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Indy 500 Racing Guide

The Indy 500 is one of America’s most beloved racing events. To help you plan your trip to this iconic race, we’ve compiled a list of answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Indy 500. You can also check out our Indianapolis Travel Guide for our tips and recommendations on how to get the most out of your Indy 500 experience.

Where to park at the Indy 500?

Roadtrips’ Indy 500 packages include roundtrip luxury motor coach transfers to and from the track including VIP onsite parking. For our guests who prefer to drive to the speedway on race day, there are a number of parking lots available. Details on parking can be found here. We recommend purchasing your parking in advance as most lots do sell out.

What time does the Indy 500 start?

The 2020 Indy 500 is scheduled to start at 2:30 pm local time on August 23, 2020. The gates at Indianapolis Motor Speedway are open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on race day.

How many seats at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a permanent seating capacity of 235,000, with the potential to host up to 400,000 total spectators when the infield seating is included. For the 2020 Indy 500, race organizers have announced that they will limit the event to 25% of capacity due to concerns over COVID-19.

What are the best seats for the Indy 500?

Like many events, the best seats at the Indy 500 are in large part a matter of personal preference. Typically at race events, the higher up the seats, the better the sightlines. Some of the most coveted seats are in E Penthouse (turn 1) and the suites near the start/finish line. In addition to the location of your seats, some other things to consider at Indy are which seats are covered and which have seat backs as opposed to bleacher-style seating. Our Sports Travel Specialists will go over the options and help you determine what seating would best fit your requirements.

How many people attend the Indy 500?

Indianapolis Motor Speedway does not release the official attendance at the Indy 500. For the last Indy 500 in 2019, estimates placed attendance between 250,000 and 275,000.  The last time the race sold out — for the 100th running in 2016 — the crowd was estimated at 350,000 people. In 2020, the race is limited to 25% capacity, or approximately 87,500 people.

Who is singing at Indy 500?

Due to COVID-19, the Carb Day, Legends Day, and Indy 500 Snake Pit concerts have all been cancelled for 2020. Scheduled performers had included REO Speedwagon, Styx, Luke Bryan, and Martin Garrix.

What to wear to Indy 500?

Our best recommendation for Indy 500 attire is to check the forecast the day before and plan accordingly. A warmer layer is worth bringing in case the race goes into the late afternoon or evening due to delays. If rain is a possibility, we recommend bringing a poncho. Alternatively, umbrellas are permitted as long as they don’t obstruct the views of other fans. Other important items to consider are comfortable footwear, sunscreen, sunglasses, and ear plugs.

What to wear to Indy 500 suite?

While there is no official dress code for the Indy 500 suites, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) states that “admittance will be denied if clothing is considered offensive, disruptive, or unsuitable for any reason.” Long pants and closed-toe shoes are recommended by IMS.

What items are prohibited at the Indy 500?

Prohibited items at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway include:

  • Aerosols
  • Animals other than service animals
  • Coolers larger than 18” x 14” x 14”
  • Drones
  • Fireworks/Flares
  • Flagpoles
  • Glass containers
  • Golf Cards
  • Illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia
  • Lasers
  • Rollerblades, skateboards, skates, hoverboards, and scooters
  • Selfie Sticks
  • Weapons of any kind

A full list of prohibited items can be found on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s website.

How many cars race in the Indy 500?

The Indy 500 starting field traditionally consists of 33 cars, lined up in 3 rows according to their qualifying time. It hasn’t always been 33 starters though. The very first Indy 500 in 1911 had a starting field of 40 and the number varied until 1934 when the maximum was set at 33. Since then there has been just two exceptions (35 cars in 1979 and 1997).

How many laps is the Indy 500?

The Indy 500 consists of 200 laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval track. In the event that the race must be stopped early due to inclement weather, a minimum of 101 laps must be completed for the race to be considered official. The shortest Indy 500 occurred in 1974 when the race was called after 102 laps due to rain. Johnny Rutherford claimed the win after just 255 miles.

Who is the current Indy 500 Champion?

Simon Pagenaud won the 2019 Indy 500. He won the race from pole position, the first Indy 500 driver to accomplish that feat in ten years. This was Pagenaud’s first Indy 500 win.

What does the Indy 500 winner get?

The winner of the Indy 500 receives a number of prizes, most notably a large purse. It was announced that the 2020 winner would receive at least $2 million with additional bonuses for pole position, leading laps, fastest laps and so on. The winner also receives a replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy, a replica of the pace car, the coveted opportunity to kiss the brick of the start/finish line, as well as a bottle of milk, a tradition that dates back to 1933.

Why is it called the Indy 500?

The Indy 500 gets its name from its host city (Indianapolis) and the length of the race (500 miles). The race has previously been called the “500-Mile International Sweepstakes,” the “300-Mile International Sweepstakes,” and the “Liberty Sweepstakes.” The Indy 500 is also known by the nickname “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

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