The speedway that we all know and love as the home of the Indianapolis 500 is officially a quarter of a mile in length. The exact distance can vary from year to year, but for the past few years, it has remained at an even quarter of a mile. With the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 coming up in just over a month, let’s take a quick look at how fast the famous oval is and where it ranks in relation to other sporting venues.
The Most Convenient And Thumb Friendly Venue
There is no question that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the most convenient and thumb-friendly of all the venues that one could attend. Even if you’re not a car nut like me, you can’t deny that it’s a thrill to drive the speedway‘s famous oval. The banking is incredibly easy to negotiate, and the turns are so smooth that it’s hard to believe that you’re driving at all. The best part is that you’re probably going to hit a couple of bumps or pot holes before the end of the lap, which means that you’re practically guaranteed to make someone else happy. If you don’t want to drive the speedway, you’re definitely not going to want to cycle through the streets of Indianapolis on a bike either. Especially not in the spring or summer.
If you want to know where your car is at all times, the answer is that it’s at home. If you want to know how fast you’re going, you can always look at the digital display that’s affixed nearby or you can ask one of the many volunteers who are standing by waiting to give you a push on your return from the pits. The convenience of the venue is hard to beat. You won’t have to worry about finding a parking spot or worrying about getting a ride to the track. Plus, you get the thrill of the competition without having to pay for it. Unfortunately, the convenience comes with a price. If you want to make sure that your car is in good condition, you’re going to have to maintain it well and ensure that it doesn’t break down on you. Not many people can handle that level of responsibility, so for those who can, this is definitely a dream job. Plus, you get to work with some of the best engineers in the world. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and being the first to work on your car during practice, weekends, and whenever else the track management might need help, this is the job for you. As for the parking, there are always plenty of spaces to be found. However, if you’re heading to the Speedway at any time of the day or night, be prepared to pay. The parking prices are always exorbitant, and it’s generally cheaper to drive than to park. Unless, of course, you’re in a garage.
If you think that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway isn’t entertaining enough, then I don’t know what to tell you. It’s like being in a movie. You’re sitting there with a group of friends, eating snacks and laughing at the funniest things. Then, all of a sudden, a cannon goes off, and a car drives by. Or maybe an airplane flies overhead. You’ll never forget the first time that you heard the roar of an engine overhead as you ate your hotdog. The entertainment value of the venue is truly unmatched. Plus, having the organizers throw in some crazy fireworks every Sunday afternoon is an added bonus. Spectators always have a good time, even if they aren’t exactly sure why. It’s not only that the cars are passing by, it’s that they’re doing it at such high speeds that it’s almost like you’re right there with them. As if you’re in the passenger seat. Except, of course, you’re not. You’re safe and sound back at the stadium, watching the cars go by on the big screen.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has had the same basic layout since it was first constructed in 1914. The track is oval in shape, and the stands are mostly along the straightaways. When I first witnessed a race there as a kid, there were no seats in the grandstands. Back then, you either stood and watched the race or, if you were a really lucky kid, climbed a tree and got a bird’s eye view of the competition.
One of the things that makes the Indianapolis Motor Speedway so special is that it’s always the end of a grand ol’ American adventure. You know, going from coast to coast, competing against the best drivers in the country, being in a car for three or four hours is just what the doctor ordered on a hot summer day. Plus, you get to indulge in some family traditions. My grandma would get so nervous before each race that she’d have to sit down and have a drink. Grandpa would always eat a pickle during pre-race ceremonies. Even my mom used to get so nervous that she’d have to leave the bathroom and run to her room before the race. We always watched the 500 miles with our parents. At the time, I didn’t know why they did it, but I eventually found out. The tradition of the mile is that it’s the culmination of a great American adventure. One where you leave your home state and travel across the country to compete against the best, in a race that is named after a nation’s founder. What’s not to love?
Overall, It’s A Unique Venue
If you’ve been to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, then you know exactly what I mean when I say that it’s a unique venue. For starters, it’s the only officially sanctioned automotive race track in the United States. As if that’s not enough, it’s also the home of the famous Indy 500, which is the oldest continually run automobile race in the world. It’s arguably the most important race of the year for American drivers. People travel from all over the country to be there for the biggest race of the year. It’s no wonder that so many people call it ‘The Mecca of automobile racing.’ If you combine all of its attributes, it’s easy to see why it’s so special. What’s not to love?
So, is the speedway a quarter of a mile long as it claims? A question worthy of Mark Twain perhaps. Nevertheless, the answer is yes, in case you were wondering. It is indeed a quarter mile in length, and it is as fast as it claims to be. The combination of the banking and the distance make for an incredibly challenging yet satisfying drive. Especially when you’re in the right kind of car. The only downside to this wonderful place is the steep parking fee. That and finding a babysitter for your kid so that you can go to work. Otherwise, it’s a unique place, filled with unique memories. And it’s all thanks to Jimmy Pyeatt, the track’s owner and Chairman of the Board.