While the first official automobile race was held in Paris in 1894, it was not until 1898 that the first car designed specifically for speed was built by Camille Jenatzy. He would later become the first person to drive an automobile at speeds higher than 62 mph.
After the first race in Paris, organized automobile racing spread to the United States. The first race was held in 1895 on Thanksgiving Day. Racing enthusiasm quickly spread around the world. Races in Europe were fairly common by the 1900s. In the 1930s, drag racing became common in the United States, due to the improvements in vehicle design and technology.