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Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Speedway, IN

Home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

3.4

3.4

Indianapolis Motor Speedway (map it)
4790 W 16th St
Speedway, IN 46222


Indianapolis Motor Speedway website

Indianapolis Motor Speedway website

Year Opened: 1909

Capacity: 400,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a classic racetrack located minutes from downtown Indianapolis. Perhaps the most famous racetrack in the United States, this two and a half mile track was built in 1909 and has been used primarily for open wheel racing including the famous Indianapolis 500.

NASCAR began racing here in 1994 with the introduction of the Brickyard 400 in front of a capacity crowd. The action hasn't always been the greatest at IMS due to low banking and long straightaways. Most races here have been called “Follow the Leader Races” due to the difficulty of passing of the bigger stock cars.

Despite the lack of action, the Brickyard has long been considered one of NASCAR's biggest races due to the prize money and fan interest. In 1994, the Brickyard 400 was a true sellout with Jeff Gordon winning the inaugural race. NASCAR doesn't release attendance figures, but local estimates had attendance at around 50,000 people for the 2016 race, a huge drop-off from the 350,000-400,000 that IMS can hold at the speedway. Most NASCAR tracks have taken out seats to make it look full on television, but IMS can't due to the big time popularity of the Indy 500.

3.4

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

Usually at a NASCAR race there is such a plethora of food, it is almost overwhelming. Unfortunately, with Indy being built in 1909, it is not designed for excessive food stands. There are some food carts in and around the stadium. Most fans like to hang out outside the track and take in the atmosphere, but keep in mind that the track is a 2 1/2 miles long lap. Seeing all the food options could take a while and is not advised. Most booths inside the stadium except the pagoda area are repeats. The basic booths sell standard fare such as hot dogs, burgers, nachos, Coca-Cola products, beer, Foster's oil cans (25 oz. beers for $8), and cigarettes-yes,cigarettes.

In the main pagoda area by the start and finish line there are some food areas with a little more variety. Turkey legs, cheesesteaks, barbecue, and walking tacos are popular during the race. The turkey legs are of the Fred Flintstone variety and are largely sought after by fans at the track. The pork tenderloin sandwich, a very tasty Indiana specialty, is way bigger than the bun with pickles and jalapenos. Other stands feature snacks such as corn on the cob, ice cream, etc. The food/drink options here are decent, but nothing expansive.

Fans are allowed to bring soft sided coolers and backpacks into the track. This helps offset some of the cost of attending the Brickyard as fans can bring in their own food or drink. The only rules are the cooler has to be a certain size (14x18x18) and no glass bottles are allowed. Keep in mind that the race is held in late July every year where temperatures can reach 90+ degrees, bring plenty of fluids. One thing of note, stores in Indiana do not sell beer on Sundays. The last thing you want is to show up to the neighborhood empty handed.

Atmosphere    5

The atmosphere at IMS is great despite the dwindling attendance each year and lack of action on the track. Any event at IMS is a spectacle in and of itself due to the fans. You will see it all at the track: hard partiers, camping, tailgating, serious fans, and funny attire.

The seating areas are more family friendly. You will want to consider sitting in shaded areas inside the track due to the heat. The seating areas on the front stretch have plenty of shaded areas. The stands around turns 1 to 4 have little to no shade; it is advised to bring plenty of sunscreen. For a true spectacle, consider general admission tickets in the infield. Fans can bring lawn chairs and sit along the grassy mounds on the backstretch or between turns 3 and 4. This is more of a picnic/party option as you have more room and can move around easily. There are plenty of bathrooms in the infield as well.

For an added fee, fans are allowed to cross over the track, get within feet of the cars in the garage area, and even kiss the bricks at the start/finish line before the race. A good free option, drivers walk from their garage area to the track before the race providing a fantastic way to see them up close. If you're lucky, you may be able to get a few autographs. Bring a Sharpie and something to sign, you never know who you may meet.

The sound system is fairly good for a race track and the pre-race ceremony is always top notch. There are televisions around the track for fans to see action that they may have missed. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to get a view of the entire track due to obstructions.

Neighborhood    2

The real big negative to the speedway is the area where it is located. While there has been some revitalization on Main Street, the general area isn't very nice. A large number of buildings are a bit run down and in disrepair. There have been some revitalization efforts in the area, but it is slow going. Eventually, Main Street and the surrounding area will blossom in time. However, there quite a few interesting choices for food and entertainment in this newly constructed area of town.

Daredevil Brewing Company and Big Woods Speedway recently opened brewpubs featuring food on Main Street and offer outdoor patio seating. Barbecue and Bourbon is also located on the strip and is exactly as advertised. Dawson's on Main offers seafood, steaks, and sandwiches; the potato soup is amazing as are the crab cakes. If you want a place that is easier on the wallet, try the Tamale Place. There is also indoor kart racing offered on Main Street.

However, most of the fun is tailgating or eating at the track.

Fans    4

The crowd is a mix between the more corporate Indycar fans and the more blue-collar fan base of NASCAR. As always, be prepared to see anything when it comes to NASCAR fans, to call them passionate is an understatement. The race draws plenty of fans, but the track has so many seats that it looks like there is no one in attendance. This is mostly due to having so many seats for the Indy 500 each May. However, the fans that are at the race are loud and passionate.

Access    3

Getting around Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Indy 500 weekend can be a bit of an issue, but they have 350,000 fans in attendance. For NASCAR, since the track is built for a bigger audience, you can move around fairly well. There is plenty of parking, most areas outside the track on IMS grounds are free now. Parking inside the race track will cost you.

Parking on someone's lawn will cost between $10-$20 and may be a good option for those that want to beat traffic. Be careful when trying to park on the street. A lot of the side streets have no parking signs and are strictly enforced. Plenty of tow trucks are in the area and they will tow you.

One perk to parking on the free grounds outside the stadium on IMS property is that the attendants have tickets available. Tickets can be purchased from track employees who double as parking attendants. This is nice as fans are able to park the car and not have to worry about trekking over to the ticket office. Please note, they only sell general admission seats.

Bathrooms could be updated and cleaned a little better, but the track is over 100-years old. It is nice that they block off Georgetown Street so pedestrians have plenty of room to walk around.

Return on Investment    3

Attending a race at a historic venue is always a great return on your investment; NASCAR tickets cost less than an Indy 500 ticket and are a lot easier to get. Combine that with the addition of the Nationwide and Grand Am support races and you can have a great weekend at a decent price. The one drawback here is the racing isn't the best. If NASCAR could fix the racing a bit to make more passing then this would easily be a full, five-star rating.

Extras    3

The museum here is worth a few points alone. It has tons of history and race cars from past Indy races. It will be busy on race day but if you are here for the weekend, it is well worth a stop.

Being able to bring your own food/drink into the stadium. This saves a lot of money, especially for your choice of beverages.

Being able to purchase tickets while you park the car before the race is an added benefit.

Final Thoughts

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a historic place and well worth a visit. NASCAR racing here is a nice alternative to the Indy 500 due to smaller number of fans and the ability to move around more without the big crowds.

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Crowd Reviews

The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Total Score: 3.43

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a classic racetrack located minutes from downtown Indianapolis. Perhaps the most famous racetrack in the United States, this two and a half mile track was built in 1909 and has been used primarily for open wheel racing including the famous Indianapolis 500.

NASCAR began racing here in 1994 with the introduction of the Brickyard 400 in front of a capacity crowd. The action hasn't always been the greatest at IMS due to low banking and long straightaways. Most races here have been called “Follow the Leader Races” due to the difficulty of passing of the bigger stock cars.

Despite the lack of action, the Brickyard has long been considered one of NASCAR's biggest races due to the prize money and fan interest. In 1994, the Brickyard 400 was a true sellout with Jeff Gordon winning the inaugural race. NASCAR doesn't release attendance figures, but local estimates had attendance at around 50,000 people for the 2016 race-a huge drop-off from the 350,000-400,000 that IMS can hold at the speedway. Most NASCAR tracks have taken out seats to make it look full on television, but IMS can't due to the big time popularity of the Indy 500.

The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Total Score: 3.43

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a classic racetrack located minutes from downtown Indianapolis. Perhaps the most famous racetrack in the United States, this two and a half mile track was built in 1909 and has been used primarily for open wheel racing including the famous Indianapolis 500.

