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October 31, 1959


Author Affiliations

Smithfield, N. C.

Medical Director of Virginia International Raceway; member, Medical Staff, Grand Prix Races, Sebring, Fla.

JAMA. 1959;171(9):1251-1253. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.73010270032022

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Automobile racing has been known in the United States for years. From the old Vanderbilt Cup races on the Motor Parkway of Long Island, N. Y., in the early 1900's, racing has grown to a major sport. Before World War II crowds were drawn to Indianapolis, to hundreds of fairground dirt tracks, and to see the mighty midgets race on the 1/10-mile ovals throughout the many cities of our country. The daredevils of the 20's and 30's drove without restrictions or regard for personal safety. Death claimed many from their ranks in those days, from either faulty machinery, faulty road surfaces, or questionable driver qualifications. Medicine was seldom mentioned, in the heyday of dirt track racing.

Soon after World War II, small, racy, noisy sports cars began to make their appearance in the United States. The MG was the first to catch the fancy of sports-minded Americans. With the first

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