Wednesday 14th April 1993
Speedway President Tony George, and the president of NASCAR, Bill France, Jr. jointly announced that the inaugural Brickyard 400 would be held Saturday August 6th, 1994 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
The 400 was the first race other than the Indianapolis 500 to be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1916. In its inaugural season, the Brickyard 400 became NASCAR’s most-attended event, drawing an estimated crowd of more than 250,000 spectators in 1994. It also pays NASCAR’s second-highest purse, second only to the Daytona 500.
The term “Brickyard” is a reference to the nickname historically used for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When the race course opened in 1909, the track surface was crushed stone and tar. That surface was the cause of numerous and sometimes fatal accidents, so the track was repaved with 3.2 million bricks in time for the inaugural Indy 500 in 1911, giving rise to the name Brickyard. Over time the bricks have been covered with asphalt, and now only a one-yard strip of brick at the start/finish line remains exposed.
From 2005 to 2009, the race was known as the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard under a naming rights arrangement with Allstate Insurance. From 2011 to 2014, Big Machine Records was the presenting sponsor. From 2011 to 2016, Crown Royal was the title sponsor of the race; Under Crown Royal sponsorship, the race was part of Crown Royal’s “Your Hero’s Name Here” program, in which the race is named after an armed forces member or first responder nominated by fans. Accordingly, the 2016 race was branded as Crown Royal Presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard.
The names of the winners of the Brickyard 400 are inscribed on the PPG Trophy, which is permanently housed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Jeff Gordon won the inaugural Brickyard 400 on August 6, 1994. He is the most-successful driver in the history of the race, with a record five victories and three pole positions. Hendrick Motorsports has been the most successful team with nine total wins and five poles.
The race is currently part of the Super Weekend at the Brickyard, which features races for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series, and previously the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The stock car races are on the oval, while the sports car events were conducted on the speedway’s road course layout.