United States: 350,000 + Racing Fans Expected at 99th Indianapolis 500


More than 350,000 racing enthusiasts are expected at the 99th running of the Indianaplis 500, which effectively kick starts the Memorial Day Weekend – popularly thought of as the start of summer in the United States.

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Gate 1 entrance to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Photo Credit: Christopher Ziemnowicz.


Memorial Day is celebrated in different ways in different cities across the United States. Perhaps one of the most iconic celebrations of all is the Indianapolis 500.

The Memorial Day Weekend gets off to a roaring head start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Wednesday 20 May 2015.

The 2.5 mile long Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909. The First Indianapolis 500 was held in 1911.

Known as the Brick Yard, the speedway was originally paved with 3.2 million bricks. It was paved with asphalt in 1938.

A 36 inch section paved with the original IMS bricks remains at the start and finish line.

Here's what's in store ….

  • Wednesday 20 May – pit stop practice, IMS bus tours, IMS Racing Experience, and Fan Track Laps;
  • Thursday 21 May – practices in the morning and qualifies in the afternoon;
  • Friday 22 May – a practice, a race, a pit stop challenge, and 3 concerts;
  • Saturday 23 May – Legends Day at the Track, autograph sessions, question and answer sessions, and live performances;
  • Sunday 24 May – 99th running of the Indy 500.

This year's Indianapolis 500 is predicted to be the fastest ever. If anything sets the Indy 500 apart from almost every other sporting event on earth, it never really sells out. Owing to the venue's massive size, tickets are ALWAYS available – even the day of the event.

But the same can NOT be said about accommodation. Hotels, motels, and safari-like 'glamping' tents are already fully booked (time to start thinking about next year).

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