Thursday 26 May 2016

The Indy 500 – Now and Then ...

The 100th Indianapolis 500 is just around the corner, and it’s making out to be an exciting race.

Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe captured the pole position at 230.760 mph!! It’s doubly amazing because a year ago, Hinchcliffe almost died from the results of an Indy 500 practice crash!

The first running of the Indy 500 was just as exciting.

In 1911, there were 40 cars running the race vs the 33 cars for 2016.

Driver Ray Harroun was running his car, the Marmon Wasp, without a riding mechanic, the only one doing so in the race. To have an idea of what was going on around him, Harroun installed a mirror on the cowl, the first recorded use of a rear-view mirror!

Hand-carved/acrylic painted 22"x 12.5"
© Paul Chenard 2016

Harroun, relieved by driver Cyrus Patschke for 35 laps of the race, lead for 88 laps of the 200-lap race, and won it with an average speed of 74.602 mph.

He retired from racing after the race, and lived to the ripe age of 89 years old, passing away in early 1968.

The lovely Marmon Wasp survives still, residing in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

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