After all, it was on Thanksgiving Day 1895 that America’s first auto race was held in Chicago. What started as an informal gathering of racing enthusiasts has grown into one of our nation’s most beloved sporting events, and it all began on that Thanksgiving Day.
For racing fans, there’s something special about celebrating this holiday with our own unique twist of motorsport history. Let’s take a closer look at the inspiring story behind this historic event. On November 28, 1895, a handful of racing enthusiasts gathered in Chicago to compete in what would become America’s first auto race. The participants were some of the most daring and innovative drivers of the era, and they took off on an 80-mile endurance course that ran from Chicago to Evanston and back. The race was organized by the fledgling Chicago Times-Herald, which saw the potential of a grand motorsport event to draw in readers.
The competition was fierce, with cars reaching speeds of up to 40 mph as they raced down the course. In the end, it was Charles Duryea who crossed the finish line first, becoming America’s first auto racing champion. Though the race was short-lived and its participants largely forgotten, their legacy lives on in the form of today’s motorsport events around the world.
This Thanksgiving, let us remember and celebrate America’s first auto race, the event that sparked a passion for speed and competition that still lives on today. Here’s to the brave pioneers who took part in this historic event, and may their legacy continue to inspire us all!