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4790 W. 16th St.
Speedway, IN 46222

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TAILGATING INFORMATION:

Welcome to the Brickyard! Possibly the best tailgating on the circuit. Absolutely the most prestigious race, that's for sure. Know your NASCAR when opening your mouth at this race. These are the hardcore of NASCAR and expert tailgaters as well. The tailgating parties are fierce in a good way. Indianians by nature are fun midwestern folks who enjoy a good time and thier NASCAR.

TAILGATING CHECKLIST:

  • Your Tickets
  • Local Map
  • Grill
  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Charcoal or gas
  • Lighter/Matches
  • Fire extinguisher wouldn't hurt
  • Sunscreen
  • Food/Drinks
  • Bottle opener
  • Napkins
  • Serving
  • Utensils
  • Plates/Utensils
  • Radio
  • Garbage
  • Bags
  • Umbrella, poncho,hat
  • Something to sit on

INDIANAPOLIS FLAVOR:

Lets be realistic. If you are at this party you could probably eat anything and it would not hold a candle to the feeling of being at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, tailgating. Be warned you will be in the company of professional, long term and old school tailgaters and there will be some excellent food going on. If you are there to party, well party on. If you are there for the food, a tenderloin or brisket may be in order. Side dishes of fancy pasta salads and other carb heavy foods may get you therough the day easier. Sausages, wraps, sandwiches and other food you can walk with are a good idea as well as bringing proper cups and plates for walking or hanging out with. Tailgating at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a life experience you will tell your kids about so make it a good one. Eat, Drink and be merry!

TRACK DETAILS:

Seats: 250,000 plus
Shape: Officially Oval, more like a rectangle
Distance: 2.5 miles
Turns: 9 degree
Straightaways: 0 degrees
Length of frontstretch 3,330 feet
Length of backstretch: 3,330 feet

 

INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY EARLY HISTORY

The first motorsports event at the track consisted of 7 motorcycle races, sanctioned by the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM), on August 14, 1909.[3] This was originally planned as a two-day, 15- race program, but ended before the first day was completed, due to concerns over suitability of the track surface for motorcycle use.

The first weekend of automobile races took place August 19-21, 1909, and consisted of 16 races sanctioned by the American Automobile Association (AAA).[3] The celebration quickly turned into a neardisaster, due to the surface of crushed stone and tar. There were several accidents, resulting in five fatalities, and the final race of the weekend was halted after 235 miles (378 km) of its originally-scheduled 300.

Following an initiative by automotive parts and highway pioneer Carl G. Fisher, an Indiana native who was both a former race car driver and one of the principal investors in the track, the safety concerns for race drivers and spectators eventually led to a substantial additional expenditure to pave the track surface with 3.2 million paving bricks, thus giving the track its popular nickname "The Brickyard." Today, 3 feet (0.91 m) of original bricks still remain at the start/finish line.

The Speedway reopened in 1910, with a total of 66 automobile races held during three holiday weekends (Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day).[3] Each weekend featured two or three races of 100- mile (160 km) to 200-mile (320 km) distance, with several shorter contests. None of the short races served as a qualifying race, or "heat" race, for the longer events. Each race stood on its own and earned its own trophy. All races were sanctioned by the AAA (as were the Indianapolis 500 races up through 1955). A change in marketing focus led to only one race per year, beginning in 1911.

Attracting an estimated 80,000 spectators to the first 500 mile (804.672 km) race on Memorial Day May 30, 1911, at $1 admission, the Speedway hosted the first in a long line of 500-mile (804.672 km) races, now known as the Indianapolis 500. Ray Harroun won at the brisk average speed of 74.602 mph (120.060 km/h). "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing"was born.

1912–1929: THE GOLDEN AGE

A classic race followed in 1912 when Ralph DePalma lost a five lap lead with five laps to go when his car broke down. As his car was being pushed around the circuit, Joe Dawson made up the deficit to win the race. Three of the next four winners were Europeans, with DePalma being the exception as an American national, though originally Italian born. These races gave Indy a worldwide reputation and international drivers began to enter.

The 1916 race was shortened to 120 laps for 300 miles (480 km). This was for multiple reasons including a lack of entries from Europe (there were so few entries that the Speedway itself entered several cars), a lack of oil, and out of respect for the war in Europe.

On September 9, 1916, the Speedway hosted a day of short racing events termed the Harvest Classic, composed of three races held at 20, 50 and 100-mile (160 km) distances.[4][5][6] Johnny Aitken, in a Peugeot, in the end triumphed in all three events, his final victories at the facility. The Harvest Classic contests were the last races other than the Indianapolis 500 to be held on the grounds for seventy-eight years.

Racing was interrupted in 1917-1918 by World War I, when the facility served as a military hub for repairs. When racing resumed, speeds quickly increased. In 1925 Peter DePaolo became the first to average 100 mph (160 km/h) for the race.

