The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has unveiled plans for "Lights at the Brickyard," a 1.7-mile driving experience with 400 light displays in November and December. The announcement came Wednesday, the same day as officials detailed the first sellout in the 100-year history of the Indianapolis 500. Also, Senators Dan Coats (R-IN) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) spoke on behalf of a resolution recognizing Sunday’s 100th running of the race.
Lights at the Brickyard is tentatively scheduled for November 18 through December 31. President J. Douglas Boles said it will be "a fantastic holiday event that becomes a tradition for families from near and far. We’re always looking for new ways to engage with the community year-round and this event is a perfect fit. This extravaganza will be a truly unique experience during the holiday season, combining world class lighting installations with a world-class driving experience through portions of our iconic racetrack."
IMS is partnering with Marion-based Winterland Inc. on the installation. Officials say early-bird tickets will start at $20 per car and will be available at a later date on the IMS website or ticket office.
The Senate resolution, which was approved, pays tribute to the race that’s run nearly every year since 1911. It reads:
Whereas founders Carl G. Fisher, Arthur C. Newby, Frank H. Wheeler, and James A. Allison pooled their resources in 1909 to build the Indianapolis Motor Speedway six miles from downtown Indianapolis as a testing ground to support the growing automotive industry of Indiana, paving the way for motorsport innovation;
Whereas in 1909 the track was surfaced with 3.2 million paving bricks, at a cost of $400,000;
Whereas on May 30, 1911, the first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race took place and was won by Ray Harroun in 6 hours and 42 minutes at an average speed of 74.6 miles per hour;
Whereas the Indianapolis 500 has occurred on every Memorial Day weekend since 1911, except during the involvement of the United States in world wars from 1917 through 1918 and 1942 through 1945;
Whereas in 1936 Louis Meyer, after his third win of the Indianapolis 500, established the iconic tradition of drinking milk in the winner’s circle;
Whereas Tony Hulman purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1945, restoring the track and restarting the Indianapolis 500 after its cancellation during World War II;
Whereas the Indianapolis 500 is the largest single day sporting event in the world, with more than 300,000 fans packing the grandstands and the expansive infield of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Race Day;
Whereas the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race has played an integral part in the culture and heritage of the City of Indianapolis, the State of Indiana, United States motorsports, and the United States automobile industry;
Whereas the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been a showcase of speed, human achievement, and the continuous pursuit in the quest for glory, and is a source of great pride to all citizens of Indiana;
Whereas Tony Kanaan set the record for the fastest Indianapolis 500, finishing it in a little over 2 hours and 40 minutes at an average speed of 187.4 miles per hour;
Whereas in 2016, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and racing fans around the world are preparing to celebrate the Greatest Spectacle in Racing for the 100th time: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that the Senate recognizes the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
Both senators took to the floor to talk about the history and significance of the event.