Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was officially designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1987, the only such site in automotive racing history to be highlighted with such a distinction. File photo: Bruce Alan Bennett, Shutter Stock, licensed.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an auto racing circuit located in Speedway, Indiana, and is the largest sports venue in the world. It is the home of many time-honored and celebrated American racing events, including the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR Verizon 200 the Pennzoil 150, in addition to being the former home of the United States Grand Prix and the Moto GP.

Located at 16th Street and Georgetown Road, approximately six miles west of Downtown Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was originally constructed in 1909, representing the second purpose-built, banked oval racing circuit in the United States and the first to be referred to as a “speedway.” Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the third-oldest permanent automobile race track in the world, with a seating capacity of 257,325, making it the highest-capacity sports venue in the world.

Known as the “Brickyard,” the Indianapolis Motor Speedway features a track that is 2.534 miles-long and possesses 13 turns – including two 5⁄8-mile-long straightaways, four geometrically identical 1⁄4-mile turns, and two 1⁄8-mile (200 m) short straightaways – with dimensions that have remained constant since it was originally constructed.

Currently, the race lap record stands at 1:22.191, originally set in 2013 by Scott Pruett in his Riley Mk XXVI Daytona Prototype.

Over the years, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has implemented several evolutionary upgrades, including a 2.605 mile main stretch and southeast turn in 2000, and an additional modification in 2008 to accommodate motorcycle racing and to improve competition in general. Over the years, the current racing grounds have expanded from the track’s original 320 acres to over 559 acres.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was officially designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1987, the only such site in automotive racing history to be highlighted with such a distinction.

The grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway also counts the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and Hall of Fame among its attractions; originally opened in 1956; their current location is the facility’s infield, to which it was moved to in 1976.

In addition, the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort – originally dubbed the Speedway Golf Course – was opened in 1929, and featured 14 holes along the track’s backstretch, along with 4 holes in the infield. This site is one of Indianapolis’ most attended tourist attractions, with an estimated 1 million visitors each year. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has also served as the venue for the 1987 Pan American Games opening ceremonies.

The opening of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 dates back close to the birth of the sport of American Championship car racing; since its inception, the Speedway has been very closely associated with the sport. Indeed, the city of Indianapolis as a whole is closely tied to Indy car racing, with a great deal of its economy very much dependent upon it.

In popular culture, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway appeared in numerous highlight films and documentaries – such as “The Legends of the Brickyard” (1987), “Indy 500: A Race for Heroes” (1989), and the ESPN documentary series “SportsCentury” – and motion pictures, including “Speed” (1936), “Indianapolis Speedway” (1939), “The Big Wheel” (1949), “To Please a Lady” (1950) “Roar of the Crowd” (1953), “Winning” (1969) and “Turbo” (2013).

Originally owned by Hulman & Company, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was sold on November 4, 2019 to Penske Corporation, owned by businessman and entrepreneur Roger Penske. Penske himself is a retired professional auto racing driver – as well as being a corporate director at General Electric – who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2019 by President Donald Trump.

For more information please visit: https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
4790 W 16th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46222
(317) 492-8500
https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com

Aerial view of Indianapolis 500, an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana through clouds. View from airplane. File photo: Jeremy Christensen, Shutter Stock, licensed.
Aerial view of Indianapolis 500, an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana through clouds. View from airplane. File photo: Jeremy Christensen, Shutter Stock, licensed.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Gate 1 Entrance. IMS Hosts the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 Auto Races VI
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Gate 1 Entrance. IMS Hosts the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 Auto Races VI. File photo: Jonathan Weiss, Shutter Stock, licensed.

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