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Indy Excitement

One hundred years have passed since the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened its track in 1909. I can well remember the annual ritual of watching this famous race as a boy, watching this famous race on the Wide World of Sports became an annual ritual. The names from the sport are legendary: A. J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Al Unser, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears and countless others. Little did I realize that many years later I would have the chance to meet these legends of racing and to commemorate the cathedral of speed where they became famous.

To create my tribute painting as the official artist for the Centennial Era of this famous speedway, I was allowed to take my sketching materials right onto the grounds of the track. I even got to set up and work at the famous brickyard starting line! As I worked, I envisioned a crowd of cheering spectators from each of the generations that have embraced the track as an American icon. I even envisioned including famous cars from the golden age of racing in my painting. The finished work required countless studio hours, and an immense amount of final detailing. I hope you will join me in saluting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as it celebrates one hundred years of Indy Excitement.

  • Thomas Kinkade has included twenty-five N’s in Indy Excitement, 100 Years of Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway® as tribute to his wife Nanette, and as celebration for his twenty-five years as a published artist.
  • Thom was chosen as the official Centennial Era artist for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway®. He was allowed to take his sketching materials right onto the grounds of the Indianapolis Speedway and even to set up shop at the start line of the race track!
  • Thom has included Leroy Neiman and Norman Rockwell in this painting – can you find them?
  • The Indianapolis Motor Speedway®, located in Speedway, Indiana, is the home of the Indianapolis 500® race.
  • The Indianapolis Motor Speedway® is celebrating one hundred years of worldwide leadership in motorsports entertainment, as well as honoring the one hundredth anniversary of the opening of the venerable racetrack in 1909 – and of the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911 – through its Centennial Era from 2009 through 2011.
  • The Indianapolis Motor Speedway® stadium is the world’s largest and highest-capacity sporting facility with more than 250,000 permanent seats and infield seating that raises capacity to an approximate 400,000.
  • Indiana businessmen Carl G. Fisher, James A. Allison, Arthur C. Newby and Frank H. Wheeler pooled their resources to build the Indianapolis Motor Speedway® in 1909 as an automobile testing ground to support Indiana’s growing automotive industry. The focus of the facility soon turned to racing, with Ray Harroun winning the inaugural Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 1911.
  • On the grounds of the speedway is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway® Hall of Fame Museum which opened in 1956, and the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort which originally opened as the Speedway Golf Course in 1929. The Speedway was also the venue of the opening ceremonies for the 1987 Pan American Games.
  • A Centennial Gala took place on February 27, 2009 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. Nineteen of the twenty-seven living Indianapolis 500 winners — including four-time winners A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears — were among the featured guests at the black-tie event. Proceeds benefited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway® Foundation, which operates the Hall of Fame Museum.
Title Indy Excitement, 100 Years of Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway®
Published May 2009
Subject Location Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana

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18″ x 27″
24″ x 36″
28″ x 42″
40″ x 60"

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