by Brian M. Ingrassia
University of Illinois Press, 2024
Cloth: 978-0-252-04555-4 | eISBN: 978-0-252-05521-8 | Paper: 978-0-252-08766-0
Library of Congress Classification GV1033.5.I55I54 2024
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.720977252

How a speedway became a legendary sports site and sparked America’s car culture

The 1909 opening of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway marked a foundational moment in the history of automotive racing. Events at the famed track and others like it also helped launch America’s love affair with cars and an embrace of road systems that transformed cities and shrank perceptions of space.

Brian Ingrassia tells the story of the legendary oval’s early decades. This story revolves around Speedway cofounder and visionary businessman Carl Graham Fisher, whose leadership in the building of the transcontinental Lincoln Highway and the iconic Dixie Highway had an enormous impact on American mobility. Ingrassia looks at the Speedway’s history as a testing ground for cars and airplanes, its multiple close brushes with demolition, and the process by which racing became an essential part of the Golden Age of Sports. At the same time, he explores how the track’s past reveals the potent links between sports capitalism and the selling of nostalgia, tradition, and racing legends.

See other books on: Automobile racing | Indiana | Indianapolis | Modern America | Motor Sports
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