Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an automobile racing circuit located in Speedway, Indiana, in the United States. It is the home of the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, the home of the United States Grand Prix, it is located on the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road six miles west of Downtown Indianapolis. Constructed in 1909, it is the second purpose-built, banked oval racing circuit after Brooklands and the first to be called a'speedway', it has a permanent seating capacity of 257,325. It is the highest-capacity sports venue in the world. Considered flat by American standards, the track is a 2.5-mile-long rectangular oval with dimensions that have remained unchanged since its construction. It has two 5⁄8-mile-long straightaways, four geometrically identical 1⁄4-mile turns, connected by two 1⁄8-mile short straightaways, termed "short chutes", between turns 1 and 2, between turns 3 and 4. A modern, FIA Grade One infield road course was completed in 2000, incorporating part of the oval, including the main stretch and the southeast turn, measuring 2.605 miles.
In 2008, again in 2014, the road course layout was modified to accommodate motorcycle racing, as well as to improve competition. Altogether, the current grounds have expanded from an original 320 acres on which the speedway was first built to cover an area of over 559 acres. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987, it is the only such site to be affiliated with automotive racing history. In addition to the Indianapolis 500, the speedway hosts NASCAR's Brickyard 400 and Lilly Diabetes 250. From 2000 to 2007, the speedway hosted the Formula One United States Grand Prix, from 2008 to 2015 the Moto GP. On the grounds of the speedway is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, which opened in 1956, houses the Hall of Fame; the museum moved into its current building located in the infield in 1976. On the grounds is the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort, which opened as the Speedway Golf Course in 1929; the golf course has 14 holes outside the track, along the backstretch, four holes in the infield.
The speedway served as the venue for the opening ceremonies for the 1987 Pan American Games. The track is nicknamed "The Brickyard", the garage area is famously known as Gasoline Alley. Indianapolis businessman Carl G. Fisher first envisioned building the speedway in 1905 after assisting friends racing in France and seeing that Europe held the upper hand in automobile design and craftsmanship. Fisher began thinking of a better means of testing cars before delivering them to consumers. At the time, racing was just getting started on public roads. Fisher noticed how ill-suited the makeshift courses were for racing and testing, he argued that spectators did not get their money's worth, as they were only able to get a brief glimpse of cars speeding down a linear road. Fisher proposed building a circular track 3 to 5 miles long with smooth 100–150-foot-wide surfaces; such a track would give manufacturers a chance to test cars at sustained speeds and give drivers a chance to learn their limits. Fisher predicted.
He visited the Brooklands circuit outside London in 1907, after viewing the banked layout, it solidified his determination to build the speedway. With dozens of car makers and suppliers in Indiana, Fisher proclaimed, "Indianapolis is going to be the world's greatest center of horseless carriage manufacturer, what could be more logical than building the world's greatest racetrack right here?"Fisher began looking around the Indianapolis area for a site to build his track. In December 1908, he convinced James A. Allison, Arthur Newby, Frank W. Wheeler to join him in purchasing the property for $72,000; the group incorporated the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Company on March 20, 1909, with a capitalization of $250,000, with Fisher and James Allison in for $75,000 apiece and Frank Wheeler and Arthur Newby on board for $50,000 each. Construction of the track started in March 1909. Fisher had to downsize his planned 3-mile oval with a 2-mile road course to a 2.5-mile oval to leave room for the grandstands.
