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Fri, Apr 18th - 3:08AM

Illinois, you gave us the Coolest Gift of Car Racing
Long before NASCAR and Indy Car Racing, Chicago Times Herald organised nation’s first automobile race in 1895.  November 28th is an important date in the car racing world because it was the first time that America got a taste of car racing. The race was conducted with the motto of propagating “motocycle” which had been introduced in America just 2 years earlier.

At 8:55 a.m., six “motocycles” (a term for horseless vehicles) began their 54 mile race from Jackson Park, Chicago. They had to race to Evanston and back. Initially, the course of the race was to drive from Chicago to Milwaukee. But, unsupportive road conditions shortened the distance.

(America's First Car Race Map)

Even though eighty three cars entered the race, only six showed up on the competition day.The winner was J. Frank Duryea, who completed the race in 10 hours, clocking in an average speed of 7.3 miles per hour.

Duryea had built his vehicle with his brother, Charles, and they claimed it to be the first American gasoline-powered automobile. Duryea received $2,000 for winning the first ever American automobile race.

(Photo of Frank Duryea participating in the very first American automobile race in Chicago)

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