Thursday, August 3, 2017

SPEED AND SEX

The title of this blog is somewhat misleading because it's all about speed, not sex, but thank you for pursuing your curiosity.  We couldn't leave Indianapolis without a visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, aka, The "Brickyard", and formerly the home of the United States Grand Prix, in Speedway, Indiana, home to both the world's largest and second-largest single day sporting event.

Skyline of Indianapolis
Approximately 6 miles west of Downtown Indianapolis
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
aka The "Brickyard"
View of Speedway, Indiana
Since 1909 the Speedway was the first racing facility so named.  


Although there is a seating capacity of 235,000, infield seating raised the capacity to 400,000, making it the highest-capacity sports venue in the world.  The Speedway is so large that you could fit the Roman Coliseum, Vatican City, Wimbledon Campus, Rose Bowl, Yankee Stadium and Churchill Downs inside the 2.5 mile oval.  Since 1911, the Speedway has been the home of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing", the Indianapolis 500.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The Speedway was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987, and is the only such site to be affiliated with automobile racing history.  

Historic Marker at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
As native Floridians we were pleasantly surprised to hear of the beginning affiliation of the  co-founder and first president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May, 1909, was Indianapolis businessman Carl Graham Fisher.   This is the same Carl Fisher aka "Mr. Miami Beach", (1874-1938),  also recognized as extremely instrumental in the early development of Miami Beach, and many Floridians would recognize his name instantly.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
We visited the Speedway facilities starting at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, which opened in 1956, and houses the Auto Racing Hall of Fame.  Lots of activity was obvious as there were many race teams arriving and staff was starting to prepare for pre-race activities of the Brickyard 400.  A special exhibit focused on the stellar racing career of A. J. Foyt.

Original Painting of A.J. Foyt
Collage of A.J. Foyt's Career
A room in the museum displayed A.J. Foyt's winning race cars
Also on the property is the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort, which originally opened as the Speedway Golf Course in 1929.  The golf course has 14 holes outside of the track, along the backstretch, and four holes in the infield. 

Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort
The Speedway has transitioned many times through the years which has helped the Indy's reputation as a great track;  from roadsters in the 1950s to the 500-mile race of the Formula One World Championship for 10 years (1950-1960).  In 1961 the final remaining brick sections of the track were paved over with asphalt, with the exception of a distinct 3 foot wide line of bricks at the start/finish line.  The "Brickyard" thus became known for its "Yard of Bricks".

The "Yard of Bricks"
The Speedway and the Indianapolis area is closely tied to Indy car racing, analogous to the link NASCAR has to the greater Charlotte area.

Indy Car Experience (note 2 seats)
Race car drivers have to be in tip-top shape for so many reasons...and I'm not.  A cause for concern was the sign on the Indy race car for visitors to have their photos made in an authentic race car.

You must think about this and what's
best for you - 
It isn't getting in that's hard...it's getting out that may require additional personnel and special attention.  So what do you think I did?