Rulers of Auto Racing
12" Wooden Ruler made in U.S.A. of American-grown basswood.
Automobile racing has existed as long as the automobile. The first known race between two self-powered road vehicles happened on August 30, 1867, and traced an 8-mile route from Ashton-under-Lyne to Old Trafford, both near Manchester, England. These early races often had a dual purpose, on the one hand they were meant as a reliability trial, and on the other hand they were meant to arouse interest in this new form of transportation.
The 2.5-mile-long Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the oldest existing racing circuits in the United States. It is the largest sports venue of any type worldwide, with a top capacity of over 257,000 seated spectators.
The individuals listed on our ruler are all race car drivers. Many of them, such as Tazio Nuvolari, participated in early Grand Prix races or in later Formula 1 races. Almost as many on the ruler raced, or still race, stock cars, but drag racing is also represented.
There are women on the list, including Italian Maria Teresa de Filippis, who participated in the Monaco Grand Prix in 1958. In 1976 Janet Guthrie became the first woman to compete in a NASCAR race. Drag racer Shirley Muldowney won the NHRA Top Fuel championship in 1977, 1980, and 1982, becoming the first person, man or woman, to win two and then three Top Fuel titles. Danica Sue Patrick’s victory in the 2008 Indy Japan 300 is the only win by a woman in an IndyCar Series race.
Our ruler lists each driver by name, followed by their main achievement. The order of names is chronological by date of their arrival onto the racing scene.
The “head” image is that of crossed checkered flags. It is unknown where the black and white checkered flag came from. The first known use is at the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup race in Long Island, New York. Two flags waved simultaneously now means that a hazard blocks the track and the driver should be prepared to stop.
If you like this ruler, you might also be interested in Rulers of Baseball, Rulers of Football, Rulers of Hockey, Rulers of the Olympics, or Great Women Rulers of Sports.