The Shocking Truth About Where The Bricks Are Located at Indianapolis Speedway

For decades, Indianapolis Speedway has been the site of some of the most exciting and prestigious car races in the world. But amidst all the action and excitement, there’s one tradition that’s captured the attention of fans and drivers alike – the famous bricks.

These rectangular paving stones were first installed at the track in 1909, but over the years, their exact location has been the subject of much speculation and rumor. Some people believe that they cover the entire racing surface, while others think they’re only found in certain areas. But where are the bricks really located?

In this article, we’ll dive into the history of the bricks and uncover the truth about where they’re actually located at Indianapolis Speedway. Along the way, we’ll explore the significance of this beloved tradition and why it’s so important to both fans and drivers.

So if you’ve ever wondered about the bricks at Indy and want to learn more about their fascinating story, keep reading!

Uncovering the Mystery: Where Did the Tradition of the Bricks Begin?

Before the iconic bricks became a symbol of victory and tradition at Indianapolis Speedway, they served a more practical purpose. In the early years of the track’s existence, the racing surface was made of crushed stone and tar. However, this proved to be too treacherous for drivers and caused numerous accidents.

In 1909, track founder Carl Fisher decided to pave the racing surface with 3.2 million paving bricks, which were much safer and more durable. This decision not only improved driver safety, but it also inadvertently started a tradition that would continue for over a century.

The Significance of the Bricks

  • The bricks represent the track’s history and connection to its past
  • Winning drivers kiss the bricks to pay homage to the track and its legacy
  • The bricks are a symbol of victory and a coveted prize for drivers

Where Are the Bricks Located?

Contrary to popular belief, the bricks are not located throughout the entire racing surface. In fact, they only cover a small strip at the start-finish line. This strip is known as the “Yard of Bricks,” and it’s a highly sought-after spot for drivers to celebrate their victories.

So the next time you watch a race at Indianapolis Speedway and see a driver kiss the bricks, you’ll know the fascinating history and tradition behind this iconic symbol of victory.

The Fascinating History Behind the Bricks at Indianapolis Speedway

For over a century, the Indianapolis Speedway has been home to one of the most iconic traditions in all of motorsports – the “Brickyard“. Every year, the world’s best drivers compete in the legendary Indy 500 race, and the winner is awarded the prestigious Borg-Warner Trophy, along with the honor of kissing the bricks at the start/finish line. But where did this tradition come from, and what is the story behind the bricks at Indianapolis Speedway?

It all began in 1909, when the original surface of the Indianapolis Speedway was made up of 3.2 million paving bricks. The bricks were laid in a herringbone pattern and covered the entire 2.5-mile track, making it the first “paved” track in the world. Over time, the bricks were replaced with asphalt, but a three-foot strip of bricks was left exposed at the start/finish line to preserve the history of the track.

The Brickyard Tradition

  • The Brickyard tradition started in 1909, when the first Indianapolis 500 was held on the newly paved track.
  • After the race, the winning driver, Ray Harroun, requested that he be allowed to take a victory lap around the track to acknowledge the fans.
  • As he drove, he noticed the exposed bricks at the start/finish line and decided to stop his car, get out, and kiss the bricks as a symbol of his victory.

The Bricks Today

Today, the bricks at the start/finish line are an important part of the Indianapolis Speedway‘s history and tradition. They are carefully maintained and restored each year, and drivers and fans alike continue to honor the Brickyard by kissing the bricks after every race.

  • Each year, a few bricks are removed and given to the winning driver and team as a memento of their victory.
  • The original bricks from 1909 are still in place at the start/finish line, and the entire track is still known as the “Brickyard”.
  • While the rest of the track is now made up of asphalt, the three-foot strip of bricks remains a powerful reminder of the Speedway’s rich history and enduring legacy.

From its humble beginnings as a brick-paved track to its status as one of the world’s most iconic racecourses, the Indianapolis Speedway has always been a symbol of speed, endurance, and tradition. And the bricks at the start/finish line will continue to be an enduring symbol of that tradition for generations to come.

From Disappearance to Restoration: The Story of the Lost Bricks

As time passed, many of the original bricks at Indianapolis Speedway were replaced by asphalt, and the old traditions of the brickyard began to fade. However, in 1996, a group of race fans, led by Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George, started a project to restore the historic bricks to their former glory.

After extensive research, the team discovered that more than three million bricks were still in existence, scattered throughout the country. They purchased the bricks and brought them back to the speedway for restoration and installation. Today, the restored bricks are an important part of the speedway’s history, and they continue to be used to mark the start/finish line of the Indianapolis 500 and other races.

The Search for the Bricks

Locating the lost bricks was no easy task. The team had to scour the country for any remaining bricks, many of which had been repurposed or discarded over the years. The search took the team to farm fields, abandoned buildings, and even private collections.

Eventually, the team was able to locate more than three million bricks, which were cleaned, sorted, and shipped back to the speedway for restoration.

The Restoration Process

  • Each brick was carefully cleaned to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Broken bricks were replaced with new bricks that were cut to match the originals.
  • After the restoration was complete, each brick was numbered and cataloged.

