His dad died when he was 12, so he quit school and got a job with the Frayer Miller Aircooled Car Company, road-testing cars.
He then made his way into automobile racing, for Fred Deusenberg, among others. He raced four times in the Indianapolis 500 and set a speed record of 134 MPH in a Blitzen Benz.
Raced in 4 Indy 500's, between 1912 and 1916.
Started a car company, and made the first car to have 4 wheel brakes.
Bought and operated the Indy speedway from 1927 to 1945.. .. improved the track by banking the turns.
What you probably know, is that he was the WW1 flying ace and CO of the 94th Aero Squadron.
It's famous in San Diego as there is a really good restaurant of this name on Aero Drive, it looks like a French farmhouse with World War I airplanes and sandbagged gun emplacements around it. On the inside it is filled with military aviation memorabilia.