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Indianapolis Motor Speedway

As the Official Healthcare Provider of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IU Health has a long and rich history with maintaining the health of the local motorsports community

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Indiana University Health has been caring for drivers and racing fans for over a century. 

Whether a spectator experiences minor injury or dehydration, or drivers face complex trauma in a crash, IU Health is there to provide the medical expertise and technology to handle the vast majority of health issues that arise at the track. 

With an on-site Emergency Medical Center and 15 first-aid stations located throughout the track, exceptional care is only a quick pit stop away. 

A Century of CareSlice

When you attend a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, rest assured that if you experience a health emergency, you will receive high-quality care from IU Health. 

On a typical race day, IU Health has on standby emergency medicine physicians, an orthopedic surgeon, a neurosurgeon and a trauma surgeon at the Emergency Medical Center, along with many nurses and staff. 

The Emergency Medical Center is complete with eight standard beds, six critical beds, four beds for drivers and crew members, and equipment for diagnosing, monitoring and treating various injuries and illnesses. 

For more serious problems, IU Health arranges for quick transfer—via ambulance or IU Health LifeLine aircraft—to an IU Health facility, including IU Health Methodist Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center.

A Century of Care

When you attend a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, rest assured that if you experience a health emergency, you will receive high-quality care from IU Health. 

On a typical race day, IU Health has on standby emergency medicine physicians, an orthopedic surgeon, a neurosurgeon and a trauma surgeon at the Emergency Medical Center, along with many nurses and staff. 

The Emergency Medical Center is complete with eight standard beds, six critical beds, four beds for drivers and crew members, and equipment for diagnosing, monitoring and treating various injuries and illnesses. 

For more serious problems, IU Health arranges for quick transfer—via ambulance or IU Health LifeLine aircraft—to an IU Health facility, including IU Health Methodist Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center.

Partnership TimelineSlice

Oct. 25, 1905

Laying of the Methodist Hospital cornerstone. Dignitaries include Vice President of the United States, Charles Warren Fairbanks, who later became president of the hospital Board of Trustees.

Early Methodist069

Partnership Timeline

Oct. 25, 1905

Laying of the Methodist Hospital cornerstone. Dignitaries include Vice President of the United States, Charles Warren Fairbanks, who later became president of the hospital Board of Trustees.

Early Methodist069

Nov. 15, 1906

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

Ims Track Under Construction

April 26-29, 1908

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

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.

Ims Balloon Race 450X0

Aug. 19, 1909

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

Schebler Trophy Race 450X0

1910

Methodist Hospital's long, continued relationship with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway extends back to the track’s earliest days, even before the first 500-mile race in 1911. In this 1910 photograph is the first motorized ambulance in Indianapolis (from the Flanner and Buchanan Mortuary), poised to speed patients to 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.)

Speedway 1 450X0

1935

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.

1935Indy500Helmet 450X0

1949

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.

1949Indy500 450X0

1961

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.

Ims Bricks 450X0

1970

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

1979

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

Lifeline79 450X0

1984

IU Health is the first in the U.S. to use extracorporeal shock wave lithotripter to pulverize kidney stones.

2007

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

2011

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.

Indiana University Health Flag 800X0 450X0

2013

The Indy 500 green start flag is delivered to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on race morning via the IU Health LifeLine aircraft for the first time. Colts head coach, Chuck Pagano, and a Riley Children’s Health patient delivered the start flag.

022 2013 Pagano 500

2015

Located only four miles down the road from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IU Health Methodist Hospital operates Indiana’s largest and busiest Level 1 Trauma Center. Close proximity allowed IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe to be transported via ambulance from the track to IU Health Methodist Hospital just six minutes after a crash during a practice run. The crash caused serious injuries and massive blood loss. Through the expert care provided by IU Health’s physicians and nurses, James made a full recovery from his life-threatening injuries.

Hinchcliffe Video

2016

  • The 100th running of the Indy 500 takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, marking the first sellout in the history of the event. 
  • A remote blood bank station is purchased for the IU Health Emergency Medical Center at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway through funds raised by the Methodist Health Foundation’s Rev event. In cases of acute blood loss, IU Health medical staff is now able to initiate blood transfusion on site as the injured person is prepared for transport to the IU Health Methodist Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center. 
  • To recognize some of the state’s most heroic Hoosiers, the IU Health LifeLine Fly-In and green start flag delivery paid tribute to the thousands of public safety professionals across the state. Organizations representing these ‘Hoosiers Heroes’ for the fly-in included the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, IU Health Methodist Hospital and IU Health LifeLine.
Hoosier Heroes Fly In Photo