Truxson, KS to Indianapolis, IN, 300 miles
Have you ever realized that the goal you thought was the goal is usurped by another one? I needed to get to Indianapolis in time for the American Fiction Writer's Conference by Friday. But as I rode, I came to realize the Speedway took first place.
However the flat tire, rain and time zone changes chiseled away at my arrival time, until today, when I arrived at 3;30 p.m. The place closes at 5. Still, I got to tour the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Brickyard. What history, what a thrill. The museum features cars from a hundred years ago to the present, winners of previous Indianapolis 500s. The stories behind them are fascinating. For instance, a '20s car is on display. He was in second place, down by eleven laps, until the winner broke down with two laps to go!
Other cars sat placidly on the floor. A Cummins diesel car that raced in the fifties, qualified and finished. The engine was mounted on its side. Turbine cars, front wheel drive cars, two seaters (for the driver and the relief driver, who is a spotter when riding), front and rear engine cars.
The walls are lined with pictures, photos and awards of famous drivers; Foyt, Unser, Rahall, Rutherford, Andretti, Helio, and Danika.
Next, I took a lap around the track in a specially built Indy bus. It handles great, and turns a lap at around ten minutes. The cars manage a bit faster, around 30 plus seconds.
How many does the Brickyard seat? The owners won't disclose. However, it's around 270k. At the highest attendance, there were between 350,000 to 400,000 people there, the biggest attended sporting event in the world, in history.
More Indy trivia: There is a golf course at the track, 4 holes in the infield, and 14 outside the track.
It is called the Brickyard, as the track was built with 3,200,000 bricks. 85% of them remain, under the pavement. A three foot strip of original bricks remain at the finish line.
The track closed for World War One and World War Two. After the second war, the track fell into disrepair, and speculation was it would turn into a housing development after the war. But it was repaired and rejuvenated and became the track it was once again.
While my time was limited, the Speedway exceeded my expectations. Can't wait to get back for an extended tour.