"The first automobile race occurred right after the second car was built” is a saying of uncertain origin. American automaker Henry Ford (1863-1947) is often credited, but there’s no evidence that he said it.
“Of course, there’s the other theory that stock car racing began when the second car was sold,” actor Robert Blake said about his stock car racing movie, Corky (1972). “There are those who say the first motor race occurred shortly after the second car was built” was cited in 1976.
Google News Archive
8 March 1972, Wilmington (NC) Morning Star, “‘Corky’: Race driver in the big time,” pg. 15, col. 6:
“Of course, there’s the other theory that stock car racing began when the second car was sold.”
(Robert Blake, an actor who played a small-town stock car driver.—ed.)
28 May 1976, The Des Plaines Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), “Death taps drivers on shoulder at every turn” by Bob Frisk, sec. 3, pg. 1, col. 3:
There are those who say the first motor race occurred shortly after the second car was built.
30 May 1978, Lexington (KY) Herald, “Television Shields Viewers From Fiery Indy Explosion” by Edwin Pope (Knight-Ridder Newspapers), pg. B-1, col. 4:
They say auto racing began just after the second car was built.
3 May 1981, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Rutherford the driver to beat as Indy practice opens” by Cooper Rollow, sec. 4, pg. 11, col. 1:
INDIANAPOLIS—It has been said that the first auto race occurred shortly after the second car was built.
Sports in World History
By David G. McComb
New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Inc.
It is common lore that the first auto race was predestined as soon as the second car was built.
The Oxford Handbook of Sports Economics:
Volume 1: The Economics of Sports
Edited by Leo H. Kahane and Stephen Shmanske
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
There is an old saying, usually attributed to the iconic NASCAR driver Richard Petty, that the first automobile race occurred right after the second car was built.
Quotes To Remember (Volume 4)
By Dr Purushothaman
Kollam, Kerala, India: Centre For Human Perfection
Auto racing began 5 minutes after the second car was built.
Henry Ford, George Selden, and the Race to Invent the Auto Age
By Lawrence Goldstone
New York, NY: Random House
Ford famously quipped that auto racing began five minutes after the second car was built. It took longer than that, but not much.
Wayne Post (Wayne County, NY)
Book captures history of area dirt tracks
‘Stock car racing in the ‘50s’ includes Canandaigua, Naples tracks and author is coming to both towns to talk emailprint
By Bob Chavez
Posted Jul. 31, 2016 at 9:00 AM
The old joke is that auto racing got its start five minutes after the second car was built.