Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ray Harroun Wins The Inaugural Indianapolis 500 - May 30th, 1911

May 30th, 1911
Ray Harroun
("Ray Harroun" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia)
Born in Spartansburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
Nicknamed the "Little Professor" for his hand in creating the Marmon Wasp. Harroun is best known for winning the first running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 30, 1911. He is known to have started at least 60 AAA-sanctioned races, during the years 1905-1911. From 1909 to 1911, Harroun drove primarily for the team operated by Indianapolis-based auto maker, Marmon. However, at least one 1909 race result shows him driving a Buick. And, statistics from 1905 through 1908 show him driving cars described as "Harroun Custom" and "Harroun Sneezer."

Harroun won a total of 8 races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the second-most of any driver in the 100-year history of the track. The only driver with more victories at IMS is Johnny Aitken, with 15 wins in 1909-1916.

At the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911, his use of what would now be called a rear-view mirror, rather than the riding mechanic specified in the rules, created controversy, but was ultimately allowed. Harroun went on to win at an average speed of 74.602 miles per hour. Harroun, who came out of retirement to race in the first 500, would not race after 1911.
(Photo;"MarmonWasp" by The359 - Own work)
Harroun's historic Firestone-shod yellow #32 Marmon "Wasp," in which he won the Indianapolis 500, is on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

1 comment:

  1. Once again, Cyrus Patscke, who co-drove with Harroun, is overlooked.

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