Posted by Brian from Shawnee on March 23, 2004
In Reply to: Original of "Gentlemen, start your engines!" posted by Bruce Kahl on March 23, 2004
: : : Where did this start?
: : At a race track.
: Big guess---Indy 500?
From www.indymotorspeedway.com, which I think is a fan site and not an official site:
"The tradition of the pre-race singing of "Back Home Again in Indiana" goes back to 1946, the first race after the track was closed four years for World War II and the first under the ownership of Tony Hulman. The Hulman era also ushered in the tradition of one of the most famous commands in sports, "Gentlemen, start your engines."
Mary Fendrich Hulman isn't around to give the command. She died in 1998 at age 93.
Mrs. Hulman had told drivers to start the race almost every year since 1977, when her husband, Tony, died.
In her place, her daughter, Mari Hulman George, carries on the tradition at an event still billed as "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." "