It’s difficult to fathom that Wednesday, June 29 will mark the 20th running of the Boston Louie Seymour Memorial at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway. There will be people attending the race — and competing in it — who weren’t even alive when “Boston Louie” Seymour died on Sept. 13, 1996, at the age of 69.
Phrases such as “He’s on It” and “It’s a New Track Record” were made famous by Tom Carnegie, the chief announcer for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s public-address system for an incredible 61 years.
The concept of a pace car is one of many things first developed at the Indy 500 and it was created for the inaugural running of the race in 1911.
Carl Fisher and his partners decided to do away with several races on the program as was the norm in favor of one large race that they hoped would be too big to be ignored. They wanted their race to last about seven hours, from about mid-morning to late afternoon. They decided the cars of the day could run about 500 miles in that time frame, so that’s how they chose to stage a 500-mile race.
The original IMS scoring pylon was erected in the spring of 1959 and was replaced by the second-generation version in 1994.
Originally “Gasoline Alley” only referred to the one corner of the garage area where the fuel depot was located, but eventually it became the nickname for the entire garage area where the race cars are housed from the day they arrive for the month’s activities.
The tradition of the winner drinking milk in victory lane began because Louis Meyer liked buttermilk.
Reports say the popular 500 Festival Parade started as a copy-cat idea to Louisville’s weeklong celebration in advance of the Kentucky Derby horse race, which is staged on the first Saturday in May approximately 110 miles south of Indianapolis at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
This is a tradition that has changed as circumstances warranted.
Records show 1947 was the first year that multi-colored balloons were released before the start of the Indianapolis 500. This tradition began in response to a request made by Tony Hulman’s wife, Mary Fendrich Hulman.