How Many Miles Is Indianapolis Motor Speedway? [Expert Guide!]

There is no getting around it, racing fans in Indianapolis have been waiting a long time for this year’s Indy 500. Scheduled to be run this Sunday, May 30, the 100th Indianapolis 500 will be a momentous occasion, especially since it comes on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic, which suspended the running of NASCAR and many other major sports events.

The pandemic took its toll, not just on Indy 500 ticket sales, but on the health and safety of the competitors as well. Only three drivers are known to have competed in the mile-race this year, as a tribute to those that lost their lives during the pandemic.

The 2020 Indy 500 Was Canceled

The pandemic caused many changes, not just in terms of sporting events being canceled or postponed, but in the motorsport world as a whole. The 2020 Indy 500 was originally scheduled to be held on May 28, but was called off less than 24 hours before the start due to safety concerns regarding Covid-19.

The race was initially supposed to consist of only 24 cars, but the number grew to over 300 due to several race car owners donating cars. Despite the unprecedented number of entrants, the safety of the competitors, fans, and observers was a priority.

The 2021 Indy 500 Was Postponed, Then Rescheduled

The pandemic may not have been the only factor contributing to the postponement of the 2021 Indy 500. On September 10, 2020, the INDYCAR series announced that the race would be postponed until September 28, 2021. The rescheduled date coincides with the opening of the 2021 NASCAR season.

The main reason for the delay was to give teams and drivers time to adjust to the new, more stringent regulations implemented due to Covid-19. The safety of competitors, fans, and observers was also a major factor in the postponement decision.

The 2021 Indy 500 Was A Military Mobilization

While the main focus during the pandemic was on physical distancing and avoiding large public gatherings, the U.S. armed forces also got into the spirit and organized a virtual Indy 500, which was streamed live for those unable to attend the race in person.

The virtual race was won by Team Penske, the same team that won the 2019 Indy 500, and the first online victory in the 100-year history of the event. While most of the competitors were virtual exes, four still entered the race as drivers: Rick Muther, Johnny Rutherford, Dario Franchitti, and Jack Harvey.

The Race Car Owners Were Innovative

One of the biggest changes due to the pandemic was the innovative use of technology. The majority of the cars in this year’s Indy 500 are still run-of-the-mill mid-engined, muscle cars and trucks, but that’s not the case for everyone. Some owners used cutting edge technology to create unique race cars in honor of, or as a memorial to those that lost their lives during the pandemic. One of the more unique cars was the Last Chance Cora, an all-electric race car created in honor of Ralph Nader. The car is driven by Vivien Figueiredo, the daughter of Brazilian racing legend Nelson Figueiredo. The family-run team is looking forward to returning to the track this Sunday, but they’re also mindful of the risks surrounding the pandemic and will be wearing masks and other protective gear until they’re given the all-clear by medical professionals.

The 100 Years Of The Indy 500

The 100 years of the Indy 500 is a remarkable accomplishment, especially since the race was originally supposed to have only two or three years of its life left. Over the years, the Indy 500 has outlasted numerous wars, the Great Depression, world wars, and the shift from horses to cars.

The Indy 500 has been immortalized in song, featured in many a movie, and even made its way into video games. One of the primary reasons for the longevity of the event is the dedicated fans known as “The Indians” who have continued to show up week after week, year after year, to support their teams and drivers. The fans’ unwavering dedication is what has kept the iconic event alive for the past 100 years.

Where Can I Sit And How Many Seats Do I Have?

One of the things that make the Indy 500 so great is its flexibility, allowing fans to find a seat that suits their needs. There are four main “clusters” or areas in which you can sit. They are; the “Victory Row” located just beyond the finish line on the main stretch, “Pole Position” on the inside of the front straightaway, “Fastest Lap” in the middle of the track, and “grandstands” on the outside of the track by the grandstands.

The Victory Row and the Fastest Lap areas are somewhat comparable, as they’re both located at the front of the track. The main difference is that the Victory Row is where all the action is during the actual race while the Fastest Lap is where fans come to watch the competitors go around the track. The Pole Position area is tucked away in the upper deck of the grandstands, giving you a completely different perspective from the other three clusters. The grandstands are where most of the “socializing” amongst fans takes place, especially during pre-race ceremonies, where attendees can get up close and personal with the drivers and coaches before the start of the race.

What Is The Best Way To Get There?

So you decided to go to the Indy 500 after all. Congratulations! Getting there is half the fun, and it’s truly an unforgettable experience. The best way to get to the race site is either by taxi or car. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located in Speedway, Indiana, about an hour and a half drive south of downtown Indianapolis.

From the Indianapolis airport, it’s a straight shot south on Interstate 65 all the way to the toll road, which is officially designated as the “Indianapolis Speedway Parkway”. Once you reach the parkway, follow it south for approximately 10 miles to the race venue.

There is no parking at the airport, but there are plenty of hotels, restaurants, and gas stations along the way. If you’re driving, be sure to bring lots of cash, as most places will not (and cannot) accept credit cards at the gate-check-in counters. Also, since the last plane left at midnight on Saturday, May 29, a lot of people are trying to get out of town on Sunday, so traffic will be heavy. Try to get to the hotel early on Sunday morning and prepare for a long day. It will be worth it though, the atmosphere at the race track will be incredible.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!