Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (formerly Indianapolis Raceway Park and O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis) is a racing circuit complex in Brownsburg, Indiana. It has a 0.686-mile (1.104 km) oval, 2.5-mile (4.0 km) road course, and 4,400-foot (1,300 m) drag strip.
In 1958, 15 Indianapolis-area businessmen and racing professionals led by Tom Binford, Frank Dickie, Rodger Ward, and Howard Fieber, invested $5,000 each to fund the development of a 267-acre (108 ha) farm tract into a recreational sporting complex that would focus on auto racing. The original intention was to create a 15-turn, 2.5-mile (4.0 km) road course, but as an insurance measure against economic problems, the investment group decided to incorporate a quarter-mile drag strip into the long straightaway of the 2.5-mile (4.0 km) road course design. Constructed with assistance from the NHRA, the drag strip was the first to be completed, with the facility's first event held on the strip in the fall of 1960. The facility was called Indianapolis Raceway Park. A year later, a 0.686-mile (1.104 km) paved oval was completed to finish off the track capabilities of the facility. The oval track was used as-is until an overall track renovation was completed in 1988 in order to increase speed on the track.
USAC Silver Crown, Sprint Car and Midget Car races are held on the oval, along with other events suited to a shorter track. Raceway Park also traditionally stages an extensive program on the Saturday nights of major races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend USAC Midget race called the "Night before the 500". The event is held the night before the Indianapolis 500 event at IMS, serving as something of an unofficial preliminary event to the far more famous one. Similarly, the NASCARKroger 200 was given a "Night before the 400" status. When Formula One raced at IMS, midget, sprint, and stock car races were held at ORP in the "Night Before F1" meets, including the 2002 and 2003 USGP races that featured a twin 25-lap midget format, with a full inversion, and the winner winning $50,000 if he could win both features.
A major feature of the facility is a 4,400-foot (1,300 m) long dragstrip. The one NHRA event held at Raceway Park is called "the oldest, and most prestigious race in the NHRA."citation needed The MAC Tools U.S. Nationals, held every year during the Labor Day weekend, is the only event on the NHRA schedule with final eliminations scheduled on a Monday. An all-star style race, called the Big Bud Shootout, is held for the Funny Car Division on Sunday. The winner of the Big Bud Shootout is awarded a check for $50,000 US, while the race itself has the largest purse of any NHRA sanctioned event at over $250,000 US. The drag strip has held the event every year since 1961, when the race was moved from Detroit.
After a recent insurance investigation of the pit out opening for the road course, which is located along the left lane wall of the drag strip, the insurance carrier has demanded the pit out be closed off with a permanent concrete wall. This effectively means closing the road course for competition purposes as well, as there is no other area on the current track layout suitable to relocate a viable pit lane. However, club racing has used a section of track that runs parallel to the backstretch of the oval (Turns 6–8) as a makeshift pit for club racing, although enough section of the return road for the drag strip could also be used if realigned.citation needed
With the announcement of the Super Weekend at the Brickyard came the announcement that the track will no longer hold NASCAR events after the 2011 season.2