How Wide Is Indianapolis Motor Speedway? [Answered!]

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the most iconic race track in the world. It is home to the Indianapolis 500, which is arguably the greatest sporting event of all time. In 2019, the track will celebrate its 100th anniversary and it’s safe to say that the world will be watching.

The track is known for being wide. In fact, the track is over a mile wide in both directions, meaning there’s plenty of room for cars, trucks, and even motorcycles to race. The question is: How wide is Indianapolis Motor Speedway really?

A Brief History

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway first opened its doors in 1909 and has been host to some of the greatest races ever since. The track originally started out as a dirt street course, which was then paved over in 1915. Over the years, the track’s shape was changed multiple times to fit the changing demands of race car drivers. Several pits and turns were added, as well as several backstretches of concrete to make the track more challenging and interesting for the drivers.

Today, the track still retains much of its original look. It’s famous long straightaways and many sharp bends make it look very much like it did more than a century ago. When drivers take a sharp turn at the end of the straightaway, it is known as the “triple hairpin turn.”

The Current Layout

While the track itself hasn’t changed much over the years, the surrounding area has. Currently, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located in central Indiana, in a suburb known as Speedway. Officially, the track is in Kosciusko County, but it also extends into nearby Marion County. The area surrounding the track is home to a variety of restaurants, bars, and clubs. There is also a Whole Foods Market within a few minutes walk from the track. The shopping center even has a Starbucks! If you’re a fan of classic Americana, you couldn’t ask for a more picturesque setting.

There are a few other major roads that run near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The main one is Race Street, which runs parallel to it for most of its length. One end of the street is only a few hundred feet from the track, while the other end is a few miles away. The road then continues southward, becoming known as Meridian Road at that point. The next major street is Keystone Avenue, which also goes by the names of Meridian Street and Maryland Avenue closer to the track. This is a north-south street that intersects with Race Street and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. These three streets run the length of the entire city, connecting all the major local roads. Indianapolis is a very walkable city, with Park and Downtown streets connecting the entire region.

How Wide Is It?

This is a question that has been asked for years, particularly after IndyCar Series drivers began hitting the track regularly. During the week, cars would often be lined up along the exit of the front straightaway, with photographers trying to get a shot of a car leaving the track. When drivers take a turn off the front straightaway, they’re quickly confronted with a sea of race cars coming the other way. It was only a matter of time before someone tried to quantify just how wide the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is.

In 2014, a group of Reddit users put together a spreadsheet, detailing the width of the track and surrounding areas. Using Google Earth, they were able to acquire the track’s dimensions and plot them on a map. What they discovered was staggering: the full width of the track is over a mile, ranging from the backstretch all the way to the front straightaway.

The group then plotted other things like turn one and two, which are also a mile wide. They also measured the width of the three mile straightaway and came up with a staggering figure: it’s over 90 feet wide!

The Reddit users then looked at how wide the front straightaway is and, again, the numbers were staggering: it’s over 105 feet. They also looked at how wide the backstraightaway is and came up with a similarly huge measurement: 111.3 feet! They further refined their measurements and came up with an average width of 112.3 feet for the entire track. While these measurements may not seem like they’d be that difficult to come by, given how many tires would get worn out during the race, it’s easy to see why someone would want to keep track of them.

More Than Meets The Eye

If you take a quick walk down the front straightaway, you’ll notice that the track is actually a little wider than it appears from the outside. This is because of all the concrete that makes up the main straightaway. When race crews poured the first section of concrete in the spring of 1915, they also had to add a few inches to the track’s width. This was only done for a specific reason and it had nothing to do with aesthetic appeal.

When crews started adding more concrete after World War II, the track’s width did increase slightly. This started to happen in earnest in the 1950s and continued through the decade. The main reason behind this was simple: more and more drivers were showing up to race. This, in turn, caused more and more traffic jams during the week of the race. This is something that still happens today and something that the Track’s Management would like to change.

Room For Growth

Finally, the biggest question of all: how wide is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway going to be in the future?

Over the past few years, the track’s width has increased by a couple of feet, ranging from a few inches to a few feet. One of the primary reasons for this was the IndyCar Series, which has been in existence for over a decade. While the series itself only uses the track for a couple of races each year, it has helped to draw attention to the track and increased its profile. The cars are wider and the drivers are pushing the machines harder, making the event more exciting for the fans. This, in turn, has helped to increase the track’s appeal and, hopefully, make it wider still.

Final Takeaway

If you’re a fan of classic Americana, you couldn’t ask for a more picturesque setting. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located in central Indiana, in a suburb named Speedway. It is home to some of the greatest sporting events in the world and is certainly the most iconic race track ever built. While the track itself hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years, the city and region around it have, with lots of new developments, including a shopping center with a Starbucks! If you’re an explorer at heart, you couldn’t ask for a more pleasant surprise. Even if you aren’t a fan of cars, you can’t help but be impressed by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s layout and location.

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