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Public Is Invited to Attend
Indiana Racing Memorial Association's
Dedication of Wilbur Shaw Marker
Saturday at Shelby County Fairgrounds

SHELBYVILLE, Ind., Oct. 28 - The Indiana Racing Memorial Association (IRMA) invites the public to attend the dedication of a historical marker commemorating the life of Shelbyville native and three-time Indy 500 winner Wilbur Shaw Saturday at 10 a.m. near the grandstands of the Shelby County Fairgrounds, 500 Frank Street in Shelbyville. 

The famous Shaw Maserati from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum will be on display at the marker's unveiling, which is free of charge.

Following the unveiling, the Shelby County Tourism and Visitors' Bureau will host a function in the Women's Building at the Fairgrounds that includes a luncheon for the nominal charge of $10. Films about Wilbur Shaw and IRMA will be available for viewing at 11 a.m., followed by the lunch at 11:30 a.m. That program also includes a talk about Shaw by Donald Davidson, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's historian. Tickets to the luncheon can be reserved by calling the Visitors' Bureau at (317) 398-9623. All proceeds will support IRMA's mission of erecting historical markers to memorialize the people, places, and events that made Indiana the racing capital of the world.

Following the lunch, the public is encouraged to attend the opening of an exhibit on Shaw at the Grover Museum, 52 W. Broadway Street in

Shelbyville. The family of 1932 AAA National Champion Bob Carey organized the exhibit in conjunction with the museum, which is operated by the Shelby County Historical Society. Carey was one of Shaw's contemporaries. Admission to the museum is free, but donations are accepted.

Although Shaw's accomplishments on the track were certainly impressive, his work to save the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was equally impressive.

"Without Wilbur Shaw, there is not a doubt in my mind that there would not be an Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Brian Hasler, one of IRMA's founders. "His contributions to motorsports in Indiana are immeasurable.

"During the second World War, racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway came to a halt, and conditions at the Speedway deteriorated almost to the point of no return," Hasler continued.  "Developers were looking at the land to develop into housing. Wilbur Shaw talked Tony Hulman into purchasing the track from Eddie Rickenbacker in 1945 and restoring it. Hulman did just that, and with Hulman as the owner and Shaw as the president and general manager, they saved the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by putting on a highly successful race in 1946. In a nutshell, that explains Wilbur Shaw's significance in racing not only in Indiana, but across the world!"

Shaw was born in Shelbyville on Oct. 31, 1902, and raised there. He was 7 when he participated in his first race, which was a goat-cart race (not go-kart) at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. He didn't have the fastest goat that day but he went on to win the Indy 500 in 1937, 1939 and 1940. His victory in 1939 in a Maserati 8CTF marked the first time an Italian car had ever won America's most important race. He was president of IMS from 1945 until he died in an airplane crash near Decatur, Ind. on Oct. 30, 1954, one day before his 52nd birthday. He was survived by his wife, Cathleen (Boots), and his son, Warren Wilbur Shaw Jr., who goes by Bill. He was buried in Vernon, Ind.

IRMA is a not-for-profit organization organized in December 2013. This is its second marker. 

Fans who aren't able to attend Saturday's dedication may still make a donation in any amount or join IRMA through the organization's Web site at All major credit cards and PayPal are accepted. A one-year's membership in IRMA costs $25.

Additional information about IRMA is available on the group's Facebook page and Twitter account.