Indianapolis Brickyard history

How the Indianapolis Brickyard Fell Into Place


... during the third day’s run, Charlie Merz caromed into a wooden fence after a tire blew on his National. Two spectators died, along with Claude Kellum, Merz’s mechanic. Newspaper headlines called the races brutal and bloody and the American Automobile Association threatened a boycott unless improvements were made.

The speedway’s management authorized Andrews, who had supervised the track’s construction, to find a solution. His traction tests concluded that brick paving would provide a surface superior to concrete that was more durable. By December, 3.2 million 10-pound bricks had been installed, along with a 33-inch-high wall to safeguard spectators.

Upgrading Indy to the Brickyard made it a safer place for both racers and fans. During the next decade of practice, qualifying and races, there were a total of seven fatalities. Major portions of the improved track surface lasted more than 50 years.

Comment: My brother and I visited the speedway for time trials back in 1967 (the year of turbine engines)


  1. Did you know that Neil Lynch's dad raced at Indy? He has pics on Facebook from his dad's races.

  2. I wonder if it was George Lynch? Says he had a son Neil.

  3. I checked with Neil today at church and he confirmed.

    Picture here (scroll down to bottom right


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