Reshaping of the land for the speedway took 500 laborers, 300 mules and a fleet of steam-powered machinery. The track surface consisted of graded and packed soil covered by 2 inches of gravel, 2 inches of limestone covered with taroid, 1–2 inches of crushed stone chips that were drenched with taroid, a final topping of crushed stone. Workers constructed dozens of buildings, several bridges, grandstands with 12,000 seats, an 8-foot perimeter fence. A white-with-green-trim paint scheme was used throughout the property; the first event held at the speedway was a helium gas-filled balloon competition on Saturday, June 5, 1909, more than two months before the oval was completed. The event drew a reported 40,000 people. Nine balloons lifted off "racing" for trophies; the first motorsport event at the track consisted of seven motorcycle races, sanctioned by the Federation of American Motorcyclists, on August 14, 1909. This was planned as a two-day, 15-race program, but ended before the first da
Indianapolis was a New Zealand bred Standardbred racehorse. He is notable in that he won three New Zealand Trotting Cup races, the richest harness race, sometimes the richest horse race in New Zealand. Indianapolis was one of two horses to win the NZ Trotting Cup three times, the other being False Step, he held the world record for a record which stood for 14 years. He was a half-brother to the sire, Red Raider, he won the following major races: 1932 Great Northern Derby 1933 Auckland Pacing Cup 1934 New Zealand Trotting Cup 1935 New Zealand Trotting Cup 1936 New Zealand Trotting Cup Harness racing in New Zealand Indianapolis in the 1934 NZ Cup Indianapolis in the 1935 NZ Cup Indianapolis in the 1936 NZ Cup
Indianapolis shortened to Indy, is the state capital and most populous city of the U. S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. According to 2017 estimates from the U. S. Census Bureau, the consolidated population of Indianapolis and Marion County was 872,680; the "balance" population, which excludes semi-autonomous municipalities in Marion County, was 863,002. It is the 16th most populous city in the U. S; the Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U. S. with 2,028,614 residents. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with a population of 2,411,086. Indianapolis covers 368 square miles, making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U. S. Indigenous peoples inhabited the area dating to 2000 BC. In 1818, the Delaware relinquished their tribal lands in the Treaty of St. Mary's. In 1821, Indianapolis was founded as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government; the city was platted by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham on a 1 square mile grid next to the White River.
Completion of the National and Michigan roads and arrival of rail solidified the city's position as a manufacturing and transportation hub. Two of the city's nicknames reflect its historical ties to transportation—the "Crossroads of America" and "Railroad City". Since the 1970 city-county consolidation, known as Unigov, local government administration operates under the direction of an elected 25-member city-county council headed by the mayor. Indianapolis anchors the 27th largest economic region in the U. S. based on the sectors of finance and insurance, manufacturing and business services and health care and wholesale trade. The city has notable niche markets in auto racing; the Fortune 500 companies of Anthem, Eli Lilly and Company and Simon Property Group are headquartered in Indianapolis. The city has hosted international multi-sport events, such as the 1987 Pan American Games and 2001 World Police and Fire Games, but is best known for annually hosting the world's largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500.
Indianapolis is home to two major league sports clubs, the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. It is home to a number of educational institutions, such as the University of Indianapolis, Butler University, Marian University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis; the city's robust philanthropic community has supported several cultural assets, including the world's largest children's museum, one of the nation's largest funded zoos, historic buildings and sites, public art. The city is home to the largest collection of monuments dedicated to veterans and war casualties in the U. S. outside of Washington, D. C; the name Indianapolis is derived from the state's name and polis, the Greek word for city. Jeremiah Sullivan, justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, is credited with coining the name. Other names considered were Concord and Tecumseh. In 1816, the year Indiana gained statehood, the U. S. Congress donated four sections of federal land to establish a permanent seat of state government.
Two years under the Treaty of St. Mary's, the Delaware relinquished title to their tribal lands in central Indiana, agreeing to leave the area by 1821; this tract of land, called the New Purchase, included the site selected for the new state capital in 1820. The availability of new federal lands for purchase in central Indiana attracted settlers, many of them descendants of families from northwestern Europe. Although many of these first European and American settlers were Protestants, a large proportion of the early Irish and German immigrants were Catholics. Few African Americans lived in central Indiana before 1840; the first European Americans to permanently settle in the area that became Indianapolis were either the McCormick or Pogue families. The McCormicks are considered to be the first permanent settlers. Other historians have argued as early as 1822 that John Wesley McCormick, his family, employees became the area's first European American settlers, settling near the White River in February 1820.
On January 11, 1820, the Indiana General Assembly authorized a committee to select a site in central Indiana for the new state capital. The state legislature approved the site, adopting the name Indianapolis on January 6, 1821. In April, Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham were appointed to survey and design a town plan for the new settlement. Indianapolis became a seat of county government on December 31, 1821, when Marion County, was established. A combined county and town government continued until 1832. Indianapolis became an incorporated city effective March 30, 1847. Samuel Henderson, the city's first mayor, led the new city government, which included a seven-member city council. In 1853, voters approved a new city charter that provided for an elected mayor and a fourteen-member city council; the city charter continued to be revised. Effective January 1, 1825, the seat of state government moved to Indianapolis from Indiana. In addition to state government offices, a U. S. district court was established at Indianapolis in 1825.
