Let’s race. I, Zeb the Duck, am ready to tour the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Wow. Let’s check out this speedway
This is an exciting place and famous for many races. Perhaps the best known is the Indianapolis 500 race held annually the end of May. Also NASCAR race, the Brickyard 400 is held here. And this is the former home of the United States Grand Prix. Such an impressive place.
Looks great. Indianapolis Motor Speedway
This building is huge and holds so much history of racing. Of course, this car, #7, that I am on is very impressive also. Mom and I, with Kristi, our former neighbor, board the tour bus and soon we are driving on the racetrack. **
I, Zeb the Duck, inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Yep, we really are on the track of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Meet my new friend, our guide.
He is so nice and tells us so much about this speedway. In fact, he tells us the first race held here, was not on this track. On Saturday, June 5, 1909, the first race was hot air balloons. The Balloon Universal City won the race, landing 382 miles (615 km) from here. Also, there is a golf course in the infield of this race track. I never knew. Here is the platform where a flag starts the race.
Flag from this platform starts and finishes the race.
From this same platform, a flag ends the race. I’m looking down the track here.
Looking down the race trace
Can you imagine driving at speeds approaching 200 miles per hour, with other cars all around you? These highly skilled drivers must have nerves of steel. Shortly after the track opened and races were held, there was a problem with the surface of the track. To fix the problem, the track was resurfaced with bricks. Each brick was hand laid over 2 inches (51 mm) of leveled sand. The gaps were then filled with mortar. The track soon had the nickname of ‘The Brickyard”. Years later, the bricks were removed and the track was once again, resurfaced. However, this line of bricks remain. The brick strip is one yard (.91 m.) of original bricks.
Row of original bricks
Custom requires that the winner, of whatever type of race, must kiss the bricks. I, Zeb the Duck, follow tradition, and everyone knows that I am a winner, so I am kissing the bricks.
I, the winner, kiss the bricks
Some of my fellow tourists, humans, are sharing my victory.
Kissing the bricks with human visitors
We all kiss the bricks. Let me tell you a little about this speedway. There is permanent seating of 257,325 places. With the additional infield seating during most events, there is a capacity for 400,000 spectators. Right here, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is the highest capacity sports venue in the world. The track is 2.5 miles (4.0 km). The name of the major races includes the length of the race in miles. The Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400. These are all day events. Our guide now takes us into the building and to the museum. We love this car.
#19 car driven by Al Unser, Jr.
This is #19 driven by Al Unser, Jr. The Unser family is a legend in Indianapolis 500 racing. The car is sponsored by Coors Brewery. Coors Brewery, of Golden, Colorado, is a few miles from our home. This trophy is for the Indianapolis 500 race winners.
Silver winner trophy for Indianapolis 500
This sterling silver Borg-Warner Trophy has been symbolic of victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1936. A silver likeness of each winner has been added to this trophy since 1936. To each winner, Borg Warner presents a smaller sterling silver replica of this handsome award. I like this trophy, but I don’t see any likenesses of racing or traveling ducks. So, I guess I will not be receiving a trophy this time. Look at the winning car from 2016.
2016 winning car of Indianapolis 500
I like it and it sure doesn’t look like mom’s car. But, the earliest winning car I could find was from 1932.
Winning car from 1932
This also doesn’t look like mom’s car, but it doesn’t look much like the latest winning cars. The designs keep changing for more speed and more safety. If you are near Indianapolis, I hope you take time to go the speedway and take a tour. This place is really interesting. I, Zeb the Duck, liked it and I think you would also.