INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - I recently took a weekend trip to Las Vegas. I met a few people from Eastern Europe, and they asked where I was from, I replied "Indiana". The group looked at each other and responded "India?", that's when I said "NO! Indiana, like Indianapolis, the Indianapolis 500!"
This cleared up the initial confusion.
Almost everyone in the world knows what you're talking about when you mention our famous race. How awesome is it that Indiana, "The Crossroads of America" is home to the most iconic place to race on the planet. I love Indy, I love the 500, but I had never been inside of the IMS Museum, and man have I been missing out.
Now let's talk some history.
History.com - The Indiana automobile dealer Carl Fisher first proposed building a private auto testing facility in 1906, in order to address car manufacturers’ inability to test potential top speeds of new cars due to the poorly developed state of the public roadways. The result was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, built on 328 acres of farmland five miles northwest of downtown Indianapolis.
In 1911, Fisher's race came to life and the Indianapolis 500 was born. The first race took nearly SEVEN HOURS to be completed! All of the drivers (except for one) drove a car with two seats, one for them, and one for their mechanic. The only driver who completed the race solo was, Ray Harroun, driver of "The Wasp". Ray and his Indianapolis-built car won the inaugural Indianapolis 500.
Sampson and "The Wasp"
As I continued through the IMS Museum, I couldn't help but notice AJ Foyt's 1961 car. I knew about this car's signifigance because of the story I did last May, "Brick by Brick". This was the last car to win before the bricks at the Speedway were paved over.
King of the Bricks!
BRICK BY BRICK (also available on Facebook)
After filling my brain up with as much 500 and auto racing history that it could take, it was time to step into the shoes of a driver! I was able to take a test drive on the Museum's Race Simulator, then after I crowned myself the winner.. I took some pictures to prove it!
So who's the fastest? Who's the best? It was Carl Fisher's drive for competition that inspired our city's claim to fame. As a matter of fact, Indy crowns champions better than any place in the world. Whether it's the Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four, or an International Youth Cheerleading Competition, this has been made a place for CHAMPIONS.
Indy is looking for champions, these are the people that believe in themselves and believe in the city. And ever since I was old enough to talk I've felt like I belong in the field, and for me..... Indianapolis is the perfect place to race.