May 21, 2013
Past/Present/Future: Speedway Innovation

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has come a long way since its opening in 1909. The once balloon race has now turned the small town of Speedway into the racing capital of the world!


The first race held at the Indianapolis Speedway was actually a balloon race in June of 1909, followed by motorcycle and automobile races in August. Since its first motor race, the speedway has been a center for auto innovation.  For example, it is believed that the 1911 Indianapolis 500 victor, Ray Harroun, used the first rear-view mirror.

What impact has the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) had on Indianapolis?



The IMS is currently the largest spectator sporting facility in the world. Its latest effort, though, is to extend the speedway’s impact beyond just the Indianapolis 500, the Brick Yard 400, and the Red Bull Moto GP.   The area around the IMS (meaning the town of Speedway) is being revitalized and rebuilt as the racetrack and broader community try to demonstrate that the area has something to offer beyond one day in May. For more details on the current plan check out the six phases of development here.

What innovative techniques would you like to see the IMS or the town of Speedway employ?



As motor technology quickly changes, prototypes for new machines are constantly being tested. Cars that are quicker, quieter, safer and more agile are constantly being tweaked. To many, though, the most important improvement is to increase the cars’ ability to “go green” as environmental concerns, as well as gas prices, rise.

How do you think auto racing will be different in 50 years?

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