Today we visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The first Indy 500 was run one hundred years ago in 1911 but the track opened three years before that. It was created as a testing ground for the "new" automobile industry which had sprung up around Indianapolis as well as a race venue. The first races did not draw enough of a crowd, so it was decided to have only one race per year with a big purse and run it for 500 miles. No races were run during WWI and after the war Eddie Rickenbacker bought the track. He and his partners ran it until WWII when again no races were run. The track fell to disrepair and it was thought that houses would just be built there. However, a local business man would not have it and put together a group to buy it and bring it back. In the beginning, it was a dirt track which would get so badly rutted it was impossible to get high speeds, so bricks were laid giving it the name "brickyard". At some point, with increased speeds, the bricks became too rough and were paved over, leaving bricks only in a three foot strip at the start/finish line. The race tower was originally built as a Japanese Pagoda and when renovation occurred it was replaced by a more modern version of a pagoda. In the infield is part of the road race track. Also in the infield are four holes of a golf course whose remaining fourteen holes are outside of the track. After taking a bus tour around the track, we visited the museum. Inside are most of the winning cars starting back at 1911 and up to 2008. It is believed that Indy was the first race to have a running start with a pace car, and the first pace car is also there. There are many trophies and pictures of drivers and a short film on the history of the track. Bill even got to get into an Indy Car to have his picture taken with Sue on the side bar. It was an interesting day, which unfortunately ended with the check engine light coming back on. After a brief visit to a local Ford dealer who could not look at it for several days, we decided to just head on as planned.