Since its inception in 1994, the NASCAR Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been advertised in official capacity with a dedicated unique annual logo. Much like the annual logos for the Indianapolis 500, these logos for the Brickyard 400 are printed on the ticket, the program cover, the official poster, on signage around the facility, on television and print media, on credentials, pace car graphics, merchandise, apparel, patches, hats, and numerous other paraphernalia. We continue our look at these works art, this time focusing on the Brickyard 400.
In addition to the unique annual logos, we will also delve into the numerous title changes the event has undergone over its now 25-year history.
The Inaugural Brickyard 400 was held on Saturday August 6, 1994. After years of speculation, and after a successful compatibility test in June 1992, followed by track improvements during the offseason, the race was officially announced on April 18, 1993. A press conference was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, and the first official logo was released, known here as the Announcement logo (left). The basic design included a two-color, fancy, curving font of “BRICKYARD” and “400” in all caps along the top gracing a rounded-off rectangle in the middle – ostensibly a depiction of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s course layout – filled with a checkerboard pattern. The traditional depiction of a wheel & wing was central to the design, as well as an informative ribbon banner along the bottom. Another aspect was that the logo was not contained within a shape, rather several elements, unconnected, merely floating around each other.
The logo for the 1994 Brickyard 400 went through a few iterations in the time before the race was actually held. The original “Announcement” logo featured a blue & black color scheme, with the ribbon along the bottom simply stating “INAUGURAL RACE” with no specified date. It is possible – though not confirmed – that the logo was initially sketched up before the date of the race was yet known. Negotiations to hold the event lasted several weeks and months during 1992 and 1993, and it is possible that the race name (“Brickyard 400”) was decided upon by the Speedway well before the date was determined. The most noticeable aspect of the “Announcement” logo was the depiction of the wheel & wing. A decidedly antique style was used, with different fonts, a slightly altered (rounder) shape, and more feathers visible in the wings. This style more resembled wheel & wing logos from the earlier years of the Speedway, and was a contrast the to then-familiar 1960s-2008 version.
The “Announcement” logo was used during 1993, the year before the race was scheduled. In August 1993, an official NASCAR test session was held at the Speedway. The top 35 cars in points were invited, and a large crowd arrived to watch. At the time, a limited number of T-shirts and other merchandise was already being sold for the upcoming race. T-shirts with the “Announcement” logo were sold, but by that time, had already changed from the blue & black color scheme to a purple, black, and orange scheme (middle).
In addition, an already updated logo was beginning to appear – on some T-shirts and other paraphernalia (right). The still newer logo was similar, but changed the color scheme once again, this time to purple, black, and gold. Furthermore, the “antique” style wheel & wing was removed, and replaced with the familiar 1960s-2008 wheel & wing. Finally, the date of “August 6, 1994” was added to the ribbon banner, just below the words “Inaugural Race.”
By 1994, the newer purple, black, and gold version was fully-adopted, and it was the version that appeared on the tickets. Minor variations of the purple/black/gold logo were seen during race week, namely some versions included the date, while others simply had “Inaugural Race” with no date. Stylized versions appeared on the program cover, and on television.
For the second Brickyard 400 in 1995, the same logo from 1994 was used, only with a different color scheme. The purple & black combination was changed to a blue & teal color scheme. The reference to “Inaugural Race” was of course removed, with just the date (“August 5, 1995”) appearing on the banner. No ordinal (“2nd”) was used, however.
For the third Brickyard 400 in 1996, the now-familiar ’94-’95 logo was used yet again, and yet again with a different color scheme. This time the logo featured a red and dark blue combination, and an updated date (“August 3, 1996”) on the banner. Once again, no ordinal (“3rd”) was used.
After three years of recycling the same logo, a fresh new design was released for 1997. The familiar 1960s-2008 wheel & wing graced the top.
The 1998 Brickyard 400 logo also had the familiar 1960s-2008 wheel & wing gracing the top. For 1998, a new support race, IROC at Indy, was added to the weekend. A separate logo was created for that event. The IROC at Indy logo had the wheel & wing, but no date and no ordinal.
The 1999 Brickyard 400 logo was the first to have the date near the top. The 1999 IROC at Indy logo utilized the same design as the 1998 logo, only with a different color (red) scheme.
