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  • Writer's pictureChris Green

Indianapolis Motor Speedway – SpeedTour Weekend

Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

Indianapolis Motor Speedway 4790 W 16th St Indianapolis, IN 46222

Year Opened: 1909

Capacity: 257,325


A Vintage Weekend at Indy

Indianapolis is synonymous with racing in America – the likes of IndyCar, NASCAR, and IMSA all compete here. While events like the SRO Indy 8 Hours and the SCCA Runoffs have been held here in recent years, none of these offer the uniqueness of watching vintage racing on track. SpeedTour Weekend at Indiapolis Motor Speedway is chock full of unique run groups, but also lacks some of the touches of other events on the track’s road course.


Food & Beverage   3

The standard fare is available throughout the infield thanks to various concession stands. The basics like burgers ($13.50), chicken fingers ($12), pork tenderloin baskets ($16.50) etc. are all available, as well as soda ($8), water ($5), and beer ($9.25). Fans can also expect a variety of food trucks and independent vendors in the infield Pagoda Plaza.


Atmosphere   4

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, some ups and downs can be noticed during SVRA weekend. Various upgrades and renovations have made the track even better than it was before, such as a new LED display behind the Pagoda and other smaller displays around the track, which offer 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.

Nevertheless, there is no access for fans to watch the action from the main grandstands on the outside of the circuit, and certain run groups like the pre-war era cars are no longer permitted to run exhibition laps on the track’s 2.5-mile oval.


Neighborhood   3

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 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. Thursday night before race weekend begins, a fan festival is held here with various race cars on display, driver autographs and Q&A sessions, and live music taking place.

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.


Fans   2

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. However, the attendance here for SpeedTour Weekend is significantly lower than that for other races at the circuit’s road course, such as IMSA and SRO.


Access   4

To get to the track you can just follow the signs, literally – there is no shortage of signage on the way to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 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 the facility, though many of these lots 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 SpeedTour Weekend at IMS are relatively well priced; access for Saturday costs $30, while Sunday tickets are just $20. Free infield parking is included with each ticket, and access to the paddock area is also included.


Extras   3

Though still under construction, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is located onsite in the infield, and should usually be open during race days once the renovations are completed. Fans of the sport will no doubt enjoy looking into the past, and enjoying the history of the sport of racing.

The Formula Regional race on Saturday also features a pre-race grid walk for fans to get up close with the cars and stars of tomorrow.

Finally, the Ragtime Racers group of pre-WWI era cars are a big draw, offering a view into the past with cars that have stood the test of time.


Final Thoughts

Fans still flock to Indianapolis Motor Speedway no matter what is racing here, and SpeedTour 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 now annual stop on the SVRA calendar.

Sportscar fans will have plenty to watch throughout the weekend, with no less than four racing series taking to the speedway during the event thanks to International GT, SVRA, Formula Regional, and BMW USA all visiting the circuit for this event.

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