All the excitement of competition we enjoy today had to begin somewhere, some time. The history behind most events is intriguing and most assuredly interesting. Whoever first said history is boring had no clue of anything in life except the breath of air being taken at any given moment to stay alive. Each of us has a connection...a person, a place or an event. Each connection has had an impact on what we know, experience and enjoy today.
This Day in History: May 30, 1911
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One of the world's most famous auto races began on this day, May 30, in 1911.
|#32 Ray Harroun was on the outside of row seven |
in the 28th starting position.
Not only was Ray Harroun the winner of the 1st Indy 500 but the year prior to the race (1910) he accepted an offer from Howard C. Marmon to design AND build a racing car to be driven by him in the first big event at the new speedway at Indianapolis. Cool, huh? Designer, builder, winner!
The Indy 500 birthed many basic ideas that are standard parts on today's cars, not just race cars—your car, my car, the automobile driven back and forth to the grocery store, taking children to school and going to work. What ideas you might ask? Turbo charging, driver safety, rearview mirrors, seat belts, tires. Tires! Get real...of course the first automobile ever had tires so what impact did the Indy 500 have on tires? Interestingly enough Ray Harroun's Marmon Wasp (by the way it was bright yellow) was equipped with bicycle tires! No kidding! That is not your average run-of-the-mill tidbit of information. See why history is so fascinating? Got you hungering for more? Click HERE!
|Harroun's winning Marmon-Nordyke "Wasp", on permanent display |
at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
[Notice the tires!]
$1.00 was paid for admission by 80,200 spectators in 1911 to watch the first Indy 500 race. Today, ticket prices range from $70 to $186 face value. The Indy 500 seats more than 250,000 people, giving it the title of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing".
On May 30, 1911, 40 cars lined up at the starting line for the first Indy 500. On the first day of time trials, May 17, 2014, the fastest 33 cars were locked into the starting field.
The 1911 Indianapolis "500" purse amounted to $27,550, of which Harroun earned $14,250. The total purse for the 2014 Indianapolis 500 was $14.23 million of which the winner took home $2.49 million.
What are your thoughts on the Indy 500? Are you a race enthusiast?