'In appreciation of contributions,' Dario Franchitti receives original Indianapolis Motor Speedway brick
Jan 16, 2014
Four-time IndyCar Series champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Dario Franchitti was presented an original brick from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles during a dinner for IndyCar Series drivers and INDYCAR officials.
"An original Indianapolis Motor Speedway brick in appreciation of Dario Franchitti’s contributions to the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and IndyCar racing," reads the inscription.
On Dec. 14, 1909, workers laid the last of 3.2 million street paving bricks (10 pounds each) into a 2-inch sand base around the 2.5-mile banked oval. After being rolled, a mixture of equal parts sand and cement was poured on all four sides for "fixing." The final brick was made of gold and laid in a special ceremony by Indiana Gov. Thomas R. Marshall. The job took 63 days and cost more than $400,000.
In 1935, asphalt was laid over the four turns. In October 1961, the balance of bricks was covered with asphalt, but not before hundreds were removed. A a 3-foot-wide swath of original bricks remain at the start/finish line.
Presentation of an original brick is reserved for special occasions. In November, Franchitti announced his retirement from motorports. The native of Scotland, a motorsports historian who holds the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its signature event in high esteem, said he hopes to remain involved in the IndyCar Series and Target Chip Ganassi Racing (the team the competed for the past five seasons).