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O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis began in 1958, as an idea and a $5,000.00 commitment each from Tom Binford, Frank Dickie, Roger Ward, Howard Feiger, 15 Indianapolis-area buisnessmen, as well as racing professionals. This multi-purpose racing facility, originally named Indianapolis Raceway Park (shortened by many to "IRP"), is not to be confused with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is about seven miles away. IRP lies on a 267-acre farm, and was originally a 15-turn, 2.5-mile road course. But, as an insurance measure, the group decided to add a quarter-mile, 4,400-foot long drag strip, with the assistance of the NHRA, drag racing's biggest governing body. The first event held at the IRP was drag racing in 1960, but it wasn't until 1961 that the track had hosted it's first U.S. Nationals, which had previously been run at Detroit Dragway in Detroit, Michigan. The NHRA ended up buying the entire facility in 1979.
The first major improvement to the facility came in 1982, when the 4-story tall Parks Tower was built and dedicated to NHRA founder Wally Parks.New grandstands were added in 1998 to the oval track, as well as the addition of suites and a new tower complex. The oval's racing surface was also redone. In 2001, NHRA and IRP resurfaced the drag stip with the first 660 feet on a concrete pad, and new asphalt on the remaining parts, icluding the shutdown area. In 2003, eight more luxury suites were added along the top of the west-side grandstands. 2005 saw the addition of softer wall to the oval track. In 2006, naming rights to the facility were awarded O'Reilly Auto Parts. The facility long known as Indianapolis Raceway Park, is now O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.
"ORP" hosts many professional racing organizations throughout the year. As a matter of fact, ORP hosts the most motorsports events in Indianapolis. The facility plays host to the NASCAR Nationwide Series (Kroger 200), and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (Power Stroke Diesel 200). The United States Auto Club (USAC) holds 2 races on the oval, including a midget series race on the night before the Indianapolis 500, called "The Night Before the 500". In previous years, ORP has also hosted races the night before the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix when it was at IMS, called "Night before F1". ASA and the Advanced Racing Association also race on the oval track.
The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) holds club races on the 15-turn, 2.5-mile road course.
The drag strip plays host to the NHRA's most legendary event, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. Nicknamed "The Big Go", the U.S. Nationals have been raced here since 1961. It is held every labor day weekend and usually includes a bonus supporting race for one of the NHRA's top four divisions. The famous strip also plays host to a round of SPEED Channel's Pinks: All Out, as well as ET bracket racing, street legals races, and open test & tune ON THE LEGENDARY 1/4 MILE AT INDY!