Races are named after it. Thousands of fans flock to it.
Grown men (and women!) kiss it.
So, just what is the story behind The Yard of Bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
On Saturday, June 5, 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened its proverbial doors to some 40,000 people curious to watch its first race: a gas-filled, helium balloon contest. The next to race were motorcycles and then cars, but on very dangerous ground- packed soil covered with gravel, limestone, and taroid.
Due to safety concerns, the surface was completely replanned and recreated using 3.2 million bricks, each hand laid on a bed of 2-inch tick sand. During the repaving, locals affectionately titled the speedway “The Brickyard.”
The name stuck, and over the years sections of the track were repaved with the more modern asphalt. In October of 1961, the remaining areas of the track was paved except for a 3-foot section of bricks at the start/finish line. What was once The Brickyard officially became the “Yard of Bricks.”
100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500
Kissing the Bricks
To my delight, there were some super fans on my tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kissing the bricks after a race win has been a tradition for many years and fans that have watched said tradition either in the stands or on the tele know what a poignant, special moment it is for the winning driver.
Have you ever kissed the bricks? Please let me know in the comment section below!