Saturday, Nov. 5
Morning Session, 9:00 a.m. to noon
Randy Cannon | Caesars Palace Grand Prix – presented via Zoom
Randall Cannon is a freelance journalist and author. His first book, Stardust International Raceway, explored the convergence of organized crime influences and motorsports interests in the international capital of legalized gambling, Las Vegas. Cannon’s current offering, Caesars Palace Grand Prix, drills even more deeply into that nexus while also tracing the threads of history that culminated in the only F1 events to date in that unique city. Mr. Cannon will present at the Symposium from that research, as well as the incremental steps forward from Caesars Palace that will result in the return of F1 to that destination mecca of gambling, the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Gordon Eliot White | Harry Miller: The Man and the Cars
Mr. White is a retired newspaper correspondent who covered Washington, D.C., Europe and the Far East for the Chicago American and other newspapers for 34 years. After he retired from newspaper work he became the Smithsonian Institution’s auto racing advisor, following a sport he had enjoyed since 1939. He since has written seven books on the history of American open-wheel racing, including a history of Fred Offenhauser and the Offenhauser racing engine.
He has served as the unofficial historian of the Harry A. Miller Club and as curator and archivist of more than 12,000 drawings, tracings and blueprints of Miller’s cars and engines, as well as of thousands of documents covering the history of American racing since early in the 20th century. His presentation will address Harry Miller and Miller’s impression on American racing as well as how aficionados rediscovered him after he had been all but forgotten and, over the past 40 years have unearthed and restored many of his cars.
Katharine Worth | Politicizing Grand Prix Racing in 1930s Germany and Great Britain – presented via Zoom
Katharine Worth is a graduate student in History at the University of Western Australia. Following her Master’s research at the University of Edinburgh on the banal and natural involvement of politics historically in the Olympic Movement, Ms. Worth’s current research traces the relationship of politics and nationalism in Formula One (and its motor racing predecessors).
Her presentation will analyze the 1930s through the lens of Grand Prix racing – and the aspirations to race at that level – in Germany and Great Britain, addressing how motor racing became increasingly connected to politics and nationalism, showcasing the complex relationship between Germany and Britain at the time. Ms. Worth’s discussion will highlight the British and German perspectives and usages of motor racing in the 1930s as motor racing became entangled with the politics and rising tensions of the period. Speed became the marker of “civilization” in Europe – a power Germany possessed and one that Great Britain envied.
Hannah Thompson | Charlotte’s Glory: The NASCAR Hall of Fame in the Queen City – presented via Zoom
Hannah Thompson is a cultural historian of the Carolina Piedmont and is new in the museum field with her current position with the Gaston County Museum of Art & History. Ms. Thompson also helps restore Coca-Cola “ghost signs” throughout the Southeast in her spare time. She examines the history of the NASCAR Hall of Fame from its inception in 2001 through the global pandemic, bringing into consideration why Charlotte was selected as the seat for the Hall and how the Hall has affected NASCAR and its fans. Ms. Thompson suggests that Charlotte is often overlooked in motorsports history despite its lasting impact on the auto racing world.
Afternoon Session, 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Keynote: Buz McKim | Moonshine and Its Connection to the American Auto Industry
Buz McKim, formerly historian at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., is a distinguished figure in the motorsports world and a much sought-after speaker at motorsports gatherings. Mr. McKim served as director of archives for International Speedway Corporation and as coordinator of statistical services for NASCAR. He is the author of “The NASCAR Vault: An Official History Featuring Rare Collectibles from Motorsports Images and Archives.”
Mr. McKim’s presentation explores the origins of modified stock car racing in the illegal distribution of untaxed adult beverages, or “moonshine.” He recounts the development of NASCAR in 1949 and its evolution in the 1950s from a truly “stock” competition to a manufacturer-supported testing ground for advances in the engineering and design of American automobiles. Mr. McKim’s talk describes the irony of how the automotive engineering modifications inspired by “wild country boys” led to all-around improvements in automotive technology.
Lauren Goodman | Lucy O’Reilly Schell: Innovator of French Motorsports
Lauren Goodman received her MFA in screenwriting from the College of Motion Pictures Arts at Florida State University. While volunteering at the REVS Institute in Naples, Florida, she encountered one of two Maseratis entered by Lucy Schell in the 1940 Indy 500. Lauren’s research into Lucy’s time in France as a team owner and principal has been presented at REVS Institute. Lauren’s writing draws heavily on history and the lives of women whose achievements have been overlooked. Presently, she is developing Lucy’s story into a feature-length project. Lauren’s presentation will highlight Lucy’s role in motor racing history and her contributions to the sport.
Chris Lezotte | Real Racers Turn in Both Directions: Autocross, Life Skills, and the Woman Driver
After a career in advertising – some of it spent writing car commercials – Chris earned a master’s degree at Eastern Michigan University and a Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University. Now working as an independent scholar, Chris investigates the relationship between women and cars in a variety of contexts, including women’s participation in traditionally masculine car cultures (including motorsports) as well as representations of women and cars in popular culture. Her current project focuses on women’s growing involvement in autocross – the reasons for women’s participation; the methods by which women negotiate entry into a historically masculine environment; and how the autocross experience contributes to women’s identity, self-knowledge, and empowerment.
Roundtable: Daniel Simone, Moderator | Fifty Years After Title IX – On and Off the Track: A Roundtable on Women in Motorsports
Daniel J. Simone earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of Florida. He then taught at Monmouth University before serving as Curator at the NASCAR Hall of Fame from 2016-2021. Dr. Simone is on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Voting Committee and delivers presentations and academic papers at universities and automotive museums across the United States and Canada. He currently serves as program assistant at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, where he is co-processing and researching the Women’s Sports Foundation Collection and conducting oral histories and developing content for a digital exhibition.
The Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History has provided a platform for excellent in-depth and thought-provoking presentations on the successes, struggles, and contributions of unheralded women racers and car owners across various auto racing disciplines. The green flag for this roundtable discussion will wave with the panelists integrating these prior presentations into a brief historiographical discussion of women in motorsport. From there, the panelists will pull from their multi-disciplinary backgrounds and markedly different professional experiences and discuss why, where, and how they extended the boundaries of women in motorsports history scholarship. Finally, the audience will take the checkered flag with a challenge: to propose new themes and topics for future conversations, with an emphasis on the accomplishments women have made in motorsports without ever owning or taking the wheel behind a race car.