If you live in Indiana when someone asks if you’re going to the race you know exactly what they’re talking about, the Indianapolis 500. There aren’t many events in the world that people refer to as the. If someone asked if you were going to the ballgame, the show, or the museum you’d most likely need to ask what ballgame, show, or museum, wouldn’t you? But not the Indy, it is the race.

Taken for Granted

I live near the track and drive by it frequently. But it’s not until I have visitors from out of town that I realize the size and scope of the facility. I forget that it is the single largest one-day event in the world.

I take the signage for granted too. But when I look at this iconic logo, I realize how effective the signage is. The logo has become part of our culture. Like McDonald’s Golden Arches, Starbuck’s mermaid or Nike’s swoop the Speedway logo needs no words. All it needs are golden wings, flags, and a tire.

When the Race Got its Wing

The first Indianapolis 500 was in 1911. The program for the race in 1911 shows cars speeding into a curve side by side on the greatest race course in the world. IMS wasn’t a household name in 1911, but it wouldn’t be long before the initialism, IMS, only stood for one thing. What’s interesting to me is right there on this 10 cent program are the legendary and iconic wings of the Indy 500. And the wings are still flying high 107 years and 102 races later.

Have You Got Your Ticket?

The Indy 500 is more than a race; it’s a spectacular spectacle full of traditions. If you’ve never been to the race, you should go, and if you’ve been, you should go again because it’s always the same and always different, kind of like the logo and signage.

So, are you going to the race?

Photo Credit: ATOMIC Hot Links via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND