Needing a test facility for Indianapolis’ burgeoning automobile industry, Carl Fisher and three other investors purchased 325 acres in 1909. They built a 2.5-mile racetrack and dubbed it Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “The Brickyard” — a nickname coming about later that year when 3.2 million bricks were used to pave the track — is the world’s largest sports venue with the ability to accommodate about 400,000 spectators.
One hundred years after the first of more than 300 races at the speedway, it remains home of the world-famous Indianapolis 500, as well as NASCAR’s Brickyard 400, and some motorcycle and Formula One events. The 93rd Indy 500 on May 24, 2009, is being billed as the first race in the track’s “Centennial Era” of 2009-2011.
To commemorate this automotive milestone, the Census Bureau has compiled a collection of facts and figures relating to our nation, Indiana and Indianapolis during the past 100 years.