usual and settle for something a bit more practical. These are taken from the 1954 NASCAR Record Book6 and, to me at any rate, quite interesting reading. As can be noted, this was a point where there was still a great deal of “stock” in a stock car.

The major series, Divisions, for the 1954 season were: Grand National, Short Track, Sportsmen’s, Modified, Amateur, and Midget. Gone was the Speedway Division and replaced by the Midget Division created on a trial basis for 1953.7 At some point in the future I will address the other divisions and their specifications for NASCAR during this period, 1953 and 1954 in particular.


No extra cost parts or optional equipment which would boost the basic horsepower rating of stand off-the-line models will be permitted. This does not apply to spark plugs or piston rings.

Any automobile manufacturer’s optional parts or equipment must be approved by the National Stock Car Racing Commission before being eligible for use in Grand National Circuit competition.

1. No jeeps, suburbans, station wagons, pickups or convertibles will be permitted.

2. All cars must have complete bodies, hoods, fenders, bumpers and grills.

3. Roll-over bars inside car are optional but recommended.

4. Roll-over bars are compulsory in hard-top models with no center door post to support roof.

5. Headlights lenses must be removed or covered with masking tape. Holes must be covered.

6. Chrome or other parts may be protected with masking tape.

7. Windshield may be protected by celluloid or cellophane covering.

8. Rear seat cushions must be removed. Front cushion must be intact and not altered.

9. All doors must be securely fastened in an approved manner with either cable with clamp, or metal strap with nuts extended to outside for quick removal. Suggest a “U” bolt with clamp at least 3/16th inch thick. Suggest two on each door. Leather straps or rope not permitted.

10. Radiator dust screens will be permitted.

11. Muffler must be removed.

12. Hub caps must be removed.

13. Any interchangeable wheels are allowed but all four wheels must be of the same size diameter and rim width. No truck wheels.

14. Tires: no knobs, power-grip or speedway treads allowed. Also no cross-grooving allowed.

15. Wheels may be reinforced in any manner provided general appearance is not changed.

16. Stock hubs for make and model only, may be reinforced. Steel hubs allowed if same type and design.

17. Interchangeable radiator cores allowed providing they do not alter sheetmetal frame of radiator for make and model.

18. Water pump impellers may be altered.

19. Transmissions must be stock for model car used.

20. Differential must have stock catalogued gears for model car used. NASCAR reserves the right to list allowable gear ratios for any make or model automobile.

21. Locked rear-ends will not be permitted.

22. Overdrives will be permitted.

23. Complete motors must be in chassis and body for which they are catalogued.

24. Stroke must be stock, as catalogued. Reboring of block is allowed to compensate for normal wear up to an absolute limit of 0.33 oversize, measured at the base of cylinder.

25. Valves, valve springs, cylinder heads and manifolds must be stock.

26. Altered or special camshafts will not be permitted.

27. Ignition system must be stock. Automotive advance in distributor may not be altered and must be in complete working order.

28. Flywheels must be stock. No alterations permitted.

29. Carburetor must be listed for make and model, but jets may be of any size. No additional cost carburetor will be allowed.

30. Heavy duty shock absorbers and springs may be used if listed for make and model. No other changes unless approved by NASCAR.

31. Only gasoline may e used as fuel.

32. Any oil is permissible.

33. Standard size gas tanks for make and model only. Pickup in fuel tank may be moved to right side.

34. Self starter must be in working order. All cars must start under their own power. After race is underway, cars may be started by hand pushing in pit area only, but under no circumstances is any cat to be pushed or towed onto race track from pit area. Violations means disqualification.

35. Generators must be in working order.

36. Stock exhaust manifold only. No alterations or changes permitted.

37. Motor mounts may not be altered or changed but a safety thru bolt may be used.

38. No polishing, porting and/or relieving of motor parts.

39. Removal of fan or fan belt or air cleaner is not permitted.

40. Straight exhaust pipes extending past rear body are compulsory.

41. Hoods must remain in original lock position and closed.

B – Short Track – Late Model

1. Specifications for this division will be the same as listed in Grand National Circuit, unless otherwise specified on entry blank.

2. Special asphalt tires will be allowed.


1. Championship points will be awarded all NASCAR races and fund established in all divisions.
   Championship points will be awarded to drivers and car owners, and the points funds will be divided equally, 50 percent to the driver and 50 percent to the car owners.

2. Each car must have at least one registered mechanic in order to be eligible to receive points or point awards.

3. When more than one driver races a car in the same race on which points are awarded, points will be awarded to the driver who completes the greater number of laps.

4. A driver cannot receive points for more than one car in any race.

5. In case of any ties, monies and points, for the tied positions shall be pooled and divided evenly between the drivers who are tied.

