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It has been avouched to be the largest single-day sporting event in the entire world.

Firestone, which has a deep history in the sport, dating back to the first 500, is the exclusive tire provider.The race is the most prestigious event of the Indy Car calendar, and one of the oldest and most important automobile races.As of 2015, all entrants utilize 2.2 L V6, twin-turbocharged engines, tuned to produce a range of 550–700 horsepower (410–520 k W).Chevrolet and Honda are the current engine manufacturers involved in the sport.His technical developments allowed him to be indirectly connected to a history of success that would last into the mid-1970s.

For musical entertainment prior to the start of the race, the Purdue All-American Marching Band began performing on the track near the finish-line in 1927 and has been the host band of the race ever since.

Although the first race was won by an American driver at the wheel of an American car, European makers such as the Italian Fiat or French Peugeot companies soon developed their own vehicles to try to win the event, which they did from 1912 to 1919.

The 1913 event saw a change to a 450 cu in (7,400 cc) maximum engine size.

The combination allowed the track to rapidly acquire a privileged status for automobile races.

The first "500" was held at the Speedway on Decoration Day (as Memorial Day was known from its inception in 1868 to 1967 when Federal Law made Memorial Day the official name), May 30, 1911, was declared the winner, although Ralph Mulford protested the official result.

The crowds grew progressively smaller for the rest of the season, however, so the track owners chose to focus on a single race.