The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the most historic race tracks in the US. It is ranked 16th on the list of the country’s most visited golf courses. And it is most famous for its banking. Here are some interesting facts about the banking at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
The first recorded instance of a person climbing the steep concrete slopes was in the summer of 1914. One would have to be fairly adventurous to start climbing a mountain just to get a glimpse of a grandstand. That is how the Indianapolis Motor Speedway got its name. It is the earliest NASCAR race track.
Most Concrete Slopes
Indy is home to the most concrete slopes (terraces) of any major American racetrack. There are more than 80 of them. That is slightly more than one quarter of the total amount of concrete slopes at Indianapolis. The record for the most concrete slopes at any American racetrack is held by California’s Sonoma Raceway with 100 slopes. Only 17% of the total track is grass. The rest is asphalt or concrete.
Indy is also home to the most hilltops (rise above the horizon) of any track in the United States. There are 23 hills at the speedway. The largest one is referred to as The Hill. It is 1,000 feet tall.
Most Debris Lakes
There are a number of small lakes that line the roads around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. However, only two of them are actually designated as such. One is known as the “Dry Lake” and the other is called the “Wet Lake.” The former is located in the infield and the latter is on the hillside just beyond the start/finish line. The Dry Lake actually serves as a backdrop for several of the track’s marquee events, particularly the Indy 500. The track is considered a dry lake because there is no running water on it. However, the paved area surrounding the lake is commonly referred to as the “Wet Lake.” It gets its name from the fact that it is usually wet and occasionally even flooded by rain or melted snowmelt.
Another thing that sets Indy apart from other tracks is the amount of bridges that span across its many roads and tracks. There are 6 pedestrian bridges within the track’s boundary, as well as 17 road bridges that connect the main roadways leading to it. The largest of these is the Hawthorne Bridge, which carries traffic over the railroad tracks that run through the northern part of the track.
Indy is also home to the most fountains of any track in the United States. There are 17 of them, which are scattered around the 1.86-mile oval. The largest one is the Fountain of Wealth. It is 54 feet high and is situated in the center of one of the main entrances. It was originally built in 1957 and has been the scene of several famous moments in Indy car racing history.
More than 80 years after its inception, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway remains an iconic American landmark and a Mecca for automobile enthusiasts. It continues to attract racing fans from around the world with its steep concrete slopes, historic bridges, and vibrant community.