The 2000 Brickyard 400 logo was much different than previous years. For the first time, it featured an abstract wheel & wing, and was part of a series of logos from 2000 (Indianapolis 500 and U.S. Grand Prix) that loosely followed a similar style. The 2000 IROC at Indy logo was also a completely new design, with series sponsor TrueValue drawn along the side. The IROC logo also included the date for the first time.
The 2001 Brickyard 400 logo was tilted back, with the date along the top, and an abstract wheel & wing along the bottom. The 2001 IROC at Indy logo was the same as the previous year, only with different colors, and without the TrueValue sponsor along the side. Of note, the 2001 race was the first held under the new centralized NASCAR television package, and as such was the first Brickyard 400 aired on NBC. It also moved to Sundays from 2001 onward.
The 2002 Brickyard 400 logo was an oval swoosh shape in blue and yellow. It used nearly an identical abstract wheel & wing as the 2002 Indianapolis 500 logo, except in a different color. The 2002 IROC at Indy logo was the same as the previous two years, again with different colors, and this time with the TrueValue sponsor along the side.
The 2003 Brickyard 400 was the milestone tenth running, as well as the sixth and final IROC at Indy. The Brickyard 400 logo, for the first time since the inaugural year, mentioned the ordinal (“10 YEARS RUNNING”) and the date was written abbreviated (“AUG”). The 2003 IROC at Indy logo was the same as the previous three years, again with different colors.
The 2004 Brickyard 400 was the first since 1997 to not have a support race attached to the weekend. It would also be the last to not have a title sponsor (except 2010).
Big changes came about for the 2005 Brickyard 400. Shortly the 2004 race, a new logo was released for the 2005 event. A blue and orange, round-shaped logo was presented, with the familiar “Brickyard 400” name across the middle. It was seen for a few months in late 2004 and early 2005. However, in April 2005 it was announced that insurance company Allstate had signed a five-year deal to become the first-ever title sponsor for the race (ARTICLE). The event would henceforth be known as the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, and the logo for the race was re-tooled. The same basic design was kept, but the new name graced the middle, the checker pattern inside the circle was removed, the “400” on circle was removed, and the Allstate “good hands” symbol was added in its place. The old logo was quickly excised from use, but due to the relatively late announcement of the deal, some merchandise in the old, “generic” logo had already been manufactured. The official logo patches and lapel pins sold at the Speedway still had the old “generic” design, as did some other various items.
The 2006 race was the second for title sponsor Allstate. There was no generic version of the logo used.
The 2007 race was the third for title sponsor Allstate. It was the first race to be part of a new television package with ESPN, and was moved a week earlier to the last weekend in July.
The 2008 race was the fourth for title sponsor Allstate. The 2008 race would be remembered as the year of the infamous tire fiasco.
For 2009, the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard logo had a different look. It was the first year of the three-year-long Centennial Era at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The logo had a fancier look for 2009, and loosely resembled the design of the 2009 Indianapolis 500 logo. It would also be the final year with sponsorship from Allstate.
Allstate insurance company dropped their sponsorship of the event after 2009, and for one year, the race reverted back to the original name “Brickyard 400.” A simpler logo was created, first released in green. However, at some point before the race was held, for some reason the color scheme was changed to red. Despite being the second year of the Speedway’s Centennial Era, no reference to that celebration was part of the logo.
For 2011, there was not a title sponsor for the race once again, at least initially. The logo was released at some point in late 2010 or early 2011. Nearer to the race, Big Machine Records signed on as the presenting sponsor, and that designation was added below the logo. The race was henceforth officially titled the Brickyard 400 Presented by BigMachineRecords.com. Nothing else changed to the logo itself, and since the sponsor was a late addition, both versions of the logo were seen widely. Furthermore, immediately after the 2011 Indianapolis 500 in May, the Speedway ended its Centennial Era celebration. Thus by July all references to that were being removed or in the process of being removed, and it was not part of the Brickyard 400 logo.
A new title sponsor came aboard for the Brickyard 400 in 2012. Crown Royal whiskey signed a five-year deal to sponsor the race, and elected to use its popular “Your Hero’s Name Here” program, first introduced at the spring race at Richmond International Raceway. Fans were invited to nominate friends or family that were active military or first responders. A winner would be selected, and the race was named in their honor. Meanwhile, Big Machine Records continued as the secondary presenting sponsor. The first recipient of the hero’s honor was Curtiss Shaver, and the race was officially named Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com. Note that “Presented By” from 2011 was changed to “Powered By” for 2012 and beyond.