Growth occurred with the opening of the National Road through the town in 1827, the first major federally funded highway in the United States. A small segment of the failed Indiana Central
Circuit de la Sarthe
The Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans known as Circuit de la Sarthe located in Le Mans, France, is a semi-permanent motorsport race course chiefly known as the venue for the 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race. Comprising private, race-specific sections of track in addition to public roads which remain accessible most of the year, its present configuration is 13.626 kilometres long, making it one of the longest circuits in the world. Capacity of the race stadium, where the short Bugatti Circuit is situated, is 100,000; the Musée des 24 Heures du Mans is a motorsport museum located at the main entrance of the venue. Up to 85% of the lap time is spent on full throttle, putting immense stress on engine and drivetrain components. Additionally, the times spent reaching maximum speed mean tremendous wear on the brakes and suspension as cars must slow from over 320 km/h to around 100 km/h for the sharp corner at the village of Mulsanne; the road racing track, a triangle from Le Mans down south to Mulsanne, northwest to Arnage, back north to Le Mans, has undergone many modifications over the years, with CIRCUIT N° 16 being in use since 2018.
With the modifications put in place over the years, the Sarthe circuit is still known for being fast, with prototype cars achieving average lap speeds in excess of 240 km/h. In the 1920s, the cars drove from the present pits on Rue de Laigné straight into the city, after a sharp right-hand corner near the river Sarthe Pontlieue bridge, before exiting the city again on the rather straight section now named Avenue Georges Durand after the race's founder. 17.261 kilometres long and unpaved, a bypass within the city shortened the track in 1929, but only in 1932 the city was bypassed when the section from the pits via the Dunlop Bridge and the Esses to Tertre Rouge was added. This classic configuration was 8.369 miles long and remained unaltered after the 1955 tragedy. Its frighteningly narrow pit straight was narrowed off to make room for the pits and was part of the road itself, without the road becoming wider just for the pits; the pit straight was about 12 feet wide and the race track and pits were not separated for another 15 years.
The pit area was modified at a cost of 300 million francs, the signalling area was moved to the exit of the slow Mulsanne corner, the track was resurfaced. Car speeds increased in the 1960s, pushing the limits of the "classic circuit" and sparking criticism of the track as being unsafe, after several trials related fatalities occurred. Since 1965, a smaller but permanent Bugatti Circuit was added which shares the pit lane facilities and the first corner with the full "Le Mans" circuit. For the 1968 race, the Ford chicane was added before the pits to slow down the cars; the circuit was fitted with Armco for the 1969 race. The "Maison Blanche" kink was harrowing, claiming many cars over the years and several lives, including the legendary John Woolfe in 1969 behind the wheel of a 917 Porsche; the circuit was modified ten more times—in 1971. Armco was added to the pit straight to separate the track from the pits, in 1972, the last part of the race track was revamped with the addition of the quick Porsche curves bypassing "Maison Blanche" and part of the first straight and all of the second straight between the pits and Maison Blanche.
In 1979, due to the construction of a new public road, the profile of "Tertre Rouge" had to be changed. This redesign saw the removal of the second Dunlop Bridge. In 1986, construction of a new roundabout at the Mulsanne corner demanded the addition a new portion of track in order to avoid the roundabout; this created a right hand kink prior to Mulsanne corner. In 1987, a chicane was added to the fast Dunlop curve where cars would go under the Dunlop bridge at 180 mph, now they would be slowed to 110 mph. In 1990, two chicanes were added onto the Mulsanne Straight, in 1994, the Dunlop chicane was tightened. In 2002, the run to the Esses was reconfigured in the wake of renovations to the Bugatti Circuit; the Le Mans circuit was changed between the Dunlop Bridge and Esses, with the straight now becoming a set of fast sweeping turns. This layout allowed for a better transition from the Le Mans circuit to the Bugatti circuit; this layout change would require the track's infamous carnival to be relocated near the Porsche curves, in 2006, the ACO redeveloped the area around the Dunlop Curve and Dunlop Chicane, moving the Dunlop Curve in tighter to create more run-off area, while turning the Dunlop Chicane into a larger set of turns.
