FAQs about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Q. When did the Speedway first open?
A. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909 as a 2.5-mile oval track after investment and leadership by founders Carl G. Fisher, James A. Allison, Arthur C. Newby and Frank H. Wheeler.
Q. What is the seating capacity of the Speedway?
A. The Speedway is the largest spectator sporting facility in the world, with more than 250,000 permanent seats.
Q. How big is the Speedway property?
A. The Speedway property encompasses 1,025 acres in northwest Indianapolis, including the track, Administration Building, Brickyard Crossing Golf Course and various parking areas.
Q. Who owns the track?
A. The Hulman-George family of Indianapolis and its parent company, Hulman & Company, headquartered in Terre Haute, Ind.
Q. Who is the president of the track?
A. Jeffrey G. Belskus became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation in July 2009 after serving in a variety of finance-related roles for the company since 1987.
Q. How long is the oval track at the Speedway?
A. 2.5 miles. The track has four distinct turns and straightaways, a layout unchanged since the facility opened in 1909. The front and back straightaways are 5/8ths of a mile each, with the “short chute” straightaways between Turns 1 and 2 and Turns 3 and 4 at 1/8th of a mile each. Each of the four turns is 1/4th of a mile long.
Q.What is the banking of the turns on the oval track?
A. Each of the four turns on the oval is banked exactly at 9 degrees, 12 minutes, the same dimensions as when the track opened in 1909.
Q. How long is the road course at the Speedway?
A. 2.621 miles. The track has 16 turns (10 left, six right) in a layout built in 2007-08 for the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race in September 2008. The road course incorporates most of the front straightaway of the famed oval before entering the infield section of the circuit.
Q. Where did the term “The Brickyard” come from?
A. In late 1909, the entire 2.5-mile crushed stone-and-tar oval was surfaced with 3.2 million paving bricks, creating the nickname “The Brickyard.”
Q. When did the bricks disappear from the track?
A. Parts of the track were resurfaced with asphalt starting in 1936. In October 1961, the remaining bricks on the front straightaway were covered with asphalt except for a 3-foot strip, the famous “Yard of Bricks,” at the start-finish line. Many of the original bricks remain under the asphalt surface around the oval.
Q. How do I buy tickets for Speedway events?
A. Tickets can be purchased any of three ways: Online, by phone or in person.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.imstix.com. Tickets also can be ordered by phone at (317) 492-6700.
Visit the Ticket Office on the ground floor of the Administration Building at 16th Street and Georgetown Road in Indianapolis from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. local time Monday through Friday. The Ticket Office also is open on weekends during events.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.
Q. Where can I get directions to the track?
A. A multitude of information for visitors, including directions to the track, is located at the Speedway’s website, Click Here.
Q. Where can I find information about hotels, camping and parking for events?
Q. Is there a museum that features the history of the track and its events?
A. Yes. The Speedway Hall of Fame Museum is located on the grounds of the facility, in the infield between Turns 1 and 2 of the oval. It is the large, white building that fans see as they exit the tunnel while entering the facility at the main entrance, Gate 2, off of 16th Street.
The Speedway Hall of Fame Museum is recognized as one of the most highly visible museums in the world devoted to automobiles and auto racing. In 1987, the Museum and Speedway grounds were honored with the designation of National Historic Landmark.
Approximately 75 vehicles are on display at all times, including race cars from the Indianapolis 500, stock cars, Formula One cars, and a variety of vintage and current race cars. An extensive trophy collection, including the famed Borg-Warner Trophy presented annually to the Indianapolis 500 winner, is on display. The Museum also offers visitors the 48-seat Tony Hulman Theater, featuring a 20-minute presentation of rare historic footage and Indianapolis 500 highlights.
The Museum is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. local time from March to October, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. from November to February, with extended hours during May. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children age 6-15 and free for children 5 and younger. Call (317) 492-6784 for more information or click here for more.
Q. Are track tours available?
A. Yes. Tour buses take visitors around the 2.5-mile oval whenever the track is not otherwise in use or closed because of inclement weather conditions, with stops along the way for narration about interesting and historical aspects of the facility.
Track tours take place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. local time from March to October, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. from November to February, with extended hours to coincide with gate times on event days. Tours are not available on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children age 6-15 and free for children 5 and younger. Call (317) 492-6784 for more information.
A special “Grounds Tour,” which provides an even more in-depth look at the Speedway and its facilities, is available certain days of the year for fans. Call (317) 492-6784 for dates and ticket information.
Q. Was the Indianapolis 500 the first race at the Speedway?
A. No. The first competitive event to take place at the facility actually was a gas-filled balloon race June 5, 1909. The first land-based vehicle race was a motorcycle event Aug. 14, 1909. The first automobile race at the Speedway took place Aug. 19, 1909.
The first Indianapolis 500 took place May 30, 1911.
Q. What other races have taken place at the Speedway besides the Indianapolis 500?
A. Automobile and motorcycle races took place at the track in 1909, and more auto racing took place in 1910 before the Indianapolis 500 became the annual event at the facility in 1911, interrupted only by world wars in 1917-18 and 1942-45. The Firestone Freedom 100 for the Firestone Indy Lights debuted as part of the Indianapolis 500 schedule in 2003.
Stock cars first raced at the Speedway in the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994, a NASCAR event which has taken place annually since then. The International Race of Champions series competed annually at the Speedway from 1998-2003 during Allstate 400 at the Brickyard weekend.
Formula One raced at the Speedway from 2000-07 on a 2.605-mile road circuit that incorporated part of the world-famous oval. The United States Grand Prix took place annually with Porsche Supercup series races serving as a support event from 2000-2006, IMSA GT3 Cup series serving as a support event in 2007, Ferrari Challenge serving as a support event from 2000-02, Formula BMW USA serving as a support event from 2004-07 and Firestone Indy Lights serving as a support event from 2005-07.
In September 2008, motorcycle racing returned to the Speedway with the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP. MotoGP, the world's premier motorcycle road racing series, had all three classes, 125 cc, 250cc and the 800cc MotoGP class, compete on a revamped 2.621-mile road course that used two new turn complexes in conjunction with much of the Speedway’s original road course. The Red Bull Rookies Cup, a developmental series for teenage riders, also served as a support event.
Q. Does the Speedway have a golf course?
A. Yes. A golf course was added to the Speedway in 1929. Renowned golf architect Pete Dye was commissioned to redesign the course in 1991, and the renamed Brickyard Crossing officially opened to the public in 1993. Four holes are located inside the infield of the oval, with 14 outside the back straightaway. A Senior PGA Tour (now Champions Tour) event, the Comfort Classic, took place at Brickyard Crossing from 1994-2000. The course has a full staff and pro shop.
Q. Is Brickyard Crossing a public or private course?
A. Public. Tee times can be obtained 30 days in advance and must be guaranteed with a major credit card. Call (317) 492-6572 or visit www.brickyardcrossing.com for tee times and greens fees information.
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