How It All Began… In 1948, Sun Valley Speedway (as it was originally known) officially opened for competition. A press conference was held in early 1949 at the old Anderson Hotel, where Helpling unveiled his idea to start 33 roadster in a 500-lap event. Everybody scoffed and said that it would never work. Pressure was put on Helpling to reduce the race length to 200 or 300 laps, because it would probably cost $800 per car for tires and no car would finish. “Then we’ll run bicycles,” Helpling said.” Because we’re gonna have a Little 500 and that’s the way it’s gonna be.” In the inaugural event, to the surprise of most, 18 roadsters finished, five of which did not even make a pit stop. Sam Skinner won that event, with Bob Block finishing second and Tom Cherry filling out the podium finishers.