Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.29
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 4790 W 16th St Indianapolis, IN 46222
Year Opened: 1909
NASCAR Takes to the Bricks
The annual NASCAR visit to Indianapolis used to feature the fanfare familiar to Indy 500 fans when stock cars took to the track’s 2.5-mile oval. However, a change in date and a change in track layout means fans now get to watch the sport’s athletes race on the circuit’s infield road course. While not the same experience as the oval’s past races, this new event setup is no less exciting and enjoyable for fans, offering plenty of up-close viewing options, as well as a double-header weekend with the NTT IndyCar Series. No doubt, there is plenty to watch at The Brickyard to entice fans of all ages.
Food & Beverage 3
The standard fare is available throughout the concourse and tracks infield thanks to various concession stands. The basics like burgers, fries, chicken fingers, etc. are all available here, as well as soda, water, and beer. Fans can also expect a variety of food trucks and independent vendors in the infield Pagoda plaza.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the literal definition of a motorsports mecca in the United States. Every inch of the track oozes with history – this in itself should be enough to elevate the track’s profile.
However, thanks to the recent purchase of the facility by Roger Penske, various upgrades and renovations have made the track even better than it was before. A new LED display behind the Pagoda and other smaller displays around the track offers fans a chance to see the action no matter where they are. Renovated bathrooms and common areas are also featured in the latest upgrades as well.
The stadium effect of seats on both sides of the track down the front stretch adds to the roar of the engines. Also, the sound of the bagpipes being played in the paddock by the famous Gordon Pipers fills the air during pre-race. It is hard to beat this historic facility for a flair and history mix.
Speedway, Indiana is a unique setting, as you will see both the past and future of the area in a few blocks. Located literally in the middle of a neighborhood, the IMS facility is massive, rising above the rooftops of the nearby homes.
Across the street from the southwest corner of the track is Main Street; here, various restaurants and shopping destinations mix with newly constructed apartments and several IndyCar race team HQs. In addition, a mile west of the track along Crawfordsville Road are more shopping and dining options. Hotels are plentiful and nearby as well, with downtown Indy just a short drive east, and multiple hotels just west of I-465 and the track.
The fans at Indy are among the most sport-knowledgeable in racing; you would be hard-pressed to find any others in the US who can top this. Many fans have been going to Indy for various races for decades.
Even with decreased attendance in recent years for the NASCAR round at Indy, the facility still packs in a large crowd for the weekend – infield viewing mounds are filled for all races during the weekend, be it the IndyCar and NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday or the NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, the track is sure to be packed full of hardcore fans.
To get to the track you can just follow the signs, literally – there is no shortage of signage on the way to the track. The nearest highway is I-465, with I-74 meeting up with it just north of the track’s exit.
Parking on-site is plentiful both inside and outside of the facility, though many of these require pre-purchased parking passes. With that said various homes in the area also offer up their driveways for paid parking, as do some of the businesses nearby.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets to the NASCAR weekend are relatively well priced; general admission tickets are incredibly low, starting at $20 for Friday and $40 for Saturday or Sunday. Reserved seating tickets range from $60-175 for Saturday and Sunday, depending on location. Compared to prices you will see at the Indy 500 as well as other races on the NASCAR schedule, this is an absolute steal.
Cooling stations are available for fans throughout the property to help with the summer temperatures; offered inside city buses with AC, this is the perfect break from that mid-day sun.
The track also has several event stores set up throughout the track, where you can purchase merchandise from the event and the track, as well as the drivers.
Finally, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is located onsite in the infield and is open during race day. Fans of the sport will no doubt enjoy looking into the past and enjoying the history of the sport of racing.
To many, Indy and NASCAR should feature the track’s famous oval layout. However, the action on the track has been hard to ignore these past few years, with the track’s road course layout being the feature at the Brickyard. Fans still flock to the track no matter what is racing here, and the NASCAR weekend is incredibly affordable compared to other events. Couple that with the nostalgia factor that Indy injects directly into your soul, and it is hard to skip this annual summer stop on the NASCAR circuit.