Normally we do not publish multiple editions of our stadium/track tours on the same week, but with this weekend being the Brickyard 400, we decided it was time to write about the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), which is located on the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Rd. What many people don't realize is that IMS is not located in Indianapolis, but actually the small suburb of Speedway, located about 4-5 miles from downtown Indianapolis. The track that was once paved with 3.2 million bricks and covered up with pavement in segments between 1930 and 1961, except for the yard of bricks at the start/finish line. The yard of brick is exactly where the track's nickname, "The Brickyard" originates. People also don't realize there is a museum on the property with over 100 years of racing history. We'll talk more about that today...
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Source: Me)
Indianapolis Motor Speedway was always a special place for me as a kid. Because I grew up about 60 miles from the track, someone from my family was always heading to the track for the legendary Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400, or one of the other many events held during the year.
On the speedway property is Brickyard Crossing, an 18 hole golf course with 4 holes actually located inside the track. The course has hosted the PGA, LPGA, and Champions tour events!
IMS Hall of Fame Museum (Source: Me)
Inside the museum, you'll find a large collection of cars dating back to the winner of the inaugural race in 1911, Ray Harroun. The "Marmon Wasp" finished the day with an average speed of 74.602 mph and won a grand prize of $10,000. He never raced again.
1911 Indianapolis 500 Winner - The Marmon Wasp (Source: Me)
Harroun's victory was significant for two reasons:
One of A.J.'s final rides at Indianapolis (Source: Me)
Mario Andretti's lone winner from 1969 is also on display. No Andretti family member has won since, citing the Andretti Curse. 1969 was also the first win for the legendary owner and former CEO of STP, Andy Granatelli. Granatelli is also blamed for being the cause of the Andretti Curse when he kissed Andretti on the cheek in victory lane.
Mario Andretti's 1969 Indy 500 Winner (Source: Me)
Before you leave, head to the back of the museum and get your picture taken in the Indy Car like I did (and as usual, looking like a doofus)...
If you're ever in the Indianapolis area, it is worth stopping by the museum to check out an awesome collection of racing history. Even better, make sure you time it so you can go to one of the big races.
Thanks for reading... Check back again next week as we stay in Indianapolis for our tribute to the late Hoosier (RCA) Dome.