Will The Original Little 500 Please Stand Up?

The Little 500, run on Memorial Day weekend at Anderson (Ind.) The story of how the race came to be has been told a million times. Mutual agreed to sanction the event and the first Little 500 went off without a hitch. The races started with 33 cars in 11 rows of three with live pit stops. The event was dubbed the “San Antonio 500” and later the “National 250 Mile Midget Auto Championship, for the General Jonathan M. Wainright Cup.” The event honored Wainright, who was a career Army officer and the commander of Allied forces in the Philippines at the time of Japan’s surrender during World War II. Interestingly, the event featured four-lap time trials, much the same as the Indy 500 and Little 500. The event was known as the nation’s longest midget race with a distance of 250 miles. Carrell Speedway in Gardena, Calif., hosted 500-lap roadster races in 1948 and ’49. These events were sanctioned by the California Roadster Ass’n and paid $2,000 to the winners.

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