This article is from the Running FAQ, by Ozzie Gontang with numerous contributions by others.
(Lori Moffitt firstname.lastname@example.org) writes: The long and short of it, pun
intended, is that US 1/4 mile tracks are typically 400 meter tracks, and
the runner needs to compensate for the difference by running a few yards
extra, about 10 yards. The 400 meter distance seemed to be measured 12''
from the inside curb of the track. Opinions vary about this and the
(Art Overholser email@example.com) A perfect 400-m track,
measured 12" from the inside curb as specified by TAC, is 437.4 US yards
long, or 7'8'' shy of 440 yards. So you only need to run 8 feet (not 10
yards) extra to get the 1/4 mi. To get one mile out of 4 laps you have to
add about 10 yards.
If his figures are correct, to change this lap to a quarter mile, move out
an additional 15 inches when going around the bends. (Sherwood Botsford