The Bedouin - Ray Harroun

From everything I have read about Ray Harroun, the winner of the first Indianapolis 500, he was of Irish ancestry. There may have been some Arabian genes swimming in his pool, but the notion of him being "The Flying Bedouin," or "Bedouin Chief" was just another gimmick dreamed up by track promoters who typically claimed someone was the "Italian Champion" (for example) if for no other reason than the person was born in Italy. The terms "World Champion" and "National Championship," like so many others were thrown around quite a bit in those days, all with the unwavering goal of putting butts on the old plank grandstands. Harroun is pictured here in his most famous racer - the Marmon Wasp.
For more information and images of Ray Harroun elsewhere on First Super Speedway check out these links:

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