Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Methodist Hospital

Partnership Timeline

October 25, 1905

Laying of the Cornerstone takes place. Dignitaries include Vice President of the United States, Charles Warren Fairbanks, later became president of the hospital Board of Trustees.

IMS Track Under Construction

Nov. 15, 1906

A letter from American entrepreneur Carl Fisher appears in Motor Age magazine, touting the need for a 3- to 5-mile test track in America. Fisher states the idea “has been a hobby of mine for the past three years.”

April 26-29, 1908

Dedication of Methodist Hospital. Three stories, 65-beds, 37 private rooms, four large wards, three small wards, two kitchens and “other accoutrements requisite to the carrying on of a modern hospital.”

IMS Balloon Race

June 5, 1909

On this Saturday afternoon, the Speedway plays host to its first competitive event, the Aero Club of America’s U.S. National Balloon Championships, while construction of the 2.5-mile oval continues.

Racers at the Starting Line

Aug. 19, 1909

The Speedway opened for three days of auto racing, the first automobile races in track history. The first auto race was a two-lap, 5-mile standing start "dash" won by Louis Schwitzer. Accidents in the initial events, however, convinced the management that a paved surface was necessary for the safety of drivers.

Early Methodist Hospital Ambulance


Methodist Hospital's long time continuing relationship with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway harks back to the track’s earliest days, even before the first 500-mile race in 1911. Shown here in this 1910 photograph is the first motorized ambulance in Indianapolis (from the Flanner and Buchanan Mortuary) poised to speed patients to the Methodist Hospital. Standing beside the ambulance is the driver, John “Pat” Patterson, Dr. H.R. Allen and student nurses: Kitty Brewer, Jeanette Taylor, Wilma Entsminger and Marjorie Hunt. (Photo courtesy Mrs. John Tacoma, daughter of Mr. Patterson.)

Indy 500 Drivers Wearing Helmets


The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the first track in the world to install safety-warning lights. Also in 1935, helmet use became mandatory at the Speedway, a first for motor racing worldwide.

1949 Indy 500 Race


Television cameras made their first appearance at the track on the morning of the 1949 race. WFBM Channel 6 went on the air with a documentary about the race entitled "The Crucible of Speed" and then televised the entire Indianapolis 500 live. This marked the first-ever television broadcast in the city of Indianapolis. One of the cameras was positioned on top of the first double-decker grandstand in Turn 1.

Famous IMS Brick Yard


A.J. Foyt earned the first of his four Indianapolis 500 victories after he took the lead from Eddie Sachs on Lap 197. In October, the remaining bricks on the front straightaway were covered with asphalt. A 36-inch strip of the original bricks ("Yard of Bricks") was kept intact at the start/finish line, where it remains today.


First to use a helicopter to rapidly transport patients from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

IU Health LifeLine Helicopter


LifeLine Helicopters become an important part of the trauma center. Originally used to speed injured race car drivers from Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s emergency center to Methodist Hospital. 


First in the U.S. to use extracorporeal shock wave lithotripter to pulverize kidney stones.


For fourth consecutive year, IU Health’s Methodist Hospital recognized as one of the nation’s best academic medical centers for high quality care by University HealthSystem Consortium.

Indiana University Health Flag


Poised to support the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the next 100 years, Clarian Health changes its name to Indiana University Health to promote its longstanding relationship with the IU School of Medicine.