Indy 500: Why You Need To Go in 2014
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Indy 500 is coined “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing“, and it really lives up to it.
This year was the 97th running of the Indy 500, which is chock full of traditions. A reading of how the track was created, the release of multi-colored ballons, a rendition of “Back Home Again in Indiana”, the National Anthem, among everything else ‘Murica.
Opening ceremonies were exciting in themselves, and at times chill inducing, which only gave way to an even more exciting grand event. This particular race broke a ton of records including the fastest race completed, the most leader changes and most completed laps. The winner had competed in this historic race 11 times prior to Sunday. Indy 500 winner, Tony Kanaan, walked away $2.3 million richer – in case you were wondering what drives people to compete in this race.
We sat in the stands and had a blast! You can bring your own food, beer, blankets, etc. and you have designated seats where you purchase your tickets, which I believe were $85 each. Sitting at turn three you can see a good majority of the track and we definitely had some of the best seats. Our friends that were in the Snake Pit enjoying shots, AfroJack and corn hole had to ask who won the race at the end, because they basically missed it. Granted, those tickets are only $10 and it seems like a hell of a deal for the concert at least.
Snake Pit/Infield: Where people go to party.
Stands: Where you can actually see the race.
Parking – that’s a situation. Luckily we stayed near by so walking was our best option, but we saw so many people paying $15-$25 to park alongside the main road… here’s a parking tip, if you go a block into the neighborhoods, all of that parking is free, you won’t get towed, and you’ll save yourself around $20 for taking an extra 45 steps.
Camping, hotels or a townee’s place are your options for lodging. We get to enjoy the latter with an awesome couple who allow 10+ people to crash, cookout and spend time in their home all weekend. An enormous group of people camp in the Coke lot the night before the race, which is a big, all-night version of the Snake Pit and Infield, lots of partying and fun. Anyone is welcome to walk down there and hang out with the campers, which we did for a while – you’ll meet some interesting people.
Conclusion – E and I have been dating nearly two years and I’ve heard all types of stories of he and his buddies’ shenanigans that seem to always ensue while they are in Indy. They’ve been going seven years, and prior to my venturing out there, I figured it was just to go drink, cook out, and maybe meet some hot girls. However, while there is much of that (minus the hot girls for E and I, ha) the race actually brings goose bumps to your skin, and that 500 miles feels like it blows by because it’s exciting the whole time. I can-not-wait to go again.
If you’re interested in seeing a race sooner, and closer, you can visit Mid-Ohio Speedway for the Indy 200 in Lexington, Ohio from August 2-4, 2013. We went last year, my first in-person race, and had a great time. You can also camp out there if you so chose.