A Brief History of the Indianapolis 500
Built in 1909 in a stretch of Indiana farmland, the Speedway was originally designed as a smooth area to test new cars. The 2.5-mile track, pictured here in 2005, was originally surfaced with crushed rock and tar a disastrous choice, as it broke apart and prompted accidents killing several drivers and spectators on its first use. The track was promptly resurfaced with bricks 3.2 million of them spawning the site's nickname "The Brickyard." The course is technically located in Speedway, Indiana, a town of about 13,000 completely surrounded by Indianapolis.