The logo consisted of a purple and gold combination, with the Crown Royal logo prominently located near the top. The date was in small letters across the very top, with a wing & wheel near the bottom. At some point, the phrase “Please drink responsibly” was added to the bottom right of the logo.
During the lead up to the race, a generic version of the Crown Royal logo (left) was used which tentatively advertised the race as the “Your Hero’s Name Here 400 at the Brickyard.” This would be used until they announced the winning hero’s name. A second, lesser-used generic logo had simply “Crown Royal 400” in place of the name, and it did appear on some merchandise (see 2014 below for an example of this logo version).
In 2013, the race was officially known as Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com. For the first time since the tenth running in 2003, the ordinal (“20th Running”) was added to the logo. The logo was nearly identical to the 2012 logo. As in the previous year, a generic version of the logo (“Your Hero’s Name Here”) was used until a winning recipient was selected.
In 2014, the race was officially known as Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com. The ordinal was deleted for the 21st running. The logo was otherwise nearly identical to the 2012-2013 logos. As was customary, a generic version of the logo was used until a winning recipient was selected.
In 2015, the race was officially known as Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard. Big Machine Records was dropped as presenting sponsor after the 2014 race. The main part of the logo was nearly identical to the 2012-2014 versions. As was customary, a generic version of the logo was used until a winning recipient was selected.
In 2016, the race was officially known as Crown Royal Presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard. The winning recipient of the “Your Hero’s Name Here” program was Jason Redman, a retired Navy SEAL. Upon winning the honor, Redman elected to have the race named after his charity, the Combat Wounded Coalition. The main part of the logo was nearly identical to the 2012-2015 versions. This would be the final year of Crown Royal’s sponsorship.
Crown Royal’s sponsorship deal expired after the 2016 race. For 2017, the race briefly reverted to the original “Brickyard 400” name, and a new logo was created. The logo featured the name of the race on top of bricks, with an abstract wing & wheel along the bottom. Inside the circle of wing & wheel was the classic/retro “IMS” logo that was briefly used in some instances during the Centennial Era. The logo went through a few iterations, apparently appearing with and without a date. About a month before the race, Big Machine Label Group – formerly a presenting sponsor of the event – returned, this time as entitlement sponsor. Recording artist Brantley Gilbert was selected as the title star, and he would also perform during a pre-race concert. The race become officially known as the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400. An updated version of the logo was released close to race day which reflected the new sponsor name. However, due to the late announcement of the sponsorship, most if not all merchandise and paraphernalia sold sported the original generic logo.
Big Machine Label Group returned as title sponsor for 2018. The race was tentatively named the “Big Machine 400 at the Brickyard”, and an updated logo was made. The logo closely resembled the 2017 logo, with the similar bricks and abstract wing & wheel along the bottom. “Big Machine” was given a more prominent spot at the top, and the “400” was changed to have a red shadow and squeezed down to fit the “At The Brickyard” below it. At least two versions of this initial logo were seen, the first as simply “Big Machine…”, but later it was a changed to “Big Machine Vodka…” as they apparently decided to promote their vodka brand. Later on, a concert by the band Florida Georgia Line was added to the weekend, and the race name was again adjusted to add that reference. The race was officially the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line. The other big change for 2018 was the race moving from its longtime date in July or August to mid-September. The date chance is noticed on one of the bricks.
It should be noted that in May of 2018, when the new logo for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 was released to the public, it was mentioned that for the foreseeable future, the logos for the Indianapolis 500 (and presumably the Brickyard 400) were going to maintain a new consistent branding system. Going forward, the logos would have a core form, with various dynamic features, presenting and “creating a strong, consistent annual brand appearance for the event[s].” (LINK) With the 2017 and 2018 Brickyard 400 logos already closely resembling one another, it is possible the 400 logos in the foreseeable future will also follow this new branding structure.
