Thursday, January 7, 2010
Indianapolis Motor Speedway - on the fast track
It has existed since 1909 and has a permanent seating capacity for more than 257,000 people with infield seating that raises the capacity to approximately 400,000 making it the largest and highest capacity sporting facility in the world.
The Motor Speedway is a 2.5 mile nearly rectangular oval with dimensions that have remained almost unchanged since its inception. There are four 1/4 mile turns, two 5/8 mil straightaways and two 1/8 mile short straightaways.
Besides the Indianapolis 500 NASCAR's Brickyard 400 also takes place each summer where you can watch the local boys like Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart compete.
A modern infield road course was constructed between 1998-2000 to create a 2.605 mile track in order to host the United States Grand Prix for Formula One from 2000-2007.
In 2008, the road course was modified to replace the SW turn with an additional infield section for motorcycle use in order to host the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, a MotoGP event.
Since 1977, the city of Indianapolis has hosted a mini-marathon, which includes one lap around the Speedway. Known as the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, this event usually starts the official events that occur prior to the Indy 500.
On the grounds of the Speeway is the Indianapolis MOtor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum which opened in 1956 where you can view a timeline of race cars, along with Motor Speeway History and even take a tour of the track.
In 1929 the Speedway Golf Course opened with a 27 hole layout. From 1991-93 it was demolished and redesigned into an 18 hole championship course by legendary golf architect Pete Dye. The new course renamed the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort now features 14 holes outside and 4 holes in the infield, along with an infield lake.
To be a real Hoosier, you need to attend at least one event in your lifetime!