Indy 500 History Book A Must-Have

IMS Historian Donald Davidson co-wrote the Autocourse Official History of the Indianapolis 500 with longtime racing author and historian Rick Shaffer.

Motorsports fans and historians have a new book to put on their “must-have" list: the Autocourse Official History of the Indianapolis 500 by Indianapolis Motor Speedway Historian Donald Davidson and motorsports author and historian Rick Shaffer.

The 368-page “coffee table" book offers a definitive history of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, telling the story of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" from the track’s pre-Indy 500 years in 1909-1910, to the events that led to the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911, to Sam Hornish Jr.’s stunning victory in the 90th Indy 500 in 2006.

Davidson and Shaffer have been students of Indianapolis 500 history for decades. Thanks to their dedication, readers of the Autocourse Official History of the Indianapolis 500 will enjoy a thorough, lively account of each year of the Indianapolis 500 in an engaging narrative format.

Their words are complemented by nearly 1,000 black-and-white and color photographs, plus reproductions of many Indianapolis 500 program covers.

“The Autocourse Official History of the Indianapolis 500 is an excellent source for Indianapolis 500 historical reference," said IMS CEO Tony George. “The pages of this book contain one fascinating story after another and draw the reader into the rich traditions and heritage of the world’s greatest race."

Besides the facts readers expect from a highly detailed history, the book contains numerous “sidelight" stories about nine decades of Indianapolis 500 personalities and traditions.

“The photo captions and side-stories contain colorful anecdotes in the hope that readers will be able to turn to any page, read an item and say, ‘I didn’t know that!’" Davidson said. “We have tried to not only provide factual information about each year, each triumph and each controversy but to also put a human face on the many significant figures in Indianapolis 500 lore."

For Indianapolis 500 statistics aficionados, the book also contains the names of each of the 708 drivers that have competed in the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" through 2006, plus the official box score of every race.

The book is available at official Indianapolis Motor Speedway retail locations: Purchase securely online at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Brickyard Authentics Online Store at; at the Official Trackside Gift Shops located in the IMS Hall of Fame Museum; at the Brickyard Authentics Retail Store at the Indianapolis International Airport; and via IMS Mail Order at (800) 955-INDY.

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