Indy 500

Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500  Image: momentcaptured1 (flickr)

Twice a year, racing fans turn their attention to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, when two major events are on the schedule, the Indianapolis 500 and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Indianapolis is proud of its role as the racing capital of the world. The speedway also is the home of MotoGP (a new addition in late 2008), the National Hot Rod Association's drag racing championships, and a full menu of other racing. Indy truly is a place to experience life in the fast lane.

Indy 500 Tickets
Indy 500 Tickets  Image: momentcaptured1 (flickr)

The Indy 500 is a highlight of the year for countless race fans. This oval track opened in 1909, first used as a testing ground for the automobile industry and then as a racetrack over the past century. These days, the Indianapolis 500 is a part of the Indy Racing League. When the Indianapolis race is drawing near, visitors have a range of fun events to experience when they're exploring the racing capital. Along with the annual running of the famous race, numerous special events are on the schedule, such as a marathon and concerts. As with every month of May that rolls around, the city celebrates the Indy 500 with a full slate of events honoring the famous Indianapolis race. Visitors can join in the Kid's Day festivities, Community Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and a downtown parade.

This Indianapolis race is, perhaps, the best known of the schedule, but for NASCAR fans, Indy is famous as the home of the Brickyard 400. Now called the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, the race is one of the best-attended events of the Spring Cup Series.

When racing isn't on the schedule, visitors still can still add the excitement of the Indianapolis 500 to their Indiana vacation plans. They can arrange tours of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that showcase the landmarks, including the victory platform, the four-story MCI Media Center, and the garage area. At the start/finish line, fans can stand on the famous Yard of Bricks. The 90-minute guided tour of the 2.5-mile oval offers an in-depth view of the Indy 500's speedway as it has evolved over the last century.

Another one of the things to do is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. While exploring, IMS visitors can see passenger cars from the early days of the automobile, sports cars, motorcycles, and other overall cool cars. Many winners of Indianapolis 500, including the 1911-winning Marmon Wasp reside here. Museum visitors also have the chance to see trophies, uniforms, and other artifacts from 100 years of racing, watch an informative movie, and take a bus ride around the Indianapolis 500 track, available when the IMS is not in use.

The Indy 500 is in close proximity to a bevy of visitor amenities, including Indianapolis Speedway hotels, restaurants, and the Indianapolis airport. Race fans who want to get behind the wheel also will find fun places worth their time in Indianapolis. When making a visit to the Richard Petty Driving Experience, drivers can come into contact with the thrill of racing for themselves. Another exhilarating experience awaits at Track Attack, where professional drivers teach lessons and students get behind the wheel of an open-cockpit racing car. Race fans also can make a visit to the Whiteland Raceway Park, where IndyCar vets are known to take test drives and kart rentals are available for an average person's driving excitement.

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