I believe one of the best websites about the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is Mark Dill’s First Super Speedway..
I’ve been monitoring his website for many years since I was introduced to him at the Speedway in 2011. His incredible in-depth reporting about the early days of racing in America is second to none. For example, his recent article about racing in the early 1900’s shares an incredible amount of information on the Brooklands, the Vanderbilt cup races and the beginnings of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Then there is Mark’s research on the Speedway founders Carl G. Fisher, James A. Allison, Arthur C. Newby and Frank H. Wheeler telling the story of their venture to launch the Speedway as an automotive testing ground. Their tenacity in improving the track after the disastrous first auto races in August 1909 led to races on Memorial Day 1910 and announcing the first Indianapolis 500 in May 1911.
Another of his articles talks about Carl Fisher’s 1905 Premier racer built for the Vanderbilt Cup race. Unfortunately, the car was 300 pounds overweight, and the American Automobile Association wouldn’t allow him to race in the Vanderbilt. In November, Fisher drove the mechanized beast to win a five-mile handicap support race at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Mark does a great job of telling the story of the Speedway over the years. I invite you the check out the First Super Speedway to peruse the continuing story of the Speedway.
For more information on our automotive heritage, follow this link.