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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Grease: 1925

Grease: 1925

"Bob McDonough, Laurel race." On his ribbon: "Baltimore-Washington Speedway DRIVER. Inaugural Opening. Saturday July 11, 1925." View full size.

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Bears a strong resemblence to Paul Newman, who became noted for his sports car racing skills, primarily in Datsuns.

Bob cleaned up real good

Here's McDonough at Laurel on 10/24/1925 holding a funnel covered with a cloth strainer while his fuel tank is topped off. Below that is a self-explaining Laurel poster.

About those board tracks

(Details adapted from my magazine article "Racing on Wood"): There were 24 board tracks in the U.S. from California to New Hampshire, ranging in size from a half mile to two, with seven in California (Beverly Hills on Wilshire Boulevard near today’s Rodeo Drive; Cotati, Culver City, Fresno and San Carlos, plus two circle tracks, Oakland and Playa del Rey); three in Pennsylvania at Altoona, Bridgeville and Uniontown; Akron and Cincinnati, Ohio; Atlantic City and Woodbridge, New Jersey, Charlotte, Chicago, Des Moines, Miami, Omaha, and Tacoma, plus Kansas City, Missouri; Laurel; Salem, New Hampshire; Sheepshead Bay in New York.

Most were designed and constructed by a former self-titled world champion high-wheel bicycle racer, Englishman Jack Prince. Playa Del Ray was the first built, in 1910, and the last major board track race was at Woodbridge on 10/18/1931. Average track life was just four years. Not much was known about protecting wood without using slippery creosote and the stock market crash didn't help.

Frank Lockhart did the fastest ride ever on the boards, a race qualifying lap of 147.229 mph in a Miller 91 on the mile and-a-half Atlantic City 45-degree banked track near Hammondton on May 7, 1927. BTW Laurel's track was banked 48 degrees.


Nothin' like a lime after a hot, dirty race!

Just look at those eyes

He's exhausted. He's dirty. His hands and feet are probably still shaking. He could've died this day, horrible and bloody. He might die in the next race.

And he wouldn't have it any other way.

Error on the boards.

McDonough was initially declared the winner of the instant event, but after the scoring cards were checked Pete DePaolo was granted the win.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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