Board Track Racing- It's popularity and dangers
Board track racing was a big thing in the early part of the 20th century. Both motorcycles and automobiles raced on them. A board track like the one in Altoona, PA was constructed 4 million board feet of 2x4's laid on edge and took over 80 tons of nails and spikes to hold it all together. They were fast. When Indy racers were winning races averaging 110-115 MPH - board track racers were averaging 130 MPH for 300 miles. Indy winners Gaston Chevrolet, Howdy Wilcox, and Joe Boyer all lost their lives on board tracks. Newspapers had come to call them 'Murderdomes" because of the racing deaths.
Crashes were frequent and horrific - on one lethal day in 1912, several spectators were killed along with racers Eddie Hasha who crashed into another rider at motordrome in Newark, New Jersey and slammed into the crowd.