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.

And since I do love a theme, I feel like I need to start at 100 for the countdown, so let me catch you up. 

I've been thinking about what it must be like to be a rookie for The Big Race. Any idea who was the first rookie to win the 500?

Ray Harroun - the winner of the first 500. Of course they were all rookies...

It took Ray and his Marmon Wasp 6:42:08:039 (if you're in to counting milliseconds) to drive the 200 laps around the IMS, for an average speed of 74.50 MPH.

He actually came out of retirement to participate in the first Indianapolis 500 and didn't race after that year. Ray died at age 89 (January 19, 1968) and is buried in Anderson, IN - where a checkered flag appears at his grave every year