Dodge City 300 Centennial
July 4th, 1914 saw the wild west town of Dodge City, Kansas hosting what may have been one of the most significant motorcycle races in history. A 2 mile oval track was laid out just northeast of Dodge City with sanctioning by the FAM (Federation of American Motorcyclists - forerunner of today's American Motorcyclists Association AMA), the governing body of motorcycle competition until about 1919. The major manufacturers of the day showed up with Hendee Manufacturing Indian motorcycles entered as a team. Also competing were Thor, Pope, Harley Davidson, Excelsior, and Flying Merkel. The race was won by Glenn "Slivers" Boyd on the big 8 valve Indian (pictured left) with Bill Brier second on a Thor and Carl Goudy third on an Excelsior.
Both William Harley and Walter Davidson attended the race to watch the performance of their machines. Harley Davidson had not yet fielded a serious racing team in 1914 but the bikes performed well enough to convince the company to hire tuner and team manager Bill Ottaway away from Thor to form what became the "Wrecking Crew" and eventually the "Hogs". Harley Davidson would win every Dodge City 300 from 1915 to 1921 with a 3 year hyatus during World War I.
The Wild West town of Dodge City is ready to do it again!! A non-profit group, the Dodge City 300, Inc., has been formed and is in the planning stages of a grand event to celebrate the Centennial from July 1st through 6th, 2014. There will be motorcycle racing, bike shows, antique racing, antique, classic and custom bike shows, vendors and, of course, plenty of western history of the "Wickedest Little Cowtown" of its day.