Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, IN



United States

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Situated on the near westside of Indianapolis approximately 4.5 miles from the center of the city, this 560-acre facility is famously the site of the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 automobile races. With the initial idea for a private testing and racing track proposed in 1905 by automobile entrepreneur Carl Fisher, the Speedway was the first of its kind and later became a prototype for similar post-WWII projects. In 1906 Fisher formed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Company with partners Arthur Newby, Frank Wheeler and James Allison, all automobile pioneers, and three years later, they opened a 2.5-mile oval track. The track was initially paved with three million bricks, earning the site its nickname, “The Brickyard.” Though innovations in material technology informed the decision to overlay it with asphalt in 1937, the original bricks remain underneath and a one-yard segment was left exposed at the start/finish line. The track is entirely flat with the exception of two bridges that pass over a small creek intersecting the site.

In 1945 the track was sold to businessman Anton "Tony" Hulman, who conducted a series of extensive repairs until his passing in 1977; his family maintains ownership to this day. Indianapolis architecture firm Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf was hired to design the Panasonic Pagoda from 1998-2000, which contains racing garages, a media center with state-of-the-art scoring facilities, and a viewing plaza. In addition to automobile racing facilities, the site contains the Motor Speedway Museum and four holes of the historic Brickyard Crossing Golf Course. The Motor Speedway was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

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