As part of the development, a new extended pit lane exit was created for the Bugatti Circuit. This second pit exit re-enters the track just beyond the Dunlop Chicane and before the Dunlop Bridge. Following the fatal crash of Danish driver Allan Simonsen at the 2013 race at the exit of Tertre Rouge into D338, Tertre Rouge was re-profiled again; the radius will be moved in 200m for safety reasons with new tyre barriers at the exit. Le Mans was most famous for its 6 km long straight, called Ligne Droite des Hunaudières, a part of the route départementale D338; as the Hunaudières leads to the village of Mulsanne, it is called the Mulsanne Straight in English
USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage
USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage is a 2016 American war disaster film directed by Mario Van Peebles and written by Cam Cannon and Richard Rionda Del Castro, based on the true story of the loss of the ship of the same name in the closing stages of the Second World War. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Tom Sizemore, Thomas Jane, Matt Lanter, Brian Presley, Cody Walker. Principal photography began on June 2015 in Mobile, Alabama; the film premiered in the Philippines on August 24, 2016. It was released as a digital rental on iTunes and Amazon in the United States on October 14, 2016 and in limited theaters during the Veterans Day weekend. In 1945, the Portland-class heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis, commanded by Captain Charles McVay, delivers parts of the atomic bomb that would be used to bomb Hiroshima during the ending of World War II. While patrolling in the Philippine Sea, on July 30 in 1945, the ship is torpedoed and sunk by the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-58, taking 300 crewmen with it to the bottom of the Philippine Sea, while the rest climb out of the ship and were left stranded at sea for five days without food and water in shark-infested waters.
With no hope for five days, most of the remaining crew-members were eaten by sharks or would die of salt water poisoning by drinking seawater. Others swam off from their groups after hallucinating of a non-existent island, never to be seen again. On the 5th day, the surviving crew were rescued by an airplane pilot who spotted them by chance and called for a rescue. Only 317 survived the disaster. Looking for a scapegoat for their own gross negligence, the US Navy court-martials and convicts Captain McVay for "hazarding his ship by failing to zigzag", despite overwhelming evidence supporting McVay, it ends with Captain McVay committing suicide years after the tragedy after being harassed and tormented with phone calls and mail from angry and grief-stricken relatives of the deceased crew-members, as well as the media. In the movie's postscript they show President Clinton exonerating Captain McVay of all charges on October 30, 2000. In a subplot, two childhood friends, Indianapolis diver Brian "Bama" Smithwick and crew member Mike D'Antonio, fall in love with the same woman without the other knowing.
D'Antonio purchases an engagement ring before the trip to Tinian to propose to the girl who tells D'Antonio before the trip that she is expecting their first child. During a brawl involving two of the crewmen, D'Antonio loses the ring and one of the crew members, steals it. After the ship is destroyed, Smithwick and D'Antonio spend the next few days in the sea with the rest of the crew where D'Antonio succumbs to massive leg injuries received in a shark attack and Smithwick is given the engagement ring by Alvin. Bama proposes to D'Antonio's fiancée Clara to help her raise her child and she accepts his proposal. While the credits roll, two Navy sailors recount the sharks in the waters and real rescue footage is shown along with many still shots of lost sailors; the project USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage, set in July 1945, is about the Navy ship USS Indianapolis and was first announced in 2011 by Hannibal Classics. Near the end of World War II, when the ship was returning from Tinian after delivering important parts for an atomic bomb, it was torpedoed by I-58.
1,197 people were aboard the ship, out of which only 317 survived 300 sank along with the ship, all others were killed by dehydration, salt water poisoning, or shark attacks. Cam Cannon and Richard Rionda Del Castro, the latter being engaged as a producer, wrote the script for the film; the focus of the film is on the bravery of the crewmen aboard Indianapolis. On December 17, 2013, Hannibal set Mario Van Peebles to direct the film, while Patriot Pictures would finance and Rionda Del Castro would produce along with Michael Mendelsohn; the studio had developed the film in five years by consulting the survivors of the disaster, including the US Navy and the US Coast Guard. The US Navy helped with the finalization of the last draft of the script. Walt Conti of Edge Innovations would provide the animated sharks, the production secured two operational World War II-era planes to portray the planes that were involved in the real rescue operations after the disaster. Silo Inc. and Hydroflex were attached to handle digital effects and underwater filming for the film, respectively.
