The First Indy 500 Winner – 1911


It was 106 years ago today. Ray Harroun won the very first Indianapolis 500 with an average speed of 74 mph. At the age of 32, this was Ray’s last hurrah. He had set world records in various races, beginning in 1904. This would be his only run in the Indy 500. But it would be enough to land the native of Spartansburg, Pennsylvania in the racing Hall of Fame.

Harroun was a pioneering constructor and record-setting driver for seven years. But it was what happened on May 30, 1911 that made him famous.

But let’s go back to his speed – 74 mph. That means I was born too late. I once hit 130 mph in my 1966 Mercury, and just averaged more than 75 mph on a trip to Texas.

If I had my Miata in 1911, this article would be about me! I drive faster than 74 mph exiting the Walmart parking lot. Yet, here I am sitting in front of my computer writing about ‘ol Ray, while he has “Winner of First Indy 500” etched in his gravestone.

Life is all about timing. That’s why it is so important to heed the words of Scripture. We are told to come to God while the Spirit is calling us (Genesis 6:3). The New Testament says, “Now is the accepted time. Today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

I can lament the fact that my Miata and I came along 106 years too late. Or I can recognize that God’s timing is always perfect. Ray Harroun won a race. But I’ve got the best Savior, wife, son, and dog ever.

Ray Harroun was fast. But God was on time. He always is.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *