The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a motorsport facility located in Speedway, Indiana. It was first opened in 1909 and has been undergoing renovation since 2000. On May 23rd of this year, the famous track was reopened after a 10-year overhaul. Since that time, it has been experiencing an interesting transformation. As part of the renovations, a lot of the old buildings were removed and new ones were erected in their place. It wasn’t only about the look, either – the track has also improved in terms of functionality.
The Current Layout
The current layout of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is based on a hexagonal grid pattern which was designed by track architect Gordon Creighton back in 1928. There are a total of 24 straightaways and 12 turns which make up the three and a half mile oval. The track is surrounded by a 12-foot brick wall and features two grandstands: North and South. The layout has been preserved largely as it was in 1928, with a few renovations here and there. For example, the trackside restaurant was once a part of the wall itself.
A Bit Of History
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was originally known as the Woodside Speedway and had a bit of a different layout. It was a 6.7-mile road course with no grandstands and only one asphalt banking portion which was situated between Turns 3 and 4. The current track was opened in 1909 and replaced the previous one soon after. It was then named after its owner, William S. Geddes, who also owned a resort hotel in Florida at the time. The speedway’s first track announcer, Bob Jenkins, began his career at the Woodside Speedway and later went on to become a legendary voice in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s history.
What Is The Wall Of Fame?
One of the most striking features of the Indy Motor Speedway is the Wall of Fame, which is located outside of the south grandstand. The wall is a series of plaques which honor the greatest drivers who have ever competed there. While the list was originally restricted to American drivers, it has since grown to include some international racers as well. There are currently over 60 plaques on the wall, with room for more. The wall was a brainchild of late Speedway owner Bruton Smith, who also created the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. He envisioned it as a place where drivers could come to remember their time at the track.
The Future Of The Speedway
The future of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is rather uncertain at the moment. Smith, who passed away in 2012, never gave a clear indication as to what he wanted to do with the track. He sold it to Tony George, one of his drivers, who later relinquished ownership to a trust. The trust is currently in the process of restoring the historic track. Although it was a rather quiet year for motorsports in general, it appears that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway may have reinvented itself once again.
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