I'm counting down the days until the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

I'm not a race fan in the fanatic sense. I've only been to the Indy 500 a handful of times. My memories center around listening to the race on the radio in the backyard while filling out the leading laps grid from the Indianapolis Star. 

I do love Indianapolis, tradition, and most of all a theme! Each day I will share a memory or tidbit of history.

Ever wondered why the Indianapolis 500 is 500 miles in length? 

The length of the iconic Indy 500 automobile race was not chosen arbitrarily. The decision was rather practical. The year of the debut race, the owners of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Carl G. Fisher, James Allison, Arthur Newby, and Frank Wheeler – decided that a seven-hour event would appeal to race fans. 

That length of time would allow the fans to arrive at the track in mid-morning and return home by evening. With top speeds of cars at that time ranging around 75 miles per hour, the owners set the distance at 500 miles or 200 laps around the 2.5-mile raceway.

The winning driver of the first Indy-500, Ray Harroun, clocked in at six hours, 42 minutes and eight seconds. Now the winners complete the 500 miles in about half of time, which seems to fit right in with the amount of beers that can be carried in a18”x14”x14” cooler and can be consumed in that time.