Sunday, January 27, 2013

On Barney Oldfield -- Another View: I Stand Corrected

Barney Oldfield and Harvey Firestone


As a Professor you really need to get your facts straight. Barney Oldfield, Master Driver of the World won two National races, Venice, CA. 300M Race, March 17. 1915 & Tuscan 100M Race, March 20, 1915. Barney died Oct. 4, 1946 not 1947 also sorry to hear that you think of Barney Oldfield as a bully. Barney was the toast of the town because he set World Speed Records and helped Henry Ford , Harvey Firestone, Harry Miller, Walter Christie and others to fame among some of his accomplishments. Barney Oldfield was one of the true American Automotive pioneers. Barney Oldfield love of racing was 55 years old when he raced tractors and actually set a record in a Allis-Chalmers tractor in Texas. Barney Oldfield promoted auto racing safety, first to introduce seat belts, enclosed race cars designed by Harry Miller & Barney Oldfield, tires by Harvey Firstone & Barney Oldfield to name a few. Barney went on an automotive safety quest after good friend Bob Burman, land speed record holder was killed in a auto race. Auto racing during this period was dangerous and a lot of drivers were killed or injured because of the lack of safety equipment. I do not believe Barney Oldfield turned on the sport of auto racing but believe he was trying to make people more aware of how dangerous the sport was and to promote safety. His article Widows in Waiting was quite true as during this period of auto racing there were a lot of auto racers that were killed or injured because of the times, no seat belts, no enclosed race cars, etc. I also disagree some what that Barney Oldfield had no say in his racing career with his promoter Bill Pickens and Brickyard owner Carl Fisher and others. Barney Oldfield called the shots most of the time, a few examples the Oldfield Jack Johnson Race, Barney had committed to this race before AAA got involved and told Barney if he went through with this unsanctioned race he would be suspended from AAA racing for a period of time, he could have not gone through with the race but decided to race because he had given his word and commitment also the Cactus Derby Race, he decided which car to use the Stutz Racer. Barney Oldfield was one of the first to be inducted into America's Motorsports Hall of Fames and Automotive Hall of Fames among a few so I am disappointed you have portrayed Barney Oldfield as a Blusterer and someone that had turned on this sport he so loved.
Wayne Carroll Petersen
Barney Oldfield Great Great nephew 


 Wayne Petersen and Donald Davidson
William F.Nolan, Mark Godfrey, and Wayne Petersen

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