I found this video clip of the first 500-mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1911. It's since grown into the annual Indianapolis 500 event.
I know that fliers during World War I used to have real problems with their bowels as a result of inhaling castor oil fumes from their engines (because castor oil is a laxative). Looking at the clouds of smoke produced by castor oil from those early racing cars, I wonder whether their drivers and crews had similar problems? It'd lend a new meaning to 'the need for speed', all right!