The Ims Speedway is a place where dreams come true for motor racing fans. The facility is home to the IndyCar Series, which in turn is one of the most popular auto racing leagues in the United States. But just how big is the speedway, and how many cars can fit inside? Let’s take a look.
The Grand Total
It’s fair to say that motorsport fans have been eagerly awaiting the grand opening of the Ims Speedway after years of anticipation. The track is the brainchild of Tony George, who founded the IndyCar Series in 1986. The speedway is located just north of downtown Indianapolis and opened its gates for the first time on October 27, 2019.
The track’s official website states that the grand opening festivities saw 500,000 people visit the site, which is quite an amazing number. This makes it the second-largest single day event in the history of IndyCar, the first being the 2019 Indianapolis 500 race, which was attended by 250,000 spectators. But how many cars can the speedway actually accommodate?
The Ims Speedway is a banked oval track that measures 1.9 miles (3.0km) long. It can be accessed through an entrance gate on North Capitol Street to get to the main straightaways. There are also a couple of smaller side circuits that wrap around the main track.
Before the grand opening of the speedway, the track’s oval was home to the Indiana State Football Game, held each spring. But even then, there weren’t that many cars on the road, as they had to be parked in the grandstands, which are still standing today.
The track is banked at both ends due to popular demand, which makes it harder for cars to break away and harder for them to spin out. This feature helps to minimize the damage sustained in crashes, making it safer for the drivers and the spectators.
The Ims Speedway has a maximum capacity of 200,000 people. This is made possible by the track’s unique design, which seats 150,000 spectators in its five grandstands. In order to accommodate more people, the track has added additional seating behind the security fences, in the form of terraces. This has increased the track’s capacity to nearly 200,000, giving it one of the largest spectator counts in North America.
The Ims Speedway hasn’t just been a grand opening to remember; it’s also a place where Tony George has laid down the blueprint for the future of auto racing in Indiana. The track has been the setting for many memorable moments and has hosted some of the greatest drivers in history, including Mario Andretti, whom most people think of when they think of the IndyCar Series. The track’s expansion to 250,000 spectators is also a sign of things to come for other leagues and venues, such as FanDuel’s Schaumburg, Illinois, speedway, which opened in May of this year and seats up to 250,000 spectators.
While the Ims Speedway has already been an important racing venue, it’s not yet done laying out its plans for the future. The track has stated that more expansions are on the way. In 2021, it will begin construction on an indoor-outdoor complex that will house a restaurant and bar, along with corporate boxes, meeting rooms, and a VIP lounge.
The plans for the Ims Speedway are certainly ambitious, but given the size of the venue, it’s probably safe to assume that they will be executed. The track has already made a big impact on the world of motorsport, and with more people attending races, it’s only going to continue growing in importance.