I am spending my Memorial Day Weekend probably doing what most people living in the midwest are going to be doing walking an insane distance, sweating uncontrollably and joining in the Indy 500 madness on Sunday.
Long before moving to Indianapolis I had heard about the Indy 500 race from my friends and family. Leave it to me to completely overlook the world’s largest single-day sporting event while residing in Indiana my entire life. Last year was my first year finally being interested in attending the Indy 500- and wow, what an experience it was!
In case you need a crash course on the Indy 500, here are a few fun facts about the race:
- 500 miles, 200 laps, 33 racers
- Track fries: More than 24,000 pounds, equal to the weight of an elephant
- Firestone tires teams used throughout the month: More than 4,900
- Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, the Rose Bowl, the Roman Colosseum and Vatican City can all fit inside the IMS oval, which covers 253 acres (infield).
- A good pit stop is 8 seconds or less. That’s super quick!
- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s largest spectator sporting facility, with more than 250,000 permanent seats. If the seat boards from the grandstands at IMS were laid end-to-end, they would stretch 99.5 miles.
And if you’re not familiar with the term “snake pit” all you need to know is this is basically where you want to be if you’re more into partying than actually watching the race. Some people camp out all night, tailgate with barbecue, bring coolers of beer and who knows what else. There is usually a moon bounce of some sort, a DJ/Band, and lots of drunk Indianapolis locals running around.
Last year we were up at 4:00AM just to keep a spot in the infield! The track is two and a half miles around, so when you are standing 100 yards away from the track it is impossible to see any of the race, I don’t know why i was so surprised by this. I knew when the race started but had no idea who was leading or when the race was finally over. It was quite entertaining people watching and watching all of the craziness of that day and I am excited to experience it again this year!