Finally, the restored bricks were installed along the start/finish line of the track, where they serve as a reminder of the speedway’s rich history and the role that the bricks played in the early days of racing.

The Importance of the Restored Bricks

The restored bricks at Indianapolis Speedway are more than just a nod to the past. They represent the hard work and dedication of the team that restored them, as well as the drivers who raced on them in the early days of the sport.

Today, the bricks serve as a symbol of the enduring legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and the role that the speedway has played in the history of auto racing. As new drivers take to the track each year, they know that they are following in the footsteps of the legends who came before them and that they are racing on a piece of history.

Exploring the Significance of the Bricks for Fans and Drivers Alike

For fans and drivers alike, the iconic bricks at Indianapolis Speedway hold a special place in their hearts. To many, they represent the rich history of racing at the famed track, and they have become a symbol of the sport itself.

For drivers, crossing the finish line and kissing the bricks has become a tradition unlike any other. It is a moment of triumph and a way to pay homage to the legends who have come before them. For fans, the bricks serve as a reminder of the many memorable races that have taken place on the hallowed grounds of the speedway.

The Tradition of Kissing the Bricks

Since the late 1990s, it has been a tradition for winning drivers to kiss the bricks at the finish line. This tradition started when NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett, after winning the Brickyard 400 in 1996, asked track officials if he could kiss the bricks to pay tribute to the track’s history. Since then, it has become a beloved tradition at the Speedway, with drivers from all forms of racing participating.

The Bricks’ Place in Racing History

  • 1911: The bricks were first laid as a way to smooth out the rough track surface, and only a small portion of the track was covered in bricks.
  • 1936: The entire track was covered in bricks, earning it the nickname “The Brickyard.”
  • 1961: The bricks were paved over with asphalt, except for a 36-inch strip at the start-finish line to preserve the tradition.

The Bricks Today

Today, the bricks are still a prominent feature at Indianapolis Speedway. The famous 36-inch strip at the start-finish line is regularly cleaned and polished to maintain its iconic appearance. Fans can even purchase a commemorative brick to be installed in the track’s plaza, creating a lasting tribute to their love of racing and the Speedway’s rich history.

Why the Bricks Remain an Iconic Feature of Indianapolis Speedway

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a legendary track that has seen countless iconic moments in the world of motorsports. However, one of the most enduring features of the track is the famous “Brickyard,” the original surface of the oval that was made entirely of bricks. Despite the fact that the bricks were paved over in the 1960s, a section of them were preserved at the start/finish line as a reminder of the Speedway’s rich history. Here’s why the bricks remain an important part of the Speedway experience:

Firstly, the bricks serve as a physical connection to the past. For decades, the Brickyard was the most famous racetrack in the world, and many of the greatest drivers in history competed on the brick surface. By preserving a section of the bricks, the Speedway is able to keep that history alive and allow fans to feel a direct connection to the past.

Preservation and Maintenance

Maintaining the bricks is a massive undertaking, but it’s one that the Speedway takes very seriously. The bricks require constant upkeep to ensure that they remain in good condition and are safe for drivers to race on. In addition to regular maintenance, the Speedway has also taken steps to preserve the bricks for future generations. The original bricks were used to build the Pagoda Plaza, which is now a centerpiece of the Speedway.

The Importance of Tradition

The Speedway is one of the most historic and storied venues in all of sports, and much of that has to do with the importance of tradition. From the iconic pre-race ceremonies to the famous milk-drinking celebration in Victory Lane, the Speedway has always been about more than just racing. The bricks are just one part of that tradition, but they are an important one that serves as a reminder of the Speedway’s rich history and enduring legacy.

A Symbol of Endurance

The bricks at the start/finish line have become a symbol of endurance, both for the drivers who race on them and for the Speedway itself. The Speedway has weathered many challenges over the years, from financial difficulties to the impact of world events. However, through it all, the bricks have remained, a constant reminder of the Speedway’s history and enduring legacy. For drivers, racing on the bricks is a daunting challenge, but one that they relish as a chance to test themselves against the history and tradition of the Speedway.

Where Are The Bricks Located At Indianapolis Speedway?

Where did the tradition of the “Brickyard” start?

The tradition of the “Brickyard” started in 1909 when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was originally paved with over 3.2 million bricks.

Are the bricks still on the track?

While the majority of the track has been repaved, a three-foot-wide strip of the original bricks still remains at the start-finish line of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Why were the bricks replaced?

The original bricks were replaced with asphalt to make the track smoother, more durable, and less prone to skidding. The asphalt also allowed for higher speeds and improved safety for drivers.

How long does it take to replace the bricks?

The process of removing and replacing the bricks at the start-finish line takes around 3 days to complete. Each brick is carefully removed and numbered before being replaced in the exact same position.

Can visitors see the original bricks?

Visitors to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway can see the original bricks that remain at the start-finish line by taking a track tour or visiting the museum. The museum also has a display that shows the progression of the track from its brick-paved origins to the modern asphalt surface.

How many bricks were used to pave the original track?

The original track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was paved with over 3.2 million bricks, each weighing around 9 pounds. While most of the track has been repaved, the iconic “Brickyard” remains an important part of racing history.

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