The Brickyard, mecca for race fans…the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on a Sunday afternoon was just the ticket. A $25 ticket, in fact, got us an hour and a half inside the hallowed gates of the Indianapolis 500. For over 100 years, the Brickyard has held the 500, the first race being in May 1911. A two and a half mile oval, once paved entirely of bricks has seen 47,432.5 miles raced in the Indy Car Racing series; 7,600 miles by NASCAR drivers; and additional races by GrandPrix and Moto GP racers. In all, over 50,000 miles raced on a single track. The track service has been undergone many changes over the 100 year history, but the original paver bricks remain in a 3 foot wide section at the start/finish line.
We took a tour today with 21 other race fans that led us in to the Hall of Fame Museum, out for a lap on the track with additional stops at the start/finish line; media center; podium, race control, and spectator suites. It was a great tour. We were able to talk and ask lots of questions; take pictures and generally be in awe of all that we saw. Our tour guide, Patrick, was knowledgeable and friendly, and they even threw in a little rain for the tour, I guess to show us what a rain delay looks like!
Indy was impressive, the massive infield can hold hundreds of thousands of people; over 220,000 tickets are sold for the annual Indy 500; an additional 50,000 + people are generally on hand, as well. To give you perspective, the 328 acre facility that now holds the 2 ½ mile track; the grand stand seating; 130 garages; suites for corporate guests; race control; medical facilities; thousands of employees on race day and concessions for all, could easily hold all of Vatican City, the Rose Bowl, Wimbledon, the Roman Coliseum, Yankee Stadium and Churchill Downs within its’ walls. Wow!
A great day for us, truly enjoyable to get to spend the day at the track, next up…when we can fit it in – an actual race, so looking forward to that.