5 fast facts about the Indy 500

By Sofia Ojeda - Anchor/Reporter

In 1909 the original track was made of crushed stone, but after drivers fatally crashed the owners laid down more than 3 million bricks to make up the track. Then it was called "The Brickyard." By the 1960s all the repairs eventually covered…

SPEEDWAY, Ind. - KPRC's Sofia Ojeda is in Indianapolis for the Indy 500 and is learning lots about the race. 

Here's a fast breakdown:

  • Did you know the Indianapolis 500 is the single largest sporting event in the world! 
    • More than 350,000 people are expected at the 103rd event. On Sunday, the city of Speedway will become Indiana's second largest city. 
  • Did you know there are two medical facilities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
    • With so many people at the event, there will be lots of security, police officers and first responders. There is actually a medical center on staff at the infield, with 12 doctors and three surgeons in case of any emergencies. There is a smaller center at Turn 3. 
  • Why is the track called "The Brickyard"?
    •  In 1909 the original track was made of crushed stone, but after drivers fatally crashed the owners laid down more than 3 million bricks to make up the track. Then it was called "The Brickyard." By the 1960s all the repairs eventually covered the bricks except for a strip at the start/finish line. In 1996, NASCAR driver Dale Jarret started the tradition of kissing the bricks after winning the Brickyard 400.
  • Why is Friday before the race called "Carb Day?"
    • Originally known as Carburetion Day, it was the day when drivers could calibrate their carburetors. But since 1963, there are no more race cars with carburetors. Friday is now a day when drivers practice racing their before the big day.
  • Why does the winner chug milk in Victory Lane?
  • Back in the 1930s there was a driver named Louis Meyer, a three-time champion. As a kid, Meyer's mother would tell him to drink cold buttermilk on hot days to keep him cool. It became a daily ritual. After winning the Indy 500 race in 1936, he chugged cold milk. A dairy industry executive saw Meyer's picture in the paper and pushed to have it become part of the victory lane celebration. Drivers took on the tradition in the 1950s and have been doing it ever since.

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