1930s: THE JUNK YARD

With the Great Depression hitting the nation, the purse dropped from a winners share of $50,000 and a total of $98,250 in 1930 to $18,000 and $54,450 respectively. It's a common misconception that the rules were "dumbed down" to what was called the "junkyard formula" to allow more entries during the depression. The rules were indeed changed, but it was due to an effort by the Speedway to get more car manufacturers involved in the race by discouraging the entry of specialized racing machines which dominated the 500 during the mid- to late-'20s. The rule changes in fact were already being laid out before the market crash. A record of 42 cars started the 1933 500. With one exception between 1934 until 1979, 33 drivers started the 500; 1947 saw 30 cars start due to a strike by certain teams affiliated with the ASPAR drivers, owners and sponsors association.

By the early 1930s, however, the increasing speeds began to make the track increasingly dangerous, and in the period 1931-1935 there were 15 fatalities. This forced another repavement, with tarmac replacing the bricks in parts of the track. The danger of the track during this period, however, didn't stop Louis Meyer or Wilbur Shaw from becoming the first two three-time winners, with Shaw also being the first back-to-back winner in 1939 and 1940.

1940s: THE DEAL

At the beginning of the 1940s, the track required further improvement. In 1941, half of "Gasoline Alley," the garage area, burned down before the race. With US involvement in World War II, the 1942 500-Mile race was cancelled in December, 1941. Late in 1942, a ban on all auto racing led to the canceling of the 500-Mile Race for the rest of the war for a total of four years (1942-1945). The track was more or less abandoned during the war and was in bad shape.

Many of the locals conceded that the Speedway would be sold after the war and become a housing development. With the end of the war in sight, on November 29, 1944, three-time 500 winner Wilbur Shaw came back to do a 500-mile (800 km) tire test approved by the government for Firestone. Shaw was shocked at the state of the Speedway and contacted owner Eddie Rickenbacker, only to discover that it was for sale. Shaw then sent out letters to the automobile industry to try to find a buyer. All the responses indicated that the Speedway would be turned into a private facility for the buyer. Shaw then looked around for someone to buy the Speedway, who would reopen the racetrack as a public venue. He found Terre Haute, Indiana businessman Tony Hulman. Meetings were set up and the Speedway was purchased on November 14, 1945. Though not officially acknowledged, the purchase price for the Speedway was reported by the Indianapolis Star and News to be $750,000. Major renovations and repairs were made at a quick pace to the frail Speedway, in time for the 1946 race. Since then the Speedway has continued to grow. Stands have been built and remodelled many times over, suites and museums were added, and many other additions helped bring back Indy's reputation as a great track.

1950s: ROADSTERS

Several successful drivers helped increase the reputation of The Brickyard as well, including three-time winner Mauri Rose and 1953-54 winner Bill Vukovich.

In the 1950s, cars were topping out at 150 mph (240 km/h), helping to draw more and more fans. Kurtis, Kuzma, and Watson chassis dominated the field. Nearly all were powered by the Offenhauser engines. The crowd favorite Novi, with its unique sound and look, was the most powerful car of the decade that dominated time trials. However, they would never make the full 500 miles (800 km) in first place, often breaking down before the end or having to make too many pit stops because of the massive engine's thirst for fuel and the weight that went with the extra fuel.

The track’s reputation improved so much the 500-Mile Race became part of the Formula One World Championship for 11 years (1950-1960), even though none of the Indy drivers raced in Formula One and only Ferrari's Alberto Ascari of the F1 drivers at the time raced in the 500. Five time World Champion Juan Fangio practiced at the Speedway in 1958, but ultimately decided against it.

The 1950s were also the most dangerous era of American racing. Of the 33 drivers to qualify for the 1953 race, nearly half, 16, were to eventually die in racing accidents.

END OF THE ROADSTERS TO THE MODERN INDYCAR

In October 1961, the final remaining brick sections of the track were paved over with asphalt, with the exception of a distinct three-footwide line of bricks at the start/finish line. The "Brickyard" thus became known for its "Yard of Bricks".

Ironically, a wave of F1 drivers went to the Speedway in the 1960s, and the rear-engine revolution that was started in F1 by the Cooper team changed the face of the 500 as well; since Jim Clark's win in 1965, every winner has driven a rear-engined car. Graham Hill won the following year in his first attempt, eventually to become the only driver to date to achieve auto racing's "Triple Crown" of winning the Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500, and Le Mans 24 Hours. There were enough Americans to compete with them, with A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, and Bobby and Al Unser leading the charge in the 1960s and 1970s, of whom Foyt and Al Unser would eventually become, respectively, the first two of three drivers, to date, to win four times each.

From 1970 to 1981, Indianapolis had a twin in the city of Ontario, California by the name of the Ontario Motor Speedway, this track was known as the "Indianapolis of the West" and the home of the California 500; but was a financial failure due to bad management and not holding enough races on the racetrack.

The 1980s brought a new generation of speedsters, led by four-time race winner Rick Mears who also broke the 220 mph (355 km/h) speed mark in qualifying (1989) and won six pole positions. Other stars of the decade included Danny Sullivan, Bobby Rahal, and F1 veteran Emerson Fittipaldi. The 1989 race came down to a final ten-lap, thrilling duel between Fittipaldi and Al Unser, Jr., culminating in Unser crashing in the third turn of the 199th lap after making contact with Fittpaldi's right front tire.

