NASCAR's Top Dogs and the Art of Kissing at the Brickyard in Indianapolis

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NASCAR's Top Dogs and the Art of Kissing at the Brickyard in Indianapolis
Jason Smith/Getty Images

Kissing is most often thought of as a symbol of passion, love and affection, but when a driver kisses that famous Yard of Bricks, he or she is maintaining tradition and showing respect for the history of the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The original track, built in 1909, was made of a mixture that included dirt, gravel, limestone and crushed rock held together with a tar and oil solution.

Needless to say, it wasn't the best racing surface, and they quickly realized it needed to be repaved in some manner. The solution was some 3.2 million 10-pound bricks laid individually in sand with mortar.

As time went on it became necessary to pave the track, but there is a one-yard-wide strip of bricks at the start-finish line made of those original bricks that gave the track the name "The Brickyard."

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ran its first Brickyard 400 race at Indy in 1994. Jeff Gordon won the inaugural race.

It was in 1996, after Dale Jarrett had won the Brickyard 400, that his crew chief, Todd Parrot, suggested they kiss the bricks, and a tradition was born that is carried out at each NASCAR race.

For winners, it is a thrill to turn their cap around and gather with the crew, team owner, sponsor reps and other significant people like wives and girlfriends to line up along the Yard of Bricks and pay homage to the track so full of history.

Let's take a look at a few kissing instances at the Brickyard and the enthusiasm shown as the drivers affix their lips to the not too tasty bricks.

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