If you’ve ever visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you may have noticed an odd looking building in the middle of the track. Most people probably pass by without even giving it a thought, but if you’ve ever wondered when it was built or who worked on it, then this article is for you.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway did not always look the way it does now. In the beginning, it was a simple dirt track that hosted a single auto race each year. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the track slowly started changing into its current form.
In the fall of 1911, a man named Ralph S. Thomas held a public meeting to discuss building an automobile race track in Indianapolis. At the time, there were already several major roads cutting through the city, but none of them went all the way to the north and west, which makes up most of the current race track. It wasn’t until then that someone decided to build a new road in that direction and called it the Speedway.
The first race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was held on May 30, 1912, and it was a success. In fact, it was such a success that the track was expanded to three and a half miles, which is almost twice the length of a normal auto race track. It now hosts two Indy car races each year as well as the USAC Silver Crown race the last week of October.
The Evolution Of The Speedway
As time went on, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway continued to grow and evolve. In 1924, a four-level parking garage was built below the stands. The structure remains to this day and provides a place for fans to park and go up for a ballgame.
In 1930, the grandstands were torn down and replaced with a set of bleachers. The next year, the inside of the track was coated in bricks as a form of artificial banking. That same year, the first Indianapolis 500 was held and it drew a crowd of 92,500 spectators.
It wasn’t until 1939 that the speedway got its first major overhaul. That year, the track was paved and floodlights were installed along with the nameplates that are still on the wall today. They also painted the track and garages yellow, which was inspired by the Chicago White Sox who were at that time the reigning World Champs. The following year, another renovation was done and the seating area got expanded. In 1942, the track was renamed to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and it hasn’t stopped evolving since.
The Indianapolis 500: The Granddaddy Of Them All
What if I told you that you could be at the birthplace of the Indy car, the Speedway, and the Indianapolis 500 in one place? If you said no, you’d be wrong because the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been the site of the greatest annual auto race in the world for nearly 90 years now. So, it’s a good thing you didn’t believe me because now you can find everything in one place.
The Indianapolis 500 is the granddaddy of them all. It was the first and it still is the biggest. The race started as a memorial to honor those who died in World War I and it evolved into the biggest car race in North America. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to the Speedway to watch some of the greatest drivers of all time battle it out on a 500-miler. Teams sometimes even come from as far away as Europe to compete in the race.
The first Indianapolis 500 was held in 1912 and it was won by Louis Suitscher. At the time, the race was considered an important part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway because it was the first major event to be held there. The second annual 500 was won by Louis Chevrolet in 1914. In 1922, the Indy 500 was incorporated into the National Association of Amateur Athletes (NAAA) and it became a part of the Indianapolis 500 Mileage Run. Since then, the race has been an integral part of the Indy 500 weekend.
The Indianapolis 500 started as a simple dirt track with a single main lap and it has since evolved into the four-day event that it is today. In addition to the standard race day, the speedway also hosts a pre-race festival, called the IndyCar Classic, the day before the actual race.
The Future Of The Speedway
As exciting as the past few years have been at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it is time for a change. The management of the speedway is working on a plan to renovate the entire place. This should take a while but it will be worth it. Plans include new suites, an improved paddock area, and more.
With a new look comes a new name. In early 2021, the speedway will be renamed the Indy Raceway. It is hoped that this will help draw more attention to the place. In addition, they are also looking for sponsors for the new facility. The goal is to have everything ready to go by the year 2025.
So, if you’ve ever been curious about the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, then this article should satisfy your curiosity. You can also find out more at theindyraceway.com.