Sport: The 500

Lights burned late in the frame and concrete-block garages along the infield of the sprawling, 515-acre racing track on the northwest outskirts of Indianapolis. Mechanics toiled over the expensive (cost: $20,000 and up), low-slung cars, built specifically with the big brick-paved track in mind. This week 33 of the world's fastest racers will roar 500 miles around the Brick Yard in quest of fame and some $300,000 in prize money.

The Indianapolis 500 is the oldest* big-car auto race in the U.S., and victory at the Brick Yard is the crowning achievement in a driver's career. For many years, the 22-mile Indianapolis...

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