Oldest building inside Indianapolis Motor Speedway track rich in history, new in technology

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INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2015) – As IndyCar driver James Hinchliffe continues to recover, from a serious crash at practice Monday, FOX59 is learning more about the infield medical center used to treat some drivers and fans at the track.

Be it race car drivers crashing or spectators feeling faint, since 1947 the track’s medical center has been the go-to for emergency care.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson believes it’s the oldest building inside the oval.

Outside decades-old cinder blocks hold up a fortress of technological advancements inside.

“They just keep the thing updated and keep the best equipment they can in there,” Davidson said. “And it’s very well-staffed.”

The facility, run by IU Health, has a team of specialized doctors on staff ready for the Indy 500’s large crowds and race drivers.

Davidson said the stories inside the hospital last as long as the building itself.

“Somebody drank a bottle of beer and there was a bee that was in the neck of the bottle that he hadn’t realized,” Davidson said with a smile. “So his tongue got bit. So that was one.”

Davidson said he’s never heard any talk of replacing the relatively small building in the infield, housing a team of doctors, preparing for nearly anything come race day.

“I have never heard of a child being born on the grounds,” he said. “They whisk them downtown in a hurry. But there’s been some odd things that have happened. Years and years ago, someone was brought in from the infield, and they’d been bitten by a pig. I still don’t know what that’s all about.”

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