USS Alabama and USS Drum would both be used along with the Battleship Memorial Park to depict Indianapolis and the Japanese submarine. The film is dedicated to the men of their families. On February 5, 2015, Nicolas Cage was set to play the lead role of Captain Charles McVay in the film. Matt Lanter was set on April 1, 2015 to play a US Navy diver, named Chief Petty Officer Brian "Bama" Smithwick. Lanter revealed to the producers after his audition that his grandfather, Kenley Lanter, was a Signalman on Indianapolis. Furthermore, Lanter's father, Joe Lanter, is a chairman of Second Watch, an organization of survivors and their families. Joe Lanter and his co-chair, Maria Bullard, stayed in contact with the producers during pre-production and were welcomed to the set during photography. On May 13, 2015, Variety revealed that Tom Sizemore, Thomas Jane and Brian Presley had joined the cast of the film, in which Sizemore would play McWhorter, one of the crew on the ship, while Jane was to play the pilot Chuck Gw
The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, United States, an enclave suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is held over Memorial Day weekend in late May, it is contested as part of the IndyCar Series, the top level of American Championship Car racing, an open-wheel open-cockpit formula colloquially known as "Indy Car Racing". The name of the race is shortened to Indy 500, the track itself is nicknamed "the Brickyard", as the racing surfacing was paved in brick in the fall of 1909; the event, billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, is considered part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which comprises three of the most prestigious motorsports events in the world including the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The official attendance is not disclosed by Speedway management, but the permanent seating capacity is upwards of 250,000, infield patrons raise the race-day attendance to 300,000; the inaugural race was won by Ray Harroun.
The event celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011, the 100th running was held in 2016. Will Power is the current champion; the most successful drivers are A. J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears, each of whom have won the race four times. The active driver with the most victories is Hélio Castroneves, with three. Rick Mears holds the record for most career pole positions with six; the most successful car owner is Roger Penske, owner of Team Penske, which has 17 total wins and 17 poles. The event is steeped in tradition, in pre-race ceremonies, post-race celebrations, race procedure; the most noteworthy and most popular traditions are the 33-car field, the annual singing of "Back Home Again in Indiana," and the victory lane bottle of milk. The Indianapolis 500 is held annually at a 2.5-mile oval circuit. Technically, the track is a unique rounded-rectangle, with four distinct turns of identical dimensions, connected by four straightaways. Drivers race 200 laps, counter-clockwise around the circuit, for a distance of 500 miles.
Since its inception in 1911, the race has always been scheduled around Memorial Day. Since 1974, the race has been scheduled for the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend; the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend is considered one of the most important days on the motorsports calendar, as it is the day of the Indianapolis 500, Coca-Cola 600, the Monaco Grand Prix. Practice and time trials are held in the two weeks leading up to the race, while other preliminary testing is held as early as April. Traditionally, the field consists of 33 starters, aligned in a starting grid of eleven rows of three cars apiece; the event is contested by "Indy cars", a formula of professional-level, single-seat, open cockpit, open-wheel, purpose-built race cars. As of 2018, all entrants utilize 2.2 L V6, twin-turbocharged engines, tuned to produce a range of 550–700 horsepower. Chevrolet and Honda are the current engine manufacturers involved in the sport. Dallara is at present the sole chassis supplier to the series. 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 IndyCar calendar, one of the oldest and most important automobile races. It has been avouched to be the largest single-day sporting event in the entire world; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway itself is regarded as the world's largest sporting facility in terms of capacity. The total purse exceeded $13 million in 2011, with over $2.5 million awarded to the winner, making it one of the richest cash prize funds in sports. Similar to NASCAR's Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 is held early in the IndyCar Series season; that is unique to most sports where major events are at the end of the respective season. The Indy 500 is the sixth event of the 17-race IndyCar schedule. From the 1970s to the 1990s, Indianapolis was the second or third race of the season, as late as the 1950s, it was sometimes the first championship event of the year. Due to the high prestige of the Indianapolis 500—rivaling or surpassing the season championship—it is not uncommon for some teams and drivers to concentrate on preparation for the 500 during the early part of the season, not focus on the championship battle until after Indy.
The traditional 33-car starting field at Indianapolis is larger than the fields at the other IndyCar races. The field at Indy consists of all of the full-time IndyCar Series entries, along with 10–15 part-time or "Indy-only" entries; the "Indy-only" entries popularly called "One-Offs", may be an extra car added to an existing full-time team, or a part-time team altogether that does not enter any of the other races. The "Indy-only" drivers may come from a wide range of pedigrees, but are experienced Indy car drivers that either lack a full-time ride, are former full-time drivers that have elected to drop down to part-time status, or occasional one-off drivers from other racing disciplines, it is not uncommon for some drivers, to quit full-time driving during the season, but race at Indy singly for numerous years afterwards before entering full retirement. Due to safety issues such as aquaplaning, the race is not held in wet conditions. In the event of a rain delay, the race will be postponed until rain showers cease, the track is sufficiently dried.
