One hundred years ago, 40 cars lined up for the first Indianapolis 500. We are still waiting to find out who won. The Indy 500 was created to showcase the controversial new sport of automobile racing, which was sweeping the country. Daring young men were driving automobiles at the astonishing speed of 75 miles per hour, testing themselves and their vehicles. With no seat belts, hard helmets or roll bars, the dangers were enormous. When the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909, seven people were killed, some of them spectators. Oil-slicked surfaces, clouds of smoke, exploding tires, and flying grit all made driving extremely hazardous, especially with the open-cockpit, windshield-less vehicles. Bookmakers offered bets not only on who might win but who might survive. But this book is about more than a race–it is the story of America at the dawn of the automobile age, a country in love with speed, danger, and spectacle.