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Why is Indy racings mecca? History explained

While there may be other venues around the world that have a legitimate claim to the title of Motorsports Mecca, when it comes to racing here in our great nation, there’s no denying Indianapolis wears the crown. While this video from Hagerty’s YouTube channel is centered on the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the Indy 500, known as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the capitol city of Indiana is also home to The Big Go, NHRA’s US Nationals, which is the most prestigious and sought-after win in all of drag racing.

With two of the three biggest races in all of American motorsports held just a few miles apart, there’s literally no other place in the country that can claim such prestige in the racing world. But how did Indy come to be the site to host these events? I’m not really sure, to be honest, although Larry Webster, Hagert’s editor-in-chief, has some great insight into what made the Indianapolis Motor Speedway such a Mecca for the world of open wheel racing.

As far as the US Nationals, it is the longest running Labor Day weekend motorsports event in history and is the only event so big it actually requires a full 5 days to run from beginning to end, carrying over to Monday to squeeze in all the action. The purses and car counts are annually the biggest on the NHRA tour, and winning a Wally at the US Nationals is literally a career-defining moment for drivers at any level of the sport.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend either the Indianapolis 500 or the US Nationals, I’d have to recommend you take it and check out the reasons Indy has become the epicenter for racing action in America. We will be on the property at the US Nat later this summer, so check back with us for coverage leading up to and during the event starting the last week of August.


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