Today is one of the biggest days of the month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Miller Lite Carb Day. It traditionally is the final practice for the Indianapolis 500 field, the final day for teams and drivers to tune their machines for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Back in the day, one of the most important parts of the car that was tweaked for the final time on Carburetion Day was the carburetor, which controlled the gas and air mixture of the engine, hence the name of the day.
But it’s been a long time since a carburetor was bolted to an engine in the Indianapolis 500 — 47 years to be exact! Fuel injection was introduced at the Speedway in the late 1940s, yet the original term “carburetion runs” continued to be used. But the last cars to use carburetors on Carburetion Day were the stock-block Ford-powered Lotus cars of Jim Clark and Dan Gurney in 1963.
Yet the Carb Day name lives on, like so many great traditions of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”