What is IRMA?

The Indiana Racing Memorial Association, Inc. (IRMA), is a non-profit organization whose mission is to recognize the historically significant individuals, events, locations, and race tracks that have made Indiana the "Racing Capitol of the World."

 

Our board is comprised of individuals that represent a cross section of those involved in motor sports in Indiana, including:  authors, announcers, fans, drivers, museum curators, promoters, reporters, sports writers, and others.

 

IRMA is a Non-Profit Domestic Corporation, as filed with the Indiana Secretary of State's Office, and is seeking Federal tax exemption status as a not-for-profit organization.

Background:

Research conducted by IRMA members revealed that only one historic marker in Indiana is dedicated to motor sports out of the 577 maintained by the Indiana State Historical Bureau (ISHB), that being at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  While the ISHB does plan to dedicate a marker to Carl Fisher, as Speedway founder and a business entrepreneur, the Bureau has indicated that no additional historic markers will be added for the area of motor sports as their markers represent broad categories, and in this case the Indianapolis Motor Speedway marker has met their requirement.

 

The IRMA board believes that our rich heritage in racing deserves greater awareness, interpretation and recognition and proposes that racing themed historic markers be developed, designated, erected and maintained by our organization at appropriate locations around the State.

While Hoosiers are rightfully proud of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and our reputation as the "Racing Capitol of the World," little is known beyond the annual Indianapolis 500 race and the title we have earned.  The rich history of the founders of the Speedway, drivers, mechanics, race tracks, significant events and locations has been lost on young and old.

IRMA will identify, interpret, promote and educate the interested public through the following steps:

 

Identification and designation of the most worthy significant "recipients" (drivers, events, tracks, etc.) through the efforts or noted historians and observers of Indiana's motor sports heritage.

 

The design, production and erection of race-themed historic markers at appropriate locations throughout the State.  Our goal would be to erect one to three markers each year.

 

The development of a website to which the public may go for additional information about Indiana's heritage in motor sports. Video clips about each historic marker topic, as well as others not recognized by markers, will help educate the public.

 

An annual signature fundraising event will celebrate the work of IRMA, to draw greater attention to our work, and raise the necessary funds to achieve our goals.

 

An outreach program to schools, civic organizations and other groups interested in learning more about Indiana's motor sports heritage.

 

Conclusion: 

Indiana is proud of our racing heritage, but ironically little is known of the many stories that have produced that feeling of pride.  The Hoosier public and visitors to our State can benefit from a greater understanding of how we became the "Racing Capitol of the World."

 

 

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