The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an oval race track located in Speedway, Indiana. It is used for a number of automobile races including the Indianapolis 500, which is one of the most important automobile races in the world. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a permanent seating capacity of approximately 257,000 people, which makes it the largest sporting stadium in the world. There is also room for more than 400,000 spectators in the infield. The main track is 2.5 miles (4km) in total length with four quarter mile turns, two 5/8 mile straightaways and two 1/8 mile straightaways. Although this is the main track, sometimes infield tracks are used for other motor racing events such as Formula 1 or Moto GP (motorcycle racing). Let’s find out who designed the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Who designed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
The idea of building the speedway came to successful bicycle and automotive businessman Carl G. Fisher in 1905. He decided to put plans into place for building a speedway in his hometown after he spent time assisting friends racing in France. This experience showed him that the Europeans held the upper hand in the racing and automotive design. He wanted to build the track to allow local testing and racing of vehicles, and provide a proper spectacle for auto enthusiasts to watch racing. In 1907 he visited the Brooklands racing circuit in England to further his plans. In 1908 he found an area to build his track and convinced three partners; James Allison, Arthur Newby and Frank Wheeler, to put up the money to buy the property and build the speedway. In March 1909 the group created the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and construction of the track started that same month. Over 500 men, 300 mules and a large number of steam powered vehicles quickly got to work on the track and grandstands. Amazingly, the track was completed very quickly and was first used for automobile racing later the same year! Fisher’s original 3 mile (5 km) oval design had to be downsized to 2.5 miles (4 km) to ensure there was enough room for spectators. Even though most of the vision came from Fisher, the other partners; James Allison, Arthur Newby and Frank Wheeler; are also listed as architects for this spectacular speedway.