Where Is The Indianapolis Motor Speedway? [Facts!]

If you’re an avid sports fan, you may have heard of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Although it may not be a household name, you would not be mistaken for not knowing where it is, considering how often you may have seen it on television or in the newspaper. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the site of the famous Indianapolis 500, an annual race that takes place every May. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is also the host site of the Brickyard 400, which is one of the largest sporting events in North America. If you’re unfamiliar, the Indianapolis 500 is the pinnacle of American motor racing. It’s usually considered the Super Bowl of motorsport. This year, the race will be held on May 24th.

Although most people may know where the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is, that doesn’t mean that they know everything there is to know about it. Here’s a handy guide to make you familiar with every square foot of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so that you may enjoy the experience of a lifetime when you attend one of the great American sporting events!

The Track

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is actually located in a suburb of Indianapolis, in the state of Indiana. The layout of the track is very similar to that of other American racetracks, especially those in the Midwestern United States. A grandstand completely surrounds the track, and there are also suites and hospitality boxes for those who can pay big money. If you’ve ever seen the show The King of Cars, then you know exactly what to expect.

There are nine main straightaways, each one 5.928 kilometers (3.68 miles) long. There are also two short straights, for a total of 10.756 kilometers (6.55 miles) of track. There are a few turns, as well, including a very sharp left-hander that goes by the name of “The Esses”. The track is also banked, with the inside straightaway (3) being the most banked, with 12 degrees of banking. The outside straightaway is the least banked, with only 9 degrees of banking.

Considering that the majority of the track is banked, it probably comes as no great surprise that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is considered one of the most dangerous tracks in the world. There have been many deaths there, due mainly to the large amounts of traffic that are on the track at any given time. In 2016, a total of 80 people were either killed or injured at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, making it the most dangerous track in the world, according to the news magazine Forbes.

The Building

The main building at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is called the “Indy”. The main entrance is on the north side of the track, and there are also two smaller buildings, known as the “White House” and the “Short Track”, which are located on the south side of the track. There’s also the “Grandstand”, which is where most of the action takes place. Finally, there is an area called “The Paddock”, which is where the drivers park their cars before and after the race.

It should come as no great surprise that one of the biggest buildings at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is named after the famous American president, Abraham Lincoln. In fact, President Lincoln gave the opening speech at the inaugural race, back in 1912. It is also no coincidence that the “Short Track” is named after another great American president, Benjamin Franklin. He was the first to conduct a successful experiment with lightning rods and kite-flying, inspiring the nickname “The Father of Aviation”.

The Grid

When the Indianapolis 500 was first established, back in 1911, there were no set pit lanes. Each car would drive around the track until someone pitted, at which point they would pull over and wait their turn in the pits. This is known as “The Open Style”, which gave birth to the term “Grid”, used today to describe the formation of cars on the track. Because of this open style, the field of cars at the Indianapolis 500 is considered to be one of the most exciting, and unpredictable, in all of motorsport. You may see cars coming from all over the place, but they will all be on the same lap, at the same time. One thing is for sure: no one knows who will come out on top, until the checkered flag waves!

The Tower

On the fourth floor of the “Indy” there is a large room, known as the Tower, which contains the museum portion of the complex. The building is actually three stories tall, but the one on the fourth floor is the museum, which houses over 300 exhibits and more than 20,000 pieces of motorsport memorabilia. It is here that you will find one of the biggest collections of Formula One cars ever, and it is also where the annual ball is held, at the end of the racing season. On the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, they unveiled a permanent exhibition devoted to the legendary speedway. Among the many cars and exhibits on display, you will find a 1927 Grand Prix racing car, driven by Louis Meyer.

The Stadium

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has another part to it, known as the “Stadium”. This is the part that most people will be familiar with, considering that it is the home of the Indianapolis 500. The “Stadium” is located on the opposite side of the track, from the “Grandstand”. There are three gates in the south wall of the stadium, which lead to the concrete bridge that crosses over the track. The southeast and southwest corners of the stadium feature the famous spoked-wheel logo, which is the mark of NASCAR, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. The track itself is visible from the upper deck of the west stands. The roof of the stadium is open, which makes it one of the most recognizable features at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The roof is actually a transparent layer of plastic, held in place by metal supports. The only way to see the race, from inside the stadium, is to buy a ticket.

The Locker Room

Located inside the “Indy”, and directly opposite the museum, is the “Locker Room”. The “Locker Room” is where the drivers and crews of the winning cars and teams change outfits for the trophy ceremony, at the end of the race. It is also here that you will see many of the greatest racing moments, including the famous “Indianapolis 500” start and finish line banner, which commemorates each of the famous races that take place there annually.

The Museum

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as previously mentioned, has two parts: the museum and the race track. The museum is on the fourth floor of the “Indy” building, and is accessed through a flight of stairs, or an elevator from the second floor. On the second floor of the “Indy”, you will find an escalator, which leads to the museum. You will also need to pass through a security check, to get into the museum. Once you’re there, you will immediately be assaulted by the pitter-patter of tiny but determined hands, as kids try to grab your attention. The Indy museum is a great place to start, if you’re interested in knowing more about the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There are many colorful exhibits on display, which show the evolution of motor racing, and how the sport has changed over the years. One of the more interesting exhibits is the Hall of Fame, which pays homage to the greats of the past, who contributed to the growth and advancement of motor racing.

The Gate

At the end of the race, or after you’ve seen all of the championship awards have been given, the drivers and their crews will walk or drive to the “Paddock”, to begin the post-race cleaning and inspection process. The crew members change into street clothes, and the drivers park in the “Paddock”, to await the results of the inspection. Before they leave, however, they will visit the “Gate”, where they shake hands with the fans, and give the “Indianapolis 500” salute.

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