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Ralph DePalma
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Auto Racer
    (December 18, 1882-March 31, 1956)
    Born in Troia, Italy
    Won an estimated 2,000 out of 2,800 races
    Won the Indianapolis 500 (1915)
    Appeared in the films 'High Speed' (1920) and 'Racing for Life' (1924)
    Founded the DePalma Manufacturing Company (1923)
    Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (1991)
    In his first race, he inadvertently creeped past the starting line before the race, backed up, and was still in reverse when the starting gun went off.
    He had such an intense rivalry with Barney Oldfield that when Mercer hired Oldfield as a driver, he immediately quit the team.
    He told a reporter, 'There is very little danger in road races or speedways' before adding 'I have a leg and two ribs that were broken in accidents and had my abdomen punctured once.'
    He built his very first car out of spare parts from his job as a mechanic.
    He joined the Army Air Service during World War I.
    In perhaps his most famous Indy 500, the connecting rod of his car failed while he was leading and he and his mechanic got out and pushed the car to the finish line, ending up in twelfth (1912).
    He served as an honorary referee at the Indianapolis 500 until 1954.

Credit: C. Fishel

    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 100% Annoying
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