In David's words, "After viewing hundreds of archival photographs, a singular image did not present itself as suitable for the occasion. Instead I chose to combine several elements to recreate this dramatic moment from the inaugural race. I especially was attracted to the elegance of the Victorian-clad spectators contrasted against the fierce, dusty drama unfolding on the track. It was not only an honor to be selected for this, but it was a really fun piece to dream up. I was elated to be invited to the museum to view the old glass plate negatives from the earliest of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's archives. Many great stories were told me by Mr. Donald Davidson, the historian at the museum, so I put some to paint."
Donald Davidson, IMS historian, explains “It is an iconic moment as eventual winner Ray Harroun carves his way through lapped traffic in turn one of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on his way to winning the very first 500-Mile Race on May 30, 1911. Because of complaints from other teams that the engineering department of the local Nordyke & Marmon passenger car firm had produced a special single-seat car which did not allow for the commonly used riding mechanic (serving, among other things, as a second "pair of eyes"), driver/engineer Harroun rigged up above the cowling of the #32 Marmon "Wasp" what is believed to be the very first rear-view mirror ever used on an automobile. Out-distancing 39 other contestants, mostly driving stripped-down versions of current passenger cars, Harroun won in a time of six hours and 42 minutes to average 74.602 mph, witnessed by a huge crowd estimated in the region of 80,000, many of whom had come by rail from New York, Chicago, Cleveland and St. Louis. The winning team earned $14,250 from a total purse in excess of $30,000, which was a huge amount for the time.”
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