No trip to the city aptly named the Crossroads of America would be complete without a pit stop at the renowned Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500, Brickyard 500 and other NASCAR sanctioned events!
Even for those immune to the thrill of racing, the Motor Speedway is an awesome sight. Standing inside the vast 2.5-mile oval track, it´s not hard to imagine cars whipping by at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour and the viewing stands packed with enough spectators to fill a large city. What is hard to comprehend is that the inside of the track is large enough to house-all together-Vatican City, the Wimbledon campus, the Rose Bowl, Churchill Downs and Yankee Stadium!
For those not content to simply stand on hallowed ground, a $25 grounds tour ticket ($10 for children ages 6-15) buys entrance to the Hall of Fame museum, a bus tour of the race track and access to the Gasoline Alley Garage and other sites usually off limits to the public. The Hall of Fame Museum, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987, houses one of the finest collections of racing vehicles in the world. Among the displays is the winner of the first Indy 500 race, a Marmon "Wasp" driven to victory by Ray Harroun in 1911. Serious racing fans won´t want to miss the opportunity to ride shotgun with a veteran IndyCar Series driver or pilot a single seat open cockpit vehicle around the track-all for a few extra dollars, of course!
Grounds tours are held four times daily March through November. For more information about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including driving directions, tour times and upcoming events, visit www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com or call 317-492-6747.
The Motor Speedway is located just a few miles west of downtown Indianapolis. While you´re there, make it a day and visit the Indianapolis Zoo, stroll along the White River Canal, or drive down Meridian Street to view the beautiful Indianapolis homes of the Meridian-Kessler area.