If rain falls during the race, officials can end the race and declare the results official if more than half of the scheduled distance (i.e. 101 lap
The Bottle Rockets
The Bottle Rockets are an American band formed in 1992 based in St. Louis, Missouri; the founding members are Mark Ortmann, Tom Parr and Tom Ray. Current members are Henneman, John Horton and Keith Voegele. Most members of the group have contributed compositions to their catalog of original songs, as have Robert Parr and schoolteacher Scott Taylor; as noted in the New York Times by William Hogeland, the Bottle Rockets' songwriting has been likened to Woody Guthrie's folk style in spirit and satire. The band's lyrics encapsulate the common experiences of the everyman, are set to rousing and searing rock'n' roll. Considered to be the leaders of the'90s alt-country/roots rock revival along with peers Uncle Tupelo, the Bottle Rockets are contemporary storytellers from Middle America, their songs with strong social commentary reflect their influences of Woody Guthrie, Neil Young and The Replacements. For much of the Nineties, Missouri's Bottle Rockets were the torchbearers for smart Southern-style rock.—Mark Kemp, Rolling Stone The Bottle Rockets released their self-titled first album in 1993.
The Brooklyn Side followed in 1994, to resounding critical acclaim. In 1995, the Bottle Rockets signed with Atlantic Records, which re-released The Brooklyn Side; the single "Radar Gun" was a hit on rock radio—reaching No. 27 on Billboard's rock chart—and the band toured extensively to support the album. The band appeared on the television show Late Night with Conan O'Brien performing one of their original songs as well as being featured in a comedic skit; the relationship with Atlantic Records turned out to be difficult. Most of the original staff who promoted The Brooklyn Side had been fired from Atlantic; the release of the Bottle Rockets' next record, 24 Hours A Day, was delayed until late 1997. The band parted ways with Atlantic in 1998; the Bottle Rockets are featured in the PBS documentary The Mississippi River of Song: The Grassroots of American Music. In the series, narrated by Ani DiFranco, Brian Henneman says that he and the band are “reporters from the heartland” writing stories about their friends.
Their music combines singer-songwriter poignancy with authenticity and wit. The Bottle Rockets performed live at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC at the premiere for the film, appear on the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings soundtrack. Bottle Rockets signed with Doolittle records, which became New West Records. Doolittle released an EP of outtakes from 24 Hours A Day called Leftovers in 1998. About this time, Tom Ray was replaced on bass by Robert Kearns; the Bottle Rockets' fourth full length record, Brand New Year, was released on Doolittle in 1999. "Power hooks and muscular guitar fights that would make Skynyrd proud" and "'70s power rock with a dirty edge—sort of ZZ Top meets Lynyrd Skynyrd meets Bad Company" is the calling card of Brand New Year. The Bottle Rockets performed at the Horseshoe Tavern in early 2000; the band again had problems with their record label, did not record anything else until Songs of Sahm, a collection of songs by Doug Sahm, which came out on Chicago label Bloodshot Records in early 2002.
Shortly after finishing this record, Parr left the band. Bottle Rockets toured as a three-piece for a while, recorded their fifth full-length record Blue Sky, before adding multi-instrumentalist John Horton to the band. Kearns amicably split with the band in the spring of 2005. After a brief search the Bottle Rockets named Keith Voegele as their new bassist. Voegele has played in bands including the Phonocaptors. After the Bottle Rockets' promising eponymous debut, having a radio hit on their second album, extensive touring, resounding critical acclaim, the band endured a decade of subsequent hard luck. Concurrent with the band's business difficulties and alternative rock meteorically came to prominence and dominated popular culture, becoming the corporate mainstream rather than the alternative; as a result, the music industry abandoned traditional rock artists who were building a legacy of work, in favor of marketing trendy carbon-copy quick-commercial-turnaround acts. The path Henneman and the Bottle Rockets had been on seemed to disappear.
Despite those struggles, in 2005 the Bottle Rockets stabilized from the upheavals with their good nature and trailblazing edge intact. Founders Brian Henneman and Mark Ortmann got the band back on course, along with the newest additions John Horton and Keith Voegele, the current line-up of band members; the band re-hired their manager from the early days, Bob Andrews. The Bottle Rockets' first live album Live in Heilbronn Germany was released in February 2006; the double-disc set was recorded on July 17, 2005 at the Burgerhaus, Heilbronn-Bockingen, Germany with the band's current roster. It was released in Europe on vinyl by Blue Rose Records. Bloodshot Records released the band's next album, recorded in Ardent Studios in Memphis with producer Jeff Powell, in June 2006. Zoysia, a metaphor for tolerance and centered values and common ground, is a hardy grass, plentiful in Festus/Crystal City and Saint Louis, where these hardworking musicians grew up. After years of misleading portr