- Indianapolis 500 Pit Badges -

Back Up Cards


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Beginning in 1947 the Back Up Card (BUC) first appears. They are made from thin cardboard which accounts for the lack of holding up to abuse. The BUC was used on Race Day and was not good for admission to the grounds. They were used in conjunction with either a bronze or silver badge for access to the garage area and pits.

The number on the BUC represented what type of access one had ie. a "1" or "99" were usually those associated with a race team - drivers, owners crew, etc. and were THE BUC to have as it allowed access to the pits during the race - all other numbers had to leave the pit area. *The following #'s 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10,11,12,14,15,44,51,55,77 and 99 have been accounted for, but we need pictures of #'s 10 and 55. Theere are probably other numbers so let us know.

An unusual back up card has been found from 1982 for "Lap Prize Donor". Except for the event logo and the same number designation (77) as a regular BUC for a lap prize donor, it is completely different.

In 1987, at least five different BUC's are accounted for. They differ from previous years in that there are words printed vertically on either side of the BUC. Those accounted for are: "SAFETY", "USAC", "PRESS" and "PARTICIPANT" plus one with no wording or plain. *1987 is the only year this was done. (The "PARTICIPANT" is heavily faded.)

In 1988 BUC's went to a laminated type of card and remained that way through 1999. In 1989, the Speedway began using different colored BUC's to differentiate between the 1's & 99's and all other numbers.

1988 1989

This continued through 1996 and was changed in 1997 when the Speedway dropped the numbers and went to a "hot" (access to certain areas) and "cold" (restricted access to certain areas) type of BUC with "Media" or "VIP" printed on them.

In 1992 a smaller "Media Room" BUC was issued and was used for access to the Media center. They went with your badge and were not good on race day. *They were used through 1999.

In 1988, a serial number appeared on the back of the BUC at the bottom with the rest blank.

In 1990, the back of the BUC changed with the addition of legal statements which remain on BUC's through today except for the orange 1992 which is blank on the back. Why that year is blank is unknown. The number disappears from the back in 1990 but reappears on the front in 1991.

1990 1991 1992

For 2000 and 2001, the Speedway went to a slick, thin paper type of BUC.



In 2002, the Speedway replaced the traditional BUC, which had been used since 1947, with a rectangular thin plastic card combined with a lanyard. For 2002, the VIP with black lanyard was used on race day as was the orange "Race Mode"


1938-1946 1947-1949 1950-1959 1960-1969
1970-1979 1980-1989 1990-Present Reproduction Pit Badges


* This information is to the best of our knowledge. If anyone has more information, please contact: NI500CC@NI500CC.COM or dar500@indy.rr.com