SPEEDWAY — The Indy 500 is this Sunday and like any year, there is more to attending than just showing up. We have compiled things you need to know before making your way to the track on race day.
Step one to attending the race is of course dodging and waiting through traffic as 300,000 others make their way to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.
After that comes the journey of finding parking.
According to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, parking for the Indianapolis 500 is sold out, including ADA and motorcycle parking. All IMS exterior parking lots open at 5 a.m. on race morning, while interior lots open at 6 a.m.
Hundreds of homeowners and businesses will likely be offering parking in exchange for cash. Those spots will be first come first serve.
After parking, and maybe hanging for a few to lower your blood pressure from the drive-in, it is time to head into the track.
Gates will open after the sounding of the cannon at 6 a.m.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway has outlined what will and will not be allowed into the track. Read about what you can (small coolers) and what you can’t (firearms, fireworks, trampolines and more) in our recent story.
For the first time since the 103rd running, the Indianapolis 500 is expected to return to its full glory with a full crowd on hand.
Traditions return this year and others will continue as honoring fallen military members and honoring the state of Indiana remains a focal point of the event.
This year’s pre-race festivities for the Indianapolis 500 are a carefully organized and choreographed show that will entertain race fans at any moment they are in their seats.
According to IMS, the pre-race festivities will feature two flyovers, military tributes, a DJ on the Pagoda 3 stage, former Indy 500 winner and historic race car laps around the famed 2.5-mile oval, the heartfelt singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana” by Jim Cornelison, the national anthem sung by Broadway star Jordan Fisher, blockbuster actor Miles Teller waving the green flag to start “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and more.
Festivities will begin with the Borg-Warner Trophy March to the Bricks at 9 a.m. and continue to the drop of the green flag.
Fans will also be able to see celebrities like country music star, and event grand marshal, Blake Shelton walk the red carpet as well.
You can read our recent story on the full race day schedule here.
This year’s Indy 500 starting field features eight past race winners, including three that have already won the race multiple times.
Helio Castroneves will look for the record by scoring his fifth Indy 500 win. He starts 27th.
Takuma Sato (10th) and Juan Pablo Montoya (30th) each are looking for their third Indianapolis 500 wins.
Simon Pagenaud (16th), Alexander Rossi (20th), Will Power (11th), Tony Kanaan (6th) and Scott Dixon (1st) will each look to score their second Indy 500 win.
Defending runner-up and series champion Alex Palou will start second in his quest for win No. 1.
Hometown favorites Ed Carpenter (4th) and Conor Daly (18th) will aim to keep the Borg-Warner Trophy in Indianapolis.
Seven rookies will start the race. The group is highlighted by seven-time NASCAR and four-time Brickyard winner Jimmie Johnson (12th).
Other rookies include Romain Grosjean (9th), David Malukas (13th), Callum Ilott (19th), Devlin DeFrancesco (24th), Kyle Kirkwood (28th) and Christian Lundgaard (31st).
This year, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will work as a cashless operation.
This means concessions at IMS will be cashless. The only forms of payment accepted will be credit card, debit card and tap-to-pay phone payments.
Cash-to-card machines, which convert paper money onto a temporary debit card, will be located throughout the facility. These funds can be spent inside the venue, outside the venue, online or anywhere in the world where Mastercard/Visa debit cards are accepted.
Parking and gate locations will accept cash.
Tickets Still Available
There are still around 10,000 grandstand seats left for the race. Tickets can be purchased at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.