The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an icon in the racing world as it holds events such as the Indianapolis 500 and Indycar Grand Prix. People travel from all over the world to come and witness drivers take on their competition in supercars that were made to fly. The guests have an equally good time as they eat and drink their fill while cheering on their favorite driver from one of the many seats.
There are many things you probably didn't know about this racetrack that is kept hidden. We have uncovered all there is to know so you are no longer left in the dark about your favorite sports venue. Keep reading to learn about ten hidden details behind the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!
10 It Has More Seats Than Any Other Sports Venue
This track is huge and is prepared to host approximately 400,000 people at a single event. It has been this way for years and as of yet, no one has beat its outstanding record. That is more seats than the population of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which might seem a bit overkill, but they do hold very popular events.
The next closest in size is the Circuit de la Sarthe in France, and it comes nowhere close this record with only 234,800 seats for its guests to choose from.
9 You Can Never See The Entire Track
It is quite an interesting phenomenon that this venue was built so viewers couldn't see every part of the track. This has led to arguments over the years as to what turn or stretch you should sit at for the best view.
The best seats are the ones located in the Panasonic Pagoda, but unfortunately, these can't be bought and are by invitation only. You should do your research prior to the race so you can figure out for yourself where the best seats will be for you since you haven't received an invitation.
8 It Is Also Known As "The Brickyard"
You are probably looking around the stadium wondering why it was given this nickname as there are not many bricks in sight, but there used to be. The entire track was originally hand paved with 3.2 million bricks, and each weighed approximately 9.5 pounds.
It was installed back in 1909, but from 1936 to 1938 they gradually paved the entire track with asphalt, except the straightaway. Eventually, in 1961 even this had to be paved and now all that is left of this memory is the line of bricks at the starting line.
7 The Panasonic Pagoda Has Undergone Renovations 5 Times
The pagoda was originally erected back in 1913, but it burned down after twelve years in 1925. They decided to rebuild the famous structure, but this time they made it a little bit bigger before the next race in 1926. This new pagoda was also moved further from the tracks for safety reasons.
When 1957 rolled around, they decided they wanted to create something new yet again and upgraded the tower, as well as added a terrace and pit area. The turn of technological advancements brought about even more upgrades and renovations from 1998 to the present day, but we can all say we are thankful it is still around as a staple of this track's culture.
6 It Can Be Difficult To Leave The Stadium
If you have somewhere to be or don't plan on staying long after the race, then maybe you should find something else to do instead. It generally takes at least three hours after the end of the race for guests to reach their cars.
You can push and shove all you want, but that still doesn't change the fact that this is one sports venue that doesn't want you to leave. You might as well kick back and watch the festivities or order more food until the venue clears out.
5 The First Race Held Here Was A Balloon Race
You probably associate the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with fast cars and checkered flags, but the first race involved neither of those things. In fact, the first race involved gas-filled balloons, and it was a way for the investors to recoup some of their losses.
The founder and president of this track, Carl Fischer, was a fan of aviation and it was his idea to put on this event. This race took place in June, and cars touched the track on August 19th for the first time in history.
4 There Is A Tradition Called "Kiss The Bricks"
This strange tradition was started back in 1996 by Dale Jarrett after he won the Brickyard 400. He knelt down on the tracks and kissed the stretch of ancient bricks that remain laid across the track.
This created a tradition that racers have decided to continue since this moment, and it is something that has stuck with the fans as well. People dream of kissing the bricks when they come to town, but the drivers want it more as it means they have finally pulled off their goal of achieving a win.
3 It Is A National Historic Site
This track was designated as a national historic site in 1987 through the National Historic Landmarks Program. It was deemed to hold significant cultural meaning to Americans as an integral part of its vast history.
We have to agree as generations of drivers have raced on this track and families have made it a tradition to visit for the races. It might not seem like a grand piece of architecture, but its the history behind the stadium that makes it so desirable in the eyes of Americans.
2 There Is An Interior Road Course For Motorcycle Races
When they were updating the Panasonic Pagoda back in 2000, they also added a road track for motorcycle racing. They actually stopped holding races for five years after the MotoAmerica event back in 2015, but they have a race scheduled for 2020 to restart a newer tradition.
They actually began racing motorcycles at this track back in 1909 before the addition of the interior track, but they had to upgrade due to new rules and regulations in the sport. This race will happen the same weekend as the Motorcycles on Meridian festival that will be going on in downtown Indianapolis, so anyone interested in these cool machines should definitely by a ticket.
1 You Can Take A Tour Of The Grounds
There is an option when the track is not in use for guests to take a tour of the grounds aboard a tour bus or a golf cart. You have several different tour options that give you numerous opportunities from kissing the bricks to in-depth views of the restricted areas.
It gives you a personal view of the track and allows you to feel like one of the drivers for a day as you see everything they are privy too. If you have some extra time you should consider visiting the museum to learn all there is to know about this awesome race track.