The History of Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a renowned sports stadium. It is distinguished throughout the world because it has the highest seating capacity for a racing track and holds several major sporting events annually. It is also a historical landmark because of these famous races. Among the most popular events held here is the U.S. Grand Prix. Just this year, Michael Schumacher won the Grand Prix as a Formula One racer for the fifth time. Meanwhile, other former record setting winners that emerged from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, and Al Unser, who each won the Indianapolis 500 race four times while Jeff Gordon won the Brickyard 400 four times.

With the Indianapolis Motor Speedway being what it is today, a symbol of dynamism and hope; it is hard to imagine that it had a tragic beginning. In 1909 when the first race took place, the surface of the racing track crushed and this lead to multiple injuries to both race car drivers and the spectators. Some drivers even died as their racecars burned. Following this incident, an initiative was led by the co-founder of the stadium, Carl Fisher, who ordered the surface of the field to be paved with bricks. Thus, it was nicknamed the Brickyard. Later, the Indianapolis 500 was developed.

But racing also proved to be extremely dangerous to the race car drivers, take the 1950’s for example. Out of the 33 drivers that took part in the 1953 race, only 16 survived. So in 1961, asphalt was used to cover the entire track with the exception of the start and finish line. This gives the racetrack a distinct look and history.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway has other functions aside from hosting races alone; Tony George further improved the golf course that was in the Speedway and attracted the Champions Tour to hold an event here. And still more racing events were to follow, Tony George also convinced Nascar to relocate to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Also, after two years of construction work for renovations and improvements on the stadium, the first U.S. Grand Prix was inaugurated in the Speedway in 2000 and this proved to be a great success.

It was not all smooth sailing for the U.S. Grand Prix; there have been some problems that were encountered along the way like in 2005 when only 6 cars were able to participate. This was due to safety concerns of the Michelin tires that are used for the racecars. However, all was resolved in 2006 with the July race and the future of the U.S. Grand Prix in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2007 is secure.

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