How things have changed in 113 years since Henry Ford’s first — and only — race win

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What a difference 113 years make.

In the first and only race he ever drove in, Henry Ford beat Alexander Winton to the finish line on Oct. 10, 1901 in a race simply called “Sweepstakes” at the Detroit Driving Club in Grosse Point, Mich.

The race was noteworthy because Henry’s participation marked what would be the official start of the Ford Racing program, as well as a precursor to formation of The Ford Motor Company less than two years later in June 1903.

In a fun and rather interesting side-by-side comparison by Ford Racing to celebrate Henry’s win on this day 113 years ago, here’s how the car Henry Ford raced back then and the event he competed in compares to today’s Ford Fusion and Saturday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:

Laps: 10 (1901), 334 (2014)

Number of participants: 2 (1901), 43 (2014)

Average speed of race: 46 mph (1901), 158.308 mph (from last year’s race)

Attendance: 8,000 (1901), 100,000 (2014) – both approximate numbers

Winner’s purse: $1,000 (1901), $319,441 (last year’s race)

Trophy: Cut-glass punch bowl (1901), Bruton Smith Piston Trophy (2013)

Location: Detroit Driving Club (1901), Charlotte Motor Speedway (2014)

Track type: One-mile oval (1901), 1.5-mile superspeedway (2014)

Racing surface: Dirt (1901), asphalt (2014)

Team members: 4 (including driver and riding mechanic in 1901), 20 (2014)

Frame: Ash wood, reinforced with steel plates (1901), metal (2014)

Horsepower: 26 (1901), 850 (2014)

Maximum RPM: 900 (1901), 9,000 (2014)

Top speed: 72 mph (1901), 200 mph (2014)

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