The early 1990s witnessed Arie Luyendyk winning in the fastest 500 to date, with an average speed 185.981 mph (299.307 km/h). Mears becoming the third four-time winner after a late-race duel with Michael Andretti in 1991, and Al Unser, Jr. finally securing victory by defeating last-place-starting driver Scott Goodyear by 0.043 of a second in 1992, the closest finish in race history to date.

The 500 got a new look in 1996 when it became an Indy Racing League event, formed as a rival to CART.

NASCAR AND IROC AT INDY

From 1919 to 1993, the 500 was the only race run at the Brickyard. However, when Tony George (Hulman's grandson) inherited the track, he brought more racing to the Speedway, with NASCAR in 1994 (Allstate 400 at The Brickyard, still commonly referred to as the Brickyard 400) and an International Race Of Champions (IROC) event in 1998.

The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard currently has no official support races. From 1998-2003, an IROC event was held as a support race. Since 1982, nearby Indianapolis Raceway Park has held a NASCAR Nationwide Series event, and since the inception of the Allstate 400 in 1994, it has been held the night before. Since 1995, a Camping World Truck Series race has also been held at IRP. Since 2001, qualifying for the Allstate 400 has been held on Saturday afternoon, with the Busch series race run Saturday night.

In 2003, the Firestone Indy Lights Series, a minor league series to the IndyCar Series, made history with the first May race other than the 500, the Freedom 100, which has been moved from the final qualifying weekend to Carburetion Day on the Friday before the 500.

In 2005, the Firestone Indy Lights Series became the first racing series since 1916 to run at the famous race course twice in one year. The first event being the Freedom 100, held on the oval track as part of the Indianapolis 500 weekend, and the second during the United States Grand Prix weekend competing on the Grand Prix road course.

FORMULA ONE AND ROAD COURSE RACING

In 1998, Tony George arranged for Formula One to return to the US for the first time since 1991. Two years of renovation and new construction for an Indy-based road course led to the first United States Grand Prix there in 2000, a race which was a great success. The 2001 event's success (185,000 fans were reported in attendance) was even more important with the race, then originally held in September, being the first major international sporting event in the United States after September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.<./

The Grand Prix road course, unlike the oval, is raced in a clockwise direction. This follows the general practice of Formula One, in which the vast majority of circuits (excepting Interlagos, Imola and Istanbul Park) run clockwise.

The short history of the event is littered with controversies. The 2002 United States Grand Prix was marred by a bizarre ending, in which Michael Schumacher, having already clinched the championship, seemingly tried to stage a dead heat with team-mate Rubens Barrichello. The official timings showed Barrichello ahead by 0.011 seconds at the line, leading fans and media to dub the event a farce.

The 2005 United States Grand Prix turned out to be one of the most controversial races in motorsport history. New rules meant cars had to use the same tyres throughout the event. A practice crash on the banked corner (the only banked corner on the F1 calendar) led to Michelin realising their tyres were illequipped for the banking, and could complete no more than a fraction of the race before failing. The Michelin teams were unable to find a solution, and while debates raged until the second, the Michelin teams pulled into the pits at the end of the parade lap, leaving only the 3 Bridgestone teams to contest the race. As two of these teams were backmarkers under normal circumstances, this led to Ferrari taking probably the easiest win in F1 history, sheepishly accepting the trophies from a presentation party hastily assembled after Speedway boss Tony George refused to take part.

The perceived outrage of this event put the future of Formula One at Indianapolis in doubt. However, the event was held on July 2, 2006, on the American Fourth of July weekend, with American Scott Speed driving for the new Scuderia Toro Rosso team. Speed had become the first American in Formula One since Michael Andretti drove for McLaren in 1993. In this race, Speed became the first American to compete in a United States Grand Prix since Eddie Cheever in 1989.

During the 2006 United States Grand Prix, Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone said that it did not matter to him whether or not there was a Grand Prix in America, but also said he would be happy to discuss a new contract for the race.[7] There was also a rumour going around that in future seasons, there would be two Grands Prix held in the United States. Even with Ecclestone's statements, the 2007 calendar was confirmed on October 31, 2006, following an extension of the race contract into 2007.

On July 12, 2007, it was announced that Formula One would not return to the IMS for 2008, although a continuation of USGP at the IMS has not been completely ruled out for the future. Tony George stated difficulties in meeting the demands of Ecclestone to continue to host the event.[8] George and Ecclestone are currently in talks to revive the race for 2009, with the speedway already searching for a new title sponsor.[9] In a statement on April 10, 2008, Indianapolis chairman Joie Chitwood said that the "door is open" for Formula One to return to the circuit.

RECORDS AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  • Aug. 7, 2007 - Tony Stewart, Fastest Race Lap, Time - 0:00:50:099, 179.641 mph
  • Aug. 7, 2004 - CaseyMears, Fastest Qualifying Lap, Time - 0:00:48.311, 186.293 mph
  • Aug. 5, 2000 - Bobby Labonte, Fastest Race, Time - 2:33:55, 155 mph

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