What’s in a Name

By: Spencer Neff
November 18, 2020

When I started this website three months ago, I did have to spend some extra time on devising a name for it.

After some deliberation, I settled on IndyCar1909. Since then, I’ve gotten several questions on the significance of “1909”. In short, 1909 is the first year of American Open-Wheel Racing, what we know today as IndyCar.

It is also the year in which Carl Fisher began development of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In August of that year, a balloon race marked the first event run at the facility.

Past, Present and Future

One aspect of IndyCar, the Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway I have grown to love is their embrace of history while also being keen about the present and having an eye toward the future.

For those of us who’ve been fortunate to attend the Indianapolis 500 or even visit the speedway, this is apparent immediately. For all the futuristic updates the cars on track receive and the surrounding amenities at the track, at the start-finish still sits some of the original bricks from 1909 that were once apart of 3.2 million to comprise the 2.5-mile oval.

Henry Ford (left) stands with Arthur Newby, Frank Wheeler, Carl Fisher and James Allison (left to right), the founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (INDYCAR)

In the stands, that same reverence for the track’s rich history is apparent. Drivers who’ve earned victory on these hallowed grounds are held in high regard, from 1911’s inaugural “500” winner Ray Harroun to 2020 race winner Takuma Sato. Fans like myself cherish the memories of our past, from the 1940s roadsters to the record-setting and innovative cars of the 1990s and beyond.

My goal in writing has been to share my love of IndyCar racing with not only those who already possess a similar feeling but those who may not. At IndyCar1909, preserving the heritage of IndyCar and retelling it through features like Rewind and History Makers will be as much a part of my mission as discussing the latest news from the NTT IndyCar Series and Road to Indy.

In less than four months, the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series will commence on the Streets of St. Petersburg. On May 30, the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge will be held. Interestingly enough, that will also mark the 110th anniversary of the inaugural running.

I look forward to sharing the best of IndyCar with you through IndyCar1909 this offseason, into 2021 and beyond.

Header Image: Photo from the 1911 Indianapolis 500 (Image By IndyCar)


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