Today marks one month to the 23rd Crown Royal presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard. Do you have your tickets for July 24 yet?
Here’s five of our favorite moments from the previous 22 runnings of NASCAR’s biggest race this side of Daytona.
1. The buildup. If you were here in 1994, you remember just how wild it was. NASCAR coming to IMS? Whoa. Tickets sold out in a flash and the event was so historic that drivers, NASCAR and IMS brass gathered to take a giant photo. Zoom in on your device and see how many people you can identify.
2. The first champion. You couldn’t have scripted it any better – the Hoosier winning the first Brickyard. Jeff Gordon had to take an extra victory lap because, as he said, “I had to get all the tears wiped off my face.”
3. The Intimidator wins. Dale Earnhardt’s legacy lives on in NASCAR nation, 15 years after his death. At Indy, his piece of history is secure as the second champion of the Brickyard 400.
4. The first brick-kissers. Dale Jarrett and his crew chief, Todd Parrott, came up with an impromptu way to celebrate their 1996 Brickyard win – so impromptu that this picture is one of the few that exists. Today, the process of kissing the bricks is much more of a choreographed photo moment, which makes us a little wistful for 20 years ago.
5. Smoke prevails at Indy. Tony Stewart used to drive past IMS in a delivery truck, peeking through the grandstands and dreaming of racing and winning here. In 2005, in a stock car, he finally got it done and the emotions poured out from the driver and his huge Hoosier fan base.