Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Pg. 99: Brian M. Ingrassia's "Speed Capital"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Speed Capital: Indianapolis Auto Racing and the Making of Modern America by Brian M. Ingrassia.

About the book, from the publisher:
How a speedway became a legendary sports site and sparked America’s car culture

The 1909 opening of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway marked a foundational moment in the history of automotive racing. Events at the famed track and others like it also helped launch America’s love affair with cars and an embrace of road systems that transformed cities and shrank perceptions of space.

Brian M. Ingrassia tells the story of the legendary oval’s early decades. This story revolves around Speedway cofounder and visionary businessman Carl Graham Fisher, whose leadership in the building of the transcontinental Lincoln Highway and the iconic Dixie Highway had an enormous impact on American mobility. Ingrassia looks at the Speedway’s history as a testing ground for cars and airplanes, its multiple close brushes with demolition, and the process by which racing became an essential part of the Golden Age of Sports. At the same time, he explores how the track’s past reveals the potent links between sports capitalism and the selling of nostalgia, tradition, and racing legends.
Learn more about Speed Capital at the University of Illinois Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Speed Capital.

--Marshal Zeringue