RACE: First Indianapolis 500
DATE: May 30, 1911
WINNER: Ray Harroun, Nordyk & Marmon Company
AVERAGE SPEED: 74.602 mph
WHAT HAPPENED: Races had been held on what would become Indianapolis Motor Speedway for two years before the first Indy 500 was run over the brick-paved track. Forty cars took the starter's red flag — yes, red. The race's first fatality occurred when Arthur Greiner hit the wall in Turn 2, and his riding mechanic Sam Dickson was killed. The race came down to Ray Harroun, who had come out of retirement, and Ralph Mulford dueling for the victory. Harroun ultimately won and returned to retirement.
NOTABLE: Harroun drove the No. 32 Marmon "Wasp," the only single-seat car in the race. All the other cars had riding mechanics who pumped oil, watched for traffic and made other repairs. Harroun won $10,000, the same amount baseball star Ty Cobb earned for the entire season.