NASCAR began racing here in 1994 with the introduction of the Brickyard 400 in front of a capacity crowd. The action hasn't always been the greatest at IMS due to low banking and long straightaways. Most races here have been called “Follow the Leader Races” due to the difficulty of passing of the bigger stock cars.

Despite the lack of action, the Brickyard has long been considered one of NASCAR's biggest races due to the prize money and fan interest. In 1994, the Brickyard 400 was a true sellout with Jeff Gordon winning the inaugural race. NASCAR doesn't release attendance figures, but local estimates had attendance at around 50,000 people for the 2016 race-a huge drop-off from the 350,000-400,000 that IMS can hold at the speedway. Most NASCAR tracks have taken out seats to make it look full on television, but IMS can't due to the big time popularity of the Indy 500.

The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Total Score: 3.43

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a classic racetrack located minutes from downtown Indianapolis. Perhaps the most famous racetrack in the United States, this two and a half mile track was built in 1909 and has been used primarily for open wheel racing including the famous Indianapolis 500.

NASCAR began racing here in 1994 with the introduction of the Brickyard 400 in front of a capacity crowd. The action hasn't always been the greatest at IMS due to low banking and long straightaways. Most races here have been called “Follow the Leader Races” due to the difficulty of passing of the bigger stock cars.

Despite the lack of action, the Brickyard has long been considered one of NASCAR's biggest races due to the prize money and fan interest. In 1994, the Brickyard 400 was a true sellout with Jeff Gordon winning the inaugural race. NASCAR doesn't release attendance figures, but local estimates had attendance at around 50,000 people for the 2016 race, a huge drop-off from the 350,000-400,000 that IMS can hold at the speedway. Most NASCAR tracks have taken out seats to make it look full on television, but IMS can't due to the big time popularity of the Indy 500.

The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Total Score: 3.43

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a classic racetrack located minutes from downtown Indianapolis. Perhaps the most famous racetrack in the United States, this two and a half mile track was built in 1909 and has been used primarily for open wheel racing including the famous Indianapolis 500.

NASCAR began racing here in 1994 with the introduction of the Brickyard 400 in front of a capacity crowd. The action hasn't always been the greatest at IMS due to low banking and long straightaways. Most races here have been called “Follow the Leader Races” due to the difficulty of passing of the bigger stock cars.

Despite the lack of action, the Brickyard has long been considered one of NASCAR's biggest races due to the prize money and fan interest. In 1994, the Brickyard 400 was a true sellout with Jeff Gordon winning the inaugural race. NASCAR doesn't release attendance figures, but local estimates had attendance at around 50,000 people for the 2016 race, a huge drop-off from the 350,000-400,000 that IMS can hold at the speedway. Most NASCAR tracks have taken out seats to make it look full on television, but IMS can't due to the big time popularity of the Indy 500.

Share your thoughts about Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Local Food & Drink

Dawson’s on Main  (map it!)

1464 Main St

Indianapolis, IN 46224

(317) 247-7000

http://www.dawsonsonmain.com/

The Tamale Place  (map it!)

5226 Rockville Rd

Indianapolis, IN 46224

(317) 248-9771

http://www.thetamaleplace.com/

Scotty’s Brewhouse  (map it!)

1 Virginia Ave

Indianapolis, IN 46204

(317) 571-0808

http://www.scottysbrewhouse.com/locations/indianapolis-downtown/

Kilroy's Bar & Grill  (map it!)

201 S Meridian St

Indianapolis, IN 46225

(317) 638-9464

http://www.kilroysindy.com/

Daredevil Brewing Company  (map it!)

1151 Main St

Speedway, IN 46224

(317) 405-8051

daredevilbeer.com

Big Woods Speedway  (map it!)

1002 Main St

Speedway, IN 46224

(317) 744-9601

http://quaffon.com/

Local Entertainment

Speedway Indoor Karting  (map it!)

1067 Main St

Speedway, IN 46224

(317) 870-3780

www.k1speed.com

Lodging

Clarion Hotel  (map it!)

2930 Waterfront Parkway West Dr

Indianapolis, IN 46214

(317) 299-8400

www.choicehotels.com

Wingate Hotel and Suites  (map it!)

5797 Rockville Rd

Indianapolis, IN 46217

(317) 296-6297

www.wingatehotels.com

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