6. The 1954 point season will officially end on Sunday, October 31, 1954.

7. Official ruling on postponed events at end of season will be made by NASCAR headquarters.

8. All point money will be awarded at the annual Victory Dinner with date and place to be announced at conclusion of the season.

9. NASCAR reserves the right to establish, maintain, compile, publish and otherwise operate and award points and point funds and trophies through the facilities of the Awards and Achievement Bureau of NASCAR, Inc., under its rules and regulations.

11. Points and point money will be established on a National basis for Grand National, Short Track and Midget Divisions,
   Points and point money will be established on a National, State and track basis for Sportsman or other designated divisions; points and point money will be established on a National basis for Modified Division, the tracks to be designated by NASCAR.

12. Points will be awarded according to the Championship Point Schedule.

13. Grand National and Short Track point fund will be made up at the rate of $75.00 per thousand of purse pay-off; all other point funds will be based on $50.00 per thousand of purse pay-off.

14. Awarding of all point money at conclusion of the season shall be based on percentages listed in Point Fund Award Schedule.

15. Tracks operating on a weekly basis will be allowed two championship races a season for which double points will be awarded upon approval from NASCAR. One championship event may be awarded other tracks at the discretion of the National Stock Car Racing Commission.

16. Points will be awarded uniformly regardless of purse or distance of race, as per point schedule.

17. Point money in the Sportsman Division shall be apportioned as follows: 75 per cent to track fund, 15 per cent to state fund and 10 per cent to national fund. Point money in the Modified Division will be apportioned as follows: 75 per cent to the track fund and 25 per cent to the national fund.


For all Sportsmen’s Division races rated as state sectional or national championships and sanctioned as such, point money shall go into the Sportsmen’s National Fund and the points shall be awarded according to the Championship Point Schedule. Points in similar Modified or Midget races will be computed and awarded in the same manner.

20. All starters in any race will receive minimum amount of points indicated for the last figure in appropriate column of championship and regular point schedule.


Place % of Total
1st 20
2nd 10
3rd 9
4th 8
5th 7
6th 6
7th 5
8th 4
9th thru 15th 3
16th thru 20th 2


Position $2000 $3000 $4000 $5000 $6000 $10,000 $25,00 Regular Schedule
1st 100 150 200 250 300 500 1250 50
2nd 96 144 192 240 288 480 1200 48
3rd 92 138 184 230 276 460 1150 46
4th 88 132 176 220 264 440 1100 44
5th 84 126 168 210 252 420 1050 42
6th 80 120 160 200 240 400 1000 40
7th 76 114 152 190 228 380 950 38
8th 72 108 144 180 216 360 900 36
9th 68 102 136 170 204 340 850 34
10th 64 96 128 160 192 320 800 32
11th 60 90 120 150 180 300 750 30
12th 56 84 112 140 168 280 700 28
13th 52 78 104 130 156 260 650 26
14th 48 72 96 120 144 240 600 24
15th 44 66 88 110 132 220 550 22
16th 40 60 80 100 120 200 500 20
17th 36 54 72 90 108 180 450 18
18th 32 48 64 80 96 160 400 16
19th 28 42 56 70 84 140 350 14
20th 24 36 48 60 72 120 300 12
21st 20 30 40 50 60 100 250 10
22nd 16 24 32 40 48 80 200 8
23rd 12 18 24 30 36 60 150 6
24th 8 12 16 20 24 40 100 4
25th 4 6 8 10 12 20 50 2

All Starters Receive Minimum as Per Schedule

Reference notes

  1. Sigmund Krausz, Krausz’s A.B.C. of Motoring, Chicago: Laird & Lee Publishers, 1906.
  2. Ibid., pp.196-204.
  3. Ibid., pp.171-195.
  4. Ibid., pp. 205-210.
  5. Floyd Clymer, Floyd Clymer’s Indianapolis 500 Mile Race History, 1946 Supplement, Los Angeles: Floyd Clymer, 1946, pp. 341-343. There is also in my collection a copy of a part of the draft entry blank for the 1939 100 Mile National Championship event at Milwaukee with the heading, “Displacements and Corresponding Weights of Race Cars, International Racing Formula 1938-39-40.”
  6. Houston A. Lawing, editor, 1954 NASCAR Record Book, Daytona Beach: National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc., 1954, pp. 13-14, 19-20.
  7. “The Speedway Division was the only department to show a decline. Only four events were raced for a total of $10,000.00 and it is not likely that this division will be activated in 1954 because of the scarcity of cars in the areas where promoters were interested. NASCAR will attempt to substitute Midget Division events and to develop the double-feature programs with stocks. Ibid., p. 12.
  8. Ibid., pp. 13-14.
  9. Ibid., p. 19.
  10. Ibid., p. 20.