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August 21, 1933 - Walnut Gardens Speedway, Mooresville, Indiana

With the country struggling through the economic turbulence of the Great Depression, most auto racing events throughout the United States were suspended. Again this year, the Colored Speedway Association could not afford to rent the Indiana State Fairgrounds facilities. But once again the Association received some unexpected help from old friend and racing financier Harry Earl, proprietor of the Walnut Gardens Speedway in Mooresville, Indiana, twelve miles southwest of downtown Indianapolis. Earl again offered to rent his speedway to the Gold and Glory organizers for one dollar in exchange for his standard percentage of the gate receipts.

The Elks Club was holding its thirty-fourth annual convention in Indianapolis that year. The group agreed to be the sponsor of the Negro racing spectacle, which was dubbed the Elks Gasoline Derby. Twenty-six drivers entered their speedsters for the event. Governor Paul V. McNutt was on hand to greet both members of the national Elks organization and members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Charlie Wiggins captured black auto racing’s top prize for the third consecutive year, edging out his own brother, Lawrence, who placed second, and Cleveland, Ohio, driver Homer Cloud, who earned third place honors. Charlie started the race in last place, having arrived late and missed the primary qualification heats. In the race, Charlie received a five-lap penalty for inadvertently ignoring a yellow caution flag. Remarkably, he made up his five-lap deficit to capture the checkered flag.


Entrant City Car (Type)
Barney Anderson Detroit, MI Frontenac
Hugo Barnes Chicago, IL Fronty Ford
Bill Blackman Chicago, IL Nickels Special
Bill Buckner Windsor, Canada Fronty Ford
George Cilek Chicago, IL Ford
Homer Cloud Cleveland, OH Fronty Ford
Gill Cunningham Chicago, IL Rajo Special
Paul Davis Chicago, IL Ford-Miller Special
Spencer Freeman Detroit, MI Freeman Special
Wilbur Gaines Chicago, IL H-2 Special
Malcolm Hannon New York City, NY Graham Special
Clifford Jackson Chicago, IL Jackson Special
Bill James Indianapolis, IN unknown
“Wild Bill” Jeffries Chicago, IL Fronty Ford
Rufus Jones, Jr. Cleveland, OH Chevrolet Special
Walter Jones Cleveland, OH unknown
Johnnie Jordan Fort Wayne, IN unknown
Robert LaSallica Chicago, IL McBride Special
Sumner “Red” Oliver Dayton, OH Fronty Ford
Jack “Long Shot” Sargent St. Louis, MO Fronty Ford
Bobby Wallace Indianapolis, IN Chevrolet
William Walthall Chicago, IL Walthall Special
“Toots” Washington Pittsburgh, PA unknown
Charlie Wiggins Indianapolis, IN Wiggins Special
Lawrence Wiggins Indianapolis, IN Model A Ford
Fred Wilson Detroit, MI Ford

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