Replies: 6 - Last Post: Apr 22, 2013 3:09 PM Last Post By: libbyh
Apr 20, 2013 5:42 AM
Indianapolis 500Completely by accident, our itinerary has us in Indianapolis on Memorial Day weekend, which is the weekend of the big race. Just wondering what we can expect - will this be a fun time to be in Indianapolis, or a time when non-rev-heads leave town and go somewhere else? With no knowledge or great interest in motor sports generally, should we consider getting tickets to the race just for the experience, or settle for checking out the off-track action in town?
Apr 20, 2013 7:24 AM
Apr 20, 2013 9:30 AM
Apr 20, 2013 2:36 PM
Apr 21, 2013 12:19 AM
Apr 22, 2013 11:42 AM
5Former Indianapolis resident here... I would suggest that you go to the race. It is definitely an experience like almost no other, and if you never go to another auto race in your life (and I haven't), you might as well make it a big and storied one. You don't have to have an interest in auto racing any more than you have to have an interest in horse racing to go to and enjoy the Kentucky Derby. Much of the experience is about the atmosphere, although even non-gearheads like myself can't help but get excited by the first half hour and last half hour of racing. Now, the other 3.5 hours... is just a time to people-watch, walk around the speedway grounds (including the garage area), read up in the program about what you're watching, and so forth. You used to be able to bring a cooler with your own lunch, beer, etc., but things may have changed in the last 10-15 years because of security, so if you go, you should check into that.
The race will be about 75% people really into racing and 25% who never go to or watch another race all year (except maybe the Brickyard 400 in August, also in Indianapolis). Those percentages change depending on the price and location of the seat -- the more expensive seats (generally in the turns or on the main straightaway, and especially in the first turn) are more of the casual watchers. I don't know what seats go for nowadays, especially on the secondary market, but if you can afford it, try to get a seat on main straightaway or the first turn, where the start and finish take place. A seat on the outside of the track is marginally better than on the inside.
Be prepared for a LOT of traffic getting there and leaving. But try to get there well before the race begins, because that's when a lot of the pageantry takes place. Also, it may be exceedingly hot, or exceedingly rainy--prepare accordingly. Finally, be prepared for the finest specimens of white trash (maybe 10% of the crowd) that America has to offer. If the idea of this repulses you, then maybe you shouldn't go. But I think it's awesome. Lots of LP posters say they want to see the "real America" (whatever that means). The Indy 500 is about as "real" as it gets.
Oh, also, in general, that weekend is a great time to be in Indianapolis, as it's basically the biggest party of the year and when the city pulls out all the stops (not including sports playoffs). Both downtown and the Broad Ripple area will be teeming with activity and special events. It's probably the best time to be in the city all year.
Apr 22, 2013 3:09 PM
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