Monday, June 6, 2016

500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part 7: First Race Was a Balloon Race

7.  THE TRACK'S BEEN AROUND LONGER THAN MANY OF AMERICA'S MOST FAMOUS SPORTING VENUES.

The track was finished in 1909, making it older than Fenway Park (1912), Wrigley Field (1914) and the Rose Bowl (1922).  The original Yankee Stadium was built in 1923.

8.  THE FIRST RACE AT THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY OCCURRED IN THE AIR.

The track was the launching point for a balloon race on June 5, 1909 that saw a helium-lifted craft called Universal City winning by landing nearly 400 miles away in Alabama after a day in the sky.

9.  40,000 PEOPLE SHOWED UP FOR THAT BALLOON RACE.

10.  THE TRACK ORIGINALLY HAD ZERO BRICKS ON ITS SURFACE.

Compacted limestone, gravel and a lovely-sounding goop called "taroid" covered the 2.5 mile track.  By all accounts from back then, the surface was absolutely awful.

--RoadTaroid.


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