If you think that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 are held, is located in Indianapolis, you would be mistaken. The town of Speedway, home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is entirely surrounded by the city of Indianapolis, but it is independent from the city. Established west of the racetrack in 1912, three years after the track was built, the town is a residential community. However, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has attracted other race-related companies to locate or establish branches in Speedway, Indiana, including the United States Auto Club headquarters, A. J. Foyt Racing, and the Dallara racecar factory. Some of these businesses offer public visits, but the biggest attraction in Speedway is the Speedway.
Built by Carl G. Fisher, James Allison, Frank Wheeler, and Arthur Newby, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway started as a test track for the multiple automobile companies located around Indianapolis. At that time the city was the fourth largest automobile-producing city in the country. It became second in 1913.
The original plan was for a 5-mile oval, but because of the space available, the plans were reduced to a 3-mile oval with an interior 2-mile road course. The 3-mile oval then was cut down to the final 2.5-mile oval to leave room for the grandstand to view the occasional planned auto race. The plans for the road course were then eliminated.
The first race on the Speedway occurred between motorcycles on August 1909. A car race followed, but the dirt track proved dangerous, so, within a month, the track was paved with bricks. Now, the Speedway hosts IndyCar's Indianapolis 500, and NASCAR's Brickyard 400.
The Indianapolis 500 is held on the Sunday before Memorial Day, but there are activities all during the week before the race. Qualifying occurs the weekend before the race, and practice sessions occur throughout the week. There is racing and the Pit Stop competition on Carb day on the Friday before the 500. Legends day follows on Saturday with the parade and opportunities to meet past drivers.
There are other things to do at the Speedway all year, so fans can plan to visit the Speedway any time.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is opened daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The museum displays race cars, including over 30 winning race cars, and race memorabilia with a focus on the Indy 500. It includes the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame that honors drivers, team owners, and other significant Indy racing personalities. There is also a gift shop available for fans.
Fans also can take a lap around the track on a 30-minute guided bus tour. The tour stops at the start/finish line where fans are allowed to touch or kiss the bricks.
A 90-minute VIP Grounds Tour is also available. This tour provides access to the Pagoda, Gasoline Alley, Timing and Scoring, and the Media Center, along with a lap around the track and a stop at the start/finish line.
Another choice is the two-hour Golf Cart Tour that offers a more personal view of the track, the "Yard of Bricks," and other landmarks. On this tour, you can have a one-on-one conversation with the tour guide and receive a ticket, lanyard, and refreshments.
For a real thrill, enjoy The Indy Racing Experience. You can choose to ride around the track in a custom two-seat IndyCar or even get behind the wheel yourself.
Once you have recovered from racing around the oval, you can play a round of golf inside the oval at the four-hole, Pete Dye-designed Brickyard Crossing golf course.
For another Indy-500-related experience, visit the Dallara IndyCar Factory which includes interactive exhibits covering 20,000 square feet. The displays highlight the engineering and technology involved in IndyCar racing. You can don a helmet and enjoy a ride in a street-legal IndyCar 2-seater or experience the feel of racing at Indy with iRacing.
For IndyCar fans who would like a lawn as well-manicured as the grounds at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but who would rather spend their time enjoying IndyCar racing, give us a call, and we will provide you with a lawn that will put you in the winner's circle.