It was, without a doubt, the most overexposed event in the history of IndyCar. Yet it still held up to the hype.
Here, with gratitude to Getty Images, is the day in notable photographs.
Side it sideways across the bricks, Alexander:
The Borg-Warner Trophy is THIS big!
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With gratitude to Getty Images, a look at Indianapolis Motor Speedway over the years:
The Getty Caption: “1909: Workers lay bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway preparing the facility to host the first Indianapolis 500 two years later. A motorcycle event was conducted in 1909, however, and was won by Cannonball Baker on an Indian. Baker later became NASCARÕs first commissioner.”
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Special to Race-Week.com
In the early years of the twentieth century when automobiles were new, cars raced on public roads. What is now considered rallying was first formalized as a competition in France in 1894 with a race from Paris to Rouen. One year later racing hit the streets of Illinois for America’s first sanctioned race.
The few existing roads were rough, rutted and sometimes muddy former wagon paths that meandered around obstacles such as trees and boulders. They were brutal on cars. Not only did that make for difficult and dangerous racing, but it also hampered everyday travel by automobile.
Realizing that the burgeoning U.S. automotive industry, while having captured the interest of the general public, needed further development if it was to compete with European design and craftsmanship, Carl Fisher, entrepreneur and automobile enthusiast, envisioned an immense test track to develop and promote this new phenomenon. Auto makers needed a place to test prototypes.
Because it was flat, the 328-acre Pressley Farm west of Indianapolis lent itself to becoming the perfect test track. Fisher bought it for $72,000, paved it with several layers of crushed stone and renamed his new automotive proving ground the Indianapolis Motor Parkway.
Special to Race-Week.com
Thanks to a deluge of advertising, it’s hard to escape the fact that this year is the 100th running of the 500-mile race at Indianapolis.
Commonly referred to as the “greatest spectacle in racing,” it has become renowned as the biggest single-day sporting event in the world. This year’s race looks like it’s going to be bigger in every way than it has been since “The Split.”
A once-in-a-lifetime milestone like this is a must-see event.
Race fans evidently agree. Local hotels began reporting “no vacancies” for Race Weekend months ago. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced in early May that grandstand tickets were sold out for the first time in years.
Apparently, Joey Logano was as confused as anybody else about the format for last night’s Sprint All Star race.
Asked afterward, Logano said ““There was a point I came over the radio and said, ‘I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t really want to know what’s going on. Let me drive the car and you call the race’ because I was confused. All I know is if there’s a car in front of me, we should pass them. That’s kind of where my head was.”
“It doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think it is,” he said.
Logano, who of course won the event, said grand strategic moves largely went unrewarded. “The whole falling back and trying to position yourself to the front didn’t really play because there were only two or three cars – I think a lot of cars got trapped on pit stops when the caution came out and they got trapped down a lap.”
“It didn’t really play out like a lot of us thought it would when there are only three cars on old tires in front of you, so we got through them in the first corner and then it was like, ‘Alright.’ It was Larson and I for this thing. I felt confident that we had a very good shot at racing for the win when we were restarting there at the end.”
“It’s the most screwed up All-Star race I’ve ever been a part of,” Tony Stewart said after finishing 20th in last night’s event, his swan song as a Cup-level driver. “I’m glad it’s my last one.”
Stewart was caught in a wreck he blamed on Chase Elliott. “I got in a wreck,” he said. “I mean, the 24 (Elliott) wrecked everybody and put everybody behind him in jeopardy and we got caught on the outside of it.”
Stewart saved his biggest criticism, however, for NASCAR’s management of the race. Of the wreck, he said, “I shouldn’t have been back there in the first place. We couldn’t even get clarification after the pit stop as to where we were even supposed to be and then we restarted and find out we’re a lap down and it’s like, how did that happen? How did that happen? It’s the dumbest damn thing I’ve ever been a part of.”
“I’m just madder than hell because I don’t understand how the hell they’ve officiated this from start to finish.”