Discover the History of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway looks pretty good for 111 years old. Of course, a lot has happened during that time, too.

That's why, starting today, the race track is opening up its entire 111-year archive to the public. A new decade of the track's history will be released each Tuesday for the next 13 weeks, highlighting some of the most historically impactful events that took place there.

This week, the archive is focusing on the founding of the race track and the people who made it possible. Follow along at your own pace with tons of interactive archival content.


Read the full release below:

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has opened its deep, 111-year archive for race fans around the world to access, enjoy and use as a tool to learn about the extensive heritage of the Racing Capital of the World.

The IMS Digital Archive takes fans on a journey through the racetrack's fabled history by highlighting some of its biggest moments in a chronological timeline. IMS Historian Donald Davidson is featured and shares his unparalleled knowledge by telling stories about the Speedway orally and in written form.

Each Tuesday for the next 13 weeks, IMS will release a new decade in chronological order. Fans are encouraged to check weekly as more content will be unlocked and great stories will be told. The rich, multimedia content is optimized for enjoyment on mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, and browsers.

"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has hosted some of the greatest champions, pioneers and innovators in auto racing, motorcycle racing and aviation competition history," IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. "It's important that we honor our history and show our race fans where we come from as we grow into the next generation as a modern racing facility. As a passionate fan of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway myself, I can't wait to learn new stories right alongside our amazing fans and see what this archive tells us next."

From the track's original dimensions as a 5-mile road course-oval hybrid to stories about the Speedway's most prominent and successful figures, additional written and visual content will provide race fans with detailed and entertaining information about the Brickyard and the iconic people that have walked its hollowed grounds.

With IMS well into its second century, it's impossible to highlight every moment of its rich history. However, the Digital Archive prominently features some of the most significant moments that have defined the facility, the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge and the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard.

The portion of the timeline released today takes fans to the racetrack's origins in 1909 when IMS' four founding fathers, Carl Fisher, James Allison, Arthur Newby and Frank Wheeler, pooled their resources to build a testing ground for Indianapolis' growing automobile industry. This section also details the hot air balloon and motorcycle races and competitors that defined the first year at the track.

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