Today in the History of Motor Races

Motor Races: Indianapolis 500 - Le Mans

Events in Sport

  • 1895-06-13 Emile Levassor wins the first automobile race in history the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris, taking 48 hours and 48 minutes (1,178 km)
  • 1895-07-11 First ever automobile race: Paris to Bordeaux 1,178 km in 48 hours, 48 minutes
  • 1895-11-02 First organised auto race in the United States is run in Chicago; 6 cars race over 52-mile lakefront course; 2 finish because of blizzard conditions
  • 1895-11-28 America's 1st auto race organised by the "Chicago Times-Herald" Chicago to Evanston and back; 6 cars, 55 miles, winner avg 7 MPH
  • 1896-09-07 A. H. Whiting wins the 1st automobile race held on a closed-circuit track in Cranston, Rhode Island
  • 1904-10-08 1st Vanderbilt Cup auto race (Hicksville, Long Island, NY)
  • 1908-02-12 NY to Paris auto race (via Alaska & Siberia) begins in NYC George Schuster wins after 88 days behind the wheel
  • 1908-07-30 Around the World Automobile Race ends in Paris
  • 1911-05-30 1st Indianapolis 500 car race, Ray Harroun wins at 74.59 MPH (120 KPH)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1914-02-07 Charlie Chaplin debuts silent film "The Tramp" in "Kid Auto Races at Venice"

Comedian, Actor and Filmmaker Charlie Chaplin
Comedian, Actor and Filmmaker
Charlie Chaplin
  • 1915-08-07 Dario Resta, driving a Peugeot, wins the first Champ Car race ever to average over 100mph at a 100-mile race in Chicago; average speed 101.8mph
  • 1930-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Bill Arnold wins (161.6 kph)
  • 1936-03-08 The first stock car race is held in Daytona Beach, Florida.
  • 1950-09-04 NASCAR’s first paved super speedway, Darlington Raceway hosts Southern 500, first 500-mile event in NASCAR history; winner Johnny Mantz in a Plymouth
  • 1959-02-22 1st Daytona 500: Lee Petty wins (135.521 MPH)
  • 1966-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Graham Hill wins (232.2 kph)
  • 1967-07-01 Bobby Unser wins both races at Mosport, Ontario, Canada, the first Champ Car races ever run outside the United States
  • 1972-09-03 Jerry Grant runs the first official 200mph qualifying lap in Champ Car history, posting a lap of 201.414mph around Ontario Motor Speedway
  • 1972-09-10 Emerson Fittipaldi is youngest to win an auto race World Championship
  • 1987-08-02 Michael Andretti runs fastest Indy car race in history (171.49mph) in winning the Marlboro 500 at the Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan
  • 1987-09-20 French driver Alain Prost wins Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril; his record 28th Formula 1 victory
  • 2003-07-05 French driver Sébastien Bourdais wins first-ever night road-course event in Champ Car history on Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport layout
  • 2006-08-03 Brazilian Champ Car driver Cristiano da Matta crashes into a deer during testing at Road America, Wisconsin; seriously injured but returns to racing in 2008
  • 2008-04-20 Danica Patrick driving for Andretti Green Racing wins the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi; first female driver in history to win an IndyCar Series race

Birthdays in Sport


Person of interestA. J. Foyt

1935-01-16 A. J. Foyt, American racing driver (Indy 500 - 1961, 64, 67 & 77), born in Houston, Texas

Racing Car Driver A. J. Foyt
Racing Car Driver
A. J. Foyt
  • 1937-07-02 Richard Petty "The King", American NASCAR Driver (7x NASCAR Championship, 7x Daytona 500), born in Level Cross, North Carolina
  • 1945-01-01 Jacques Ickx, Belgian Le Mans auto race (6-time winner)

Weddings in Sport

  • 2006-05-06 Race car driver "Champ Car World Series" two time winner Sebastien Bourdais (27) weds Claire Bagot at Cathedral Saint-Julien in Le Mans, France

Deaths in Sport

  • 1989-08-13 Tim Richmond, race car driver (won 13 NASCAR races), dies of AIDS at 34
  • 2009-06-09 Dick May, Former NASCAR racecar driver