Text: H.Res.277 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/24/2011)

1st Session
H. RES. 277

Recognizing the 100th anniversary of the inaugural Indianapolis 500 held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1911.


May 24, 2011

Mr. Carson of Indiana (for himself, Mr. Donnelly of Indiana, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Bucshon, Mr. Pence, Mr. Rokita, Mr. Visclosky, Mr. Burton of Indiana, and Mr. Young of Indiana) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform


Recognizing the 100th anniversary of the inaugural Indianapolis 500 held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1911.

    Whereas the Indianapolis 500, the largest single-day spectator sporting event in the world, has taken place on Memorial Day weekend every year since 1911 except during the United States involvement in world wars, from 1917 to 1918 and 1942 to 1945;

    Whereas the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world's largest spectator sporting facility, with more than 250,000 permanent seats;

    Whereas the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a pioneer in introducing seating areas specifically for people with disabilities;

    Whereas in 1987, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was officially listed on the United States National Park Service’s list of National Historic Landmarks as the oldest continuously operated automobile race course in the world;

    Whereas founders Carl G. Fisher, Arthur C. Newby, Frank H. Wheeler, and James A. Allison pooled their resources in early 1909 to build the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on a site 5 miles northwest of downtown Indianapolis to provide an automobile testing ground to support Indiana's growing automotive industry;

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

    Whereas a series of automobile races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first four-wheeled races at the facility, took place August 19, 1909;

    Whereas in a span of 63 days in late 1909, 3,200,000 paving bricks, each weighing 9.5 pounds, were laid on top of the crushed rock and tar surface to upgrade the Speedway and leading to the facility's popular nickname, “The Brickyard”;

    Whereas a 3-foot horizontal strip of that original brick still is exposed at the start-finish line, known as the “Yard of Bricks”;

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

    Whereas Harroun's Marmon “Wasp” race car was the first automobile to use a rearview mirror, one of countless firsts in automotive technology and safety devised or developed at the Speedway through the years, including the first use of a Pace Car (1911), the first use of four-wheel hydraulic brakes (1921), the first installation of color warning lights (1935), the first mandatory use of helmets (1935), and the first use of crash-data recorders (1993) and the SAFER Barrier (2002), an energy-absorbing barrier affixed to concrete walls that has become the standard at all major United States oval tracks;

    Whereas Janet Guthrie became the first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500 in 1977, making IndyCar racing the first and only major sport where men and women compete according to the same rules, against each other;

    Whereas Willy T. Ribbs became the first African-American driver to compete at the Indianapolis 500 in 1991, the first of several African-Americans to compete in IndyCar racing;

    Whereas in 2005, Danica Patrick became the first female driver to lead the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race when she acquired the lead near the 140-mile mark;

    Whereas in 2009, Helio Castroneves became a three-time winner of the 500 Mile Race and Danica Patrick finished in third place, the best finish ever by a woman in the race;

    Whereas 8 drivers have won the Indianapolis 500 on their first attempt, Ray Harroun (1911, inaugural race), Jules Goux (1913), Rene Thomas (1914), Frank Lockhart (1926), George Souders (1927), Graham Hill (1966), Juan Pablo Montoya (2000), and Helio Castroneves (2001);

    Whereas three drivers have won the Indianapolis 500 four times each, A.J. Foyt (1961, 1964, 1967, 1977), Al Unser (1970, 1971, 1978, 1987), and Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991);

    Whereas, on May 10, 1999, Arie Luyendyk’s turned a lap of 239.260 during practice, making it the fastest unofficial lap ever recorded at the Speedway;

    Whereas since 1956, the winner of the Indianapolis 500 has celebrated by drinking milk in Victory Lane in accordance with a tradition started by three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Louis Meyer;

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

    Whereas the Indianapolis 500 is the premier motorsports event in the world and is a great source of pride to all Hoosiers: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives recognizes the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.