Every Hoosier knows a thing or two about the popular Indianapolis Speedway, but how much do you really know? Check out these facts to see how much you know about this popular Hoosier attraction.
1. The Indianapolis Speedway is the Largest Sports Arena in the World
The speedway grounds are 253 acres and even include a golf course. There are also over 250,000 seats and the grounds hosts a museum, as well as the main track. It’s even bigger than Vatican City, the Roman Colosseum, and Yankee Stadium!
2. The Indianapolis 500 is the Biggest One-Day Sporting Event in the World
Every Hoosier knows that the Indy 500 is a huge deal in Indiana, but did you know it was this huge? When you think of all of the single day sporting events across the globe, none come close to matching the Indy 500. That’s pretty awesome!
3. The Tradition of Drinking Milk After Winning the Race Began with Louis Meyer
That’s right, it all started in 1936 with Louis Meyer, who actually won the 500 on three separate occasions. The story behind this swig of milk is actually pretty simple and endearing. Meyer drank buttermilk after his win, because his mother told him that milk was the perfect beverage to drink on hot days. And with this, the tradition began!
4. The Indy 500 Officially Began in 1911
The Indy 500 as we know it started in 1911, with Ray Harroun as the winner. Amazing to think that it’s been going on for over 100 years now! Here’s to 100 more!
5. The First Race at the Track Featured Helium Balloons
That’s right, no cars were raced this year. In 1909, helium balloons were raced instead of cars, which is why, even to this day, helium balloons are released prior to the race every year.
6. The distance around the Track is 2.5 Miles
Maybe you’ve done the math before, maybe you haven’t, but now you know!
7. 11 Women from 6 Different Countries Have Competed in the Indianapolis 500.
That’s right, women have competed in this Indy car race from as early as 1977. The nine women are Janet Gunthrie, Desire Wilson, Amber Furst, Lyn. St James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simone de Silvestro, Ana Beatriz Figuereido, Pippa Mann, and Katherine Legge.
8. Drivers Used to be Able to Drink and Drive
Well, not all drivers participated in this, but before 1914 there weren’t any laws against racing and drinking. Imagine the chaos if that law hadn’t passed!
9. Four Golf Course Holes are Actually Located Inside
Many seasoned race fans might know this, but many are still surprised to find this out. They are all located within the infield of the track.
10. The Indy 500 is Broadcast in Over 200 Countries and 290+ Million Households
Wow. Not only is it the most popular and largest single day event, but it gathers quite a crowd indoors, across the globe.
11. The Fastest Lap Clocks in at 237.498mph
This was completed by Arie Luyendyk in 1996. Can you even imagine what it feels like to drive this fast?
How many of these cool facts did you know about the Indianapolis 500? Know of any other interesting facts? Be sure to share them!