Aug 30 2012

Race Profile: 1909 Massapequa Sweepstakes

During the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race, two other sweepstakes races (the Massapequa Sweepstakes and the Wheatley Hills Sweepstakes ) were run simultaneously for commercially available stock cars. The Massapequa Sweepstakes had six entrants for the smallest stock cars with engines 161 to 230 cubic inches. The winner received a prize of $1,000.


Howard Kroplick

The 10 lap, 126.4 mile race had a small but competitive field of six entries: two Chalmers-Detroit “30’s,” one Hudson and three Maxwells.

Fastest out of the gate was the #45 Maxwell of Thomas Costello, cutting a lap at 60 miles per hour. His success was short-lived as he hit a tree on his second lap and damaged the machine too severely to continue.

By that time George Ainslee in the #42 Hudson had passed Joe Matson’s #43 Chalmers-Detroit for second place and was able to move into the lead with the demise of Costello.

Matson, who in June won the Indiana Trophy, a stock car race for the same class held in Crown Point, Indiana, re-passed Ainslee for the lead. He paced out the remaining seven laps steadily extending his lead to 18:30 over eventual second place finisher Martin Doorley in #46 Maxwell.

Joe Matson’s winning race average was 58.4 miles per hour.

If not for a broken rear axle during the last lap on the #41 Chalmers-Detroit driven by “Buster” Brown, the Chalmers team could have finished one-two.


Sep 02 2012 john jansen 12:52 AM

I live in Massapequa. Do you know where the race was run?

Sep 02 2012 Hugh Nutting 3:49 PM

The early ‘stock’ car racing is interesting. This may have been the first of a long line of Hudson racing history.  The founders of Hudson cars had worked for R.E. Olds and Chalmers pre-1909.  Hudson offered a model 20 based semi-racer circa 1910. The Hudson EXPRESS was a stripped down production car based on the longer touring car chassis. It looked very much like #42.  Thanks again for this post.

Sep 02 2012 Howard Kroplick 9:14 PM

John, the race was run on the Long Island Motor Parkway, Massapequa-Hicksville Road and Old Country Road:

Sep 02 2012 Howard Kroplick 9:15 PM

Hugh, thanks for the Hudson info.

Apr 18 2013 lisa 8:11 PM

I have a trophy that i found at my moms house. after she past away. it says speedway club time cup for racers won by buster brown 1909 on it. i can not find it anywhere on line. it is copper and has three silver handles

Apr 20 2013 Howard Kroplick 12:11 AM

Lisa, please send me a jpeg of the trophy to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and I will try to identify it for you.


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