Ralph DePalma was one of the greatest race car drivers in the early 20th century. He earned first place in the Indianapolis 500 in 1915 and had won nearly 2000 races, including 24 American Champ car races.
However, before achieving greatness in 1915, DePalma was humbled by an incident that occurred while racing in the second Indy 500 race in 1912. DePalma was first and in control most of the race when, with just a few laps to go, his Mercedes engine broke down and the car was choking along at 20 miles per hour. DePalma had built up a large lead, but his car died on the last stretch of 199th lap. Needless to say, he didn’t finish first but refused to not finish and pushed the car across the finish line with help from his mechanic because completing the race in those days meant winning prize money!