The first organized auto race on record took place on July 22, 1894, in Paris.
Inventors from all over Europe brought their horseless carriages to what was then the largest ever gathering of the newfangled contraptions.
Of the 21 vehicles that putted their way up to the starting line, 13 were gasoline powered and 8 were propelled by steam.
The first race in the United States took place a year and a half later, from Chicago to Waukegan, Illinois, on November 28, 1895.
It was snowing that day, so of the 80 cars that had entered the race, only 6 actually started.
Of these 6, only 2 finished the course, which ran more than 20 miles.
James Duryea was the winner, driving a car designed by his brother Charles. His average speed was a screaming 7.5 miles per hour.