Kroger Super Weekend
Beginning in 2012, in an effort to boost interest and attendance, Brickyard 400 weekend was expanded to four races over three days. On Friday, the Brickyard Grand Prix and Brickyard Sports Car Challenge were held on the combined road course. On Saturday, the Indiana 250 (now known as the Lilly Diabetes 250) for the NASCAR Nationwide Series (now called the Xfinity Series) was held on the oval. Lastly, the Brickyard 400 was held on Sunday.
Collectively, the weekend was given the moniker Kroger Super Weekend At The Brickyard. Incidentally, Kroger supermarkets had been the title sponsor for the Busch/Nationwide Series at IRP from 1982-2011, and appears to have simply shifted their sponsorship from that event to this one. A logo for Kroger Super Weekend was created for 2012, with a wing & wheel hiding behind lettings. A nearly identical logo was used for 2013 and 2014, and a “flat” header style variation (with the Kroger symbol placed as part of the wing & wheel) was used in all three years in some instances.
After three years, the races on the road course were dropped, presumably due to low attendance and reorganization in the series. The weekend was reduced to just two races – the Brickyard 400 and the Lilly Diabetes 250. As a result, the “Kroger Super Weekend” moniker was dropped.
Brickyard Grand Prix
The Brickyard Grand Prix and Brickyard Sports Car Challenge races were held from 2012-2014. The Brickyard Grand Prix was part of the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series in 2012-2014, and part of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014. The Brickyard Sports Car Challenge was held as part of the Continental Tire Series, and was a support race. Both races were held on the combined road course on Friday of Brickyard weekend.
A logo was used that featured a wheel over a brick background, the combination loosely resembling the Speedway’s familiar wheel & wing design. A similar logo was utilized for the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge, albeit with a different color and font for the lettering. A nearly identical logo (without the word “Inaugural”) was used for both races in 2013 and again in 2014 (no images available). Both races were discontinued after 2014.
Lilly Diabetes 250
The Kroger 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway (formerly Indianapolis Raceway Park) for the NASCAR Nationwide Series (now called the Xfinity Series) was removed from the schedule after the 2011 season. It was replaced with a new race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, initially called the Indiana 250. The race would later become known as the Lilly Diabetes 250 when Eli Lilly and Company signed on as title sponsor beginning in 2014.
The first logo for the inaugural 2012 race (top left) was blue in the shape of the state of Indiana, with silver piping and lettering. A nearly identical logo was used in 2013 (top middle) and 2014 (partial logo shown). Unlike the Brickyard 400 logos, the Indiana 250 logos had an ordinal (“2nd Running” and “3rd Running”) for those two years.
In 2014, a new logo coincided with the race’s sponsor name change. An white oval with red outline, and silver lettering was utilized. The “Lilly” was in the lettering of the sponsor’s typeface style. Nearly identical logos were used in 2015 and 2016, changing only the date. The ordinal was no longer shown.
In 2017, a revamped logo was used, with a brick background, the same general design as that year’s Brickyard 400 logo (see above). A nearly identical logo was released for the 2018 event, changing only the date.
Chevy Day at the Brickyard
Selected logos from the “Chevy Day at the Brickyard” event.
Other Brickyard logos
A entirely generic Brickyard 400 logo (left) has been used dating back to about the 1990s. This logo saw use during the offseason, ostensibly as a placeholder while the official unique annual logo was being finalized. It was also used briefly when the event was between title sponsorship (i.e., immediately after Allstate’s contract expired). Lastly, it also saw some use during the period in which the race was sponsored by Crown Royal. In some circumstances, it may have been used in situations where mentioning the alcohol sponsorship was not appropriate or not allowed. Very little, if any, merchandise has been seen with this generic logo.
In 2002, qualifying day was sponsored by Sirius Satellite Radio and hhgregg. This logo saw some use on that day. It may have been used in additional years.
On June 11, 2003, a test session involving Jeff Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya was held on the Speedway’s combined road course. Gordon tested a Formula One car, while Montoya tested a NASCAR stock car. The event was called Tradin’ Paint and a simple logo marked the occasion.
On Wednesday and Thursday of Brickyard 400 week 2018, a USAC midget race was added, to be contested on a temporary dirt track constructed in the turn three infield at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Dubbed the Driven2SaveLives BC39 presented by NOS Energy Drink, it was named in honor of the late Bryan Clauson. The logo featured the now-familiar brick pattern background, but with gray bricks rather than red.