From our archives:
New Yorker Benny Kaufman was the 1936 Eastern Short Track Champion and 1937 National Speedway Champion. He was a popular racer throughout the New York City area and headlined many race events, including an 18-event program at Bay Ridge Stadium in Brooklyn, on May 31, 1937. Later that summer, Kaufman won an Aug. 9 race at Bay Ridge.
The June 12, 1937 New York Times provides an account of Kaufman racing at New York’s Yankee Stadium in front of 12,000 fans. Kaufman was injured in a crash while racing against Long Beach, California’s Bo Lisman in an East-West competition.
Kaufman also competed at the World Championship level. He finished ninth in the 1938 World Championship series at London’s Wembley Stadium. He entered the 1939 World Championship series, which was not completed due to the outbreak of World War II in Europe.
Kaufman was associated with Indian motorcycles. The November-December 1936 issue of Indian News reported that Kaufman was there to greet Leo C. Smith when the Indian–mounted Smith arrived in New York City upon completion of a transcontinental solo sidecar record run of 86 hours and 55 minutes.
He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998. (above information is courtesy of the AMA Motorcycle Museum).
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