Inspired by the famous “Yard of Bricks” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a new start/finish line was unveiled at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway Thursday, September 16.

The “Granite Stripe” is a six-inch thick, two-foot-wide strip of New Hampshire granite that stretches across the 65-foot wide NHMS front straightaway at the start/finish line. New Hampshire is known as the Granite State.

Though the new start/finish line was the idea of New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager, he said he didn’t have to think hard for his idea.

“Growing up in a racing family in Indiana, I was well aware of some of auto racing’s great traditions,” said Gappens. “I knew of ‘The Lady in Black’ (Darlington) and ‘The Rock’ (Rockingham), but for me the ‘Yard of Bricks’ at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was racing’s sacred ground. And the bricks just didn’t mean something to the Indy drivers. We’ve all seen what ‘kissing the bricks’ means to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers.”

When plans were being made to celebrate “20 Years of Motorsports Magic,” Gappens was looking for more than an advertising slogan to celebrate.

“New Hampshire Motor Speedway means a great deal to a lot of people in the racing community, especially racers here in the northeast. Now that the race track will play host again to two of the most prestigious forms of racing in the world – the IZOD IndyCar Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -- it was important to me that we do something special and something that may create a “Magic Mile” tradition.”

Swenson Granite, located in Concord, N.H., created the Granite Stripe. It will eventually feature three engraved logos documenting the history of the track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Bryar Motorsports Park and the New Hampshire International Speedway logo emblems will all have a permanent home at new rock solid finish line.

Special thanks to Scott Herrick of Swenson Granite for donating the granite, Mike Bussier of Granite State Curb for setting the granite, Al Brock of Brock Concrete for laying the concrete, and Sara Perry of Perry Brothers Monument for etching the NHMS logo into the “Granite Stripe.” 

Tickets are still available for the SYLVANIA 300, September 16-19.  Purchase your tickets now by calling our ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931 or by visiting us online at

View pictures from the unveiling of the Granite Stripe!