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Recognizing the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Pre-WWII Racing Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Indianapolis 500

Recognizing the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500

United States Senate
Congressional Record
May 18, 2011

Mr. REID. I ask unanimous consent that the Senate now proceed to the consideration of S. Res. 190, submitted earlier today.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.

The legislative clerk read as follows:

A resolution (S. Res. 190) recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 mile race.

There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.

Mr. REID. I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The resolution (S. Res. 190) was agreed to.

The preamble was agreed to.

The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

S. RES. 190

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 5 miles from downtown Indianapolis as a testing ground to support the growing automotive industry of Indiana;

Whereas on August 14, 1909, the first motorized races, using motorcycles, took place on the recently completed 2.5-mile oval, which had a racing surface composed of crushed stone and tar;

Whereas on August 19, 1909, the first 4- wheeled automobile races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway took place;

Whereas for 63 days in late 1909, 3,200,000 paving bricks, each weighing 9.5 pounds, were laid on top of the crushed stone and tar surface to upgrade the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, leading the facility to be nicknamed ‘‘The Brickyard’’;

Whereas a 3-foot horizontal strip of that original brick remains exposed at the start and finish line, known as the ‘‘Yard of Bricks’’;

Whereas on May 30, 1911, the first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race took place and was won by Ray Harroun at an average speed of 74.602 miles per hour;

Whereas the Indianapolis 500, the largest single-day spectator sporting event in the world, 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 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500;

Whereas in 1991, Willy T. Ribbs became the first African-American driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500;

Whereas the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, by hosting the IZOD IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the MotoGP Series, and the Formula One Series, is the only facility in the world that has played host to these 4 elite worldwide racing series;

Whereas every May since 1981 the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has served as the backdrop for the annual Armed Forces Induction Ceremony, in which citizens of Indiana who have volunteered to serve in the Armed Forces are administered the oath of enlistment;

Whereas in 1987, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was officially listed on the National Park Service list of National Historic Landmarks as the oldest continuously operated automobile racecourse; and

Whereas the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race has played an enormous part in shaping and defining the City of Indianapolis, the State of Indiana, United States motorsports, and the United States automobile industry, and is a great source of pride to all citizens of Indiana: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate recognizes the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

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