Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park
Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86
Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park 10267 US Hwy 136 Indianapolis, IN 46234
Year Opened: 1960 Capacity: 30,000
NASCAR Returns to (Smaller) Indy
Racing at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, aka Indianapolis Raceway Park or IRP, has long been a staple of NASCAR’s lower divisions. Both the NASCAR Truck Series and Xfinity Series ran there for years while the Cup Series took on the big oval a few miles away. However, a long absence saw the track somewhat forgotten. However, true fans yearned for a return to the short oval and were duly rewarded in 2022 – the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Truck Series made a triumphant return to the speedway this year, showcasing the best in the sport’s rising talent on one of the Midwest’s best short tracks.
Food & Beverage 3
The food options here are limited; some local food trucks were in attendance at the track, and the raceway’s concessions stands are small, leading to longer lines. However, the options are solid enough and affordable compared to larger sports stadiums. A beer will cost you $10, but other drinks are less expensive, such as water, Gatorade, sodas ($5), energy drinks ($7), and coffee or hot chocolate ($3). Steak burger combos ($15) and chicken tenders with fries ($10) are the two big items on the menu, with others such as hot dogs ($6), nachos ($6), popcorn ($10), and jumbo pretzels ($6) offered as well.
There is just something about Midwest short track racing on a Saturday night – the atmosphere is electric, and with the return of NASCAR you could feel the energy getting more and more palpable. The fans here are hardcore race loyalists, and the facility itself showcases the best of Midwest motorsports.
The short track itself is worn, making for good racing. The stands are tight and close to the track, giving you a feeling like you’re right on top of the action. The turn-one viewing berm offers fans with general admission an alternate viewing angle, getting you closer to the cars than most NASCAR facilities. In addition, the backstretch features a picturesque view of farm fields and silos, making for a true feeling of being in the country’s heartland.
There isn’t a lot around the track itself. Located west of Speedway, Indiana, you will have to venture into the farmland of outer Indianapolis to find this facility. With that said, you’re not but a few minutes from shopping and dining, as well as hotels to stay at. You have the same options as you would at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, being just a few miles west of the large track.
The fans here are without a doubt some of the best in racing – they’re motorsports loyalists, cheering for their favorite drivers with zest. Diehards to the core, many of them have grown up among the tracks of the Midwest, and many more can tell you the history of Indiana’s motorsports triumphs. You will also be treated to the Midwest hospitality Indiana is famous for, which goes a long way in making this a family-friendly facility.
To get to Lucas Oil Raceway Park you can take either I-74 or I-465 as your main routes, with access via US-136 or the Ronald Reagan Parkway. Parking on-site was free and plentiful for this year’s event. The track is also easy to navigate once you’re inside, and traffic flow leaving the event was similarly hassle-free.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets to this race are incredibly affordable; general admission, making up the majority of the lower half of the main grandstands, is $35, with reserved seating, aka the upper half, costing just $45. Coupled with free parking and generally affordable concessions prices, you have a solid return on investment. On top of that, you get two races for the price of one, showcasing the best young talent NASCAR has in its pipeline.
The track is also the site of the Lucas Oil drag strip, home to NHRA every year. In addition, while here you have the ability to walk to the viewing mounds at turns 1 and 4, offering a better view up close in the corners.
Finally, victory lane takes place on the front stretch, right in front of the fans, giving you a great view of the post-race celebrations.
Look no further than Lucas Oil Raceway Park when looking for a good evening of top-tier racing on a Midwest short track. This track has it all, and you can’t get a better deal for NASCAR Trucks and ARCA action in one night. The facility oozes history, and the fans make sure every event is memorable. There are few places that can match the excitement of this facility, and racing diehards flock to it for good reason.