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Indy 500: Steeped in history

Submitted by on May 20, 2012

As the tension grows towards the running of the 2012 Indianapolis 500, it is time to take a trip down ‘Memory Victory Lane’.  What better place to start than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum?

By Andy HallberyEven if you can’t get to Indianapolis this May, add it to your bucket list of places to visit. The 500 on Memorial Day weekend is obviously a highlight, but even when there are no on-track activities West 16th and Georgetown is worth a visit.

The museum is based on the infield between Turns 1 and 2, and at any one time has close to 80 legendary cars on display, plus trophies and memorablia that will keep you there all day. And, to be honest, just walking into the Speedway when it is empty will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

So what is it with the Indy 500? What is the fascination? Since the first race in 1911, it has captivated the world. The sheer scale of the 2.5 mile, four-cornered track is enough to blow your mind, and when it is full on 500 race day, the wow factor is off the scale.

If you can’t get there for the race, close your eyes and tune in to the radio broadcasts that have become almost as legendary as the race itself. I remember before I was lucky enough to experience the self-titled “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” tuning in to American Services Radio in Europe to hear about the Foyts, Rutherfords, Unsers, Andrettis – all the great names as they tackled the 500 miles.

Maybe the radio broadcasts were the mystique of the event? They certainly made you imagine what it would be like to be there, even if you couldn’t see images. Here is a great video about the history of Indy 500 radio…

But good as it is, there is nothing like being there on race day and immersing yourself in one of America’s great traditions: The Indianapolis 500.

Special thanks to Indianapolis Motor Speedway Images via Indianapolis Motor Speedway Follow them on twitter @IndyCar

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