1915 - 1918

The History of Motor Sports in Hibbing and Northern Minnesota - A Timeline

                                                                                                      1915          The famous Case “Jay-Eye-See” car driven by Louis Disbrow is here for an
                                                                                                     exhibition run. It is a 290 HP speed record car that has been clocked at more 
                                                                                                     180 MPH. It is the most powerful racing car in the world. Disbrow also brings 
                                                                                                     his Simplex Zip car, the fastest dirt track car in the world. During the event, 
                                                                                                     the current state record for the mile is smashed by 6 seconds.
                                                                                                     In a tie, the record is shattered by Eddie Hearne and Johnny Raimey with a
                                                                                                     one mile (2 laps) time of 1:09.40. (Average single lap time of 34.70 Sec.)
                                                                                                     Hibbing now has the fastest dirt track in Minnesota. Also competing here is
                                                                                                     Tommy Milton who would go on to win the 1923 Indy 500. This is the first race 
                                                                                                     to feature nationally known drivers.
                                                                    1916            On July 4, a 100 mile road race around the 10 mile “Mahoning Loop” circuit
                                                                                                     is held. Present for the event is Mr. Chester S. Ricker, head of timing and scoring
                                                                                                     at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race is won by Elmer T. Shannon in a 
                                                                                                     Stutz. The county fair races attracted a number of well known drivers. Among
                                                                                                     them was “Wild Bill” Endicott driving the “Sweeney Special.” This car was built
                                                                                                     by students at the Sweeny Automobile School in Kansas City, Mo. They were led
                                                                                                     by Ray Harroun, winner of the first Indy 500 held in 1911. Another well known
                                                                                                     driver attending was Miss Elfreida Mais, “Champion Pilot of the Universe”.
                                                                                                     She will make an exhibition run and compete in the 50 lap feature event.
                                                                                                     1917         Motorcycle and sidecar races attended by many out of state riders are held in July.
                                                                                1918             Races held during the St. Louis County Fair for local drivers only.

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© David L. Aho 2012

Dave is a member of the Hibbing Historical Society and the Minnesota State Historical Society and is a City of Hibbing Heritage Preservation Commission board member.