No sporting location in Indianapolis holds more prestige and history than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Built in 1909, this 107-year-old race track has held some of the most important moments in all of racing. The grounds of this hallowed track seep with history and allure. From the famous yard of bricks to gasoline alley, no racing venue has more pomp and circumstance.
There is something indescribable about visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The heady mix of history and importance brings about a certain air of myth to the area. As someone who has been there several times in different roles, I can tell you this never really changes. It's almost like being part of a legend when at the track. Seeing those of racing royalty only several feet in front of you can have quite an impact.
All of this is even without the elements of an actual race. Most of this feeling can occur just from being at the track before you see any cars. Then you add in the parts to make a race. Thousands of fans in the stands, the roar of the cars as they make their way around the track, announcements from the PA about the latest lead change: it all makes for one complete experience.
Now, the feeling does change a little depending on whether you're at the Indianapolis 500 or the Brickyard 400. The 500 is the race that the Speedway is most known for, making it the capital of racing. The Indy 500 is billed as the greatest spectacle in racing, and boy is that tagline fitting. Going to the Indianapolis 500 is an experience one most likely won't forget. The traditions, the fans, and the race itself makes it the most memorable experience in the racing world of both today and yesteryear.
The Brickyard is a little different, as the race has been around a lot less time. There isn't quite the history to hold it to the standard of the Indianapolis 500. However, considering its location, the Brickyard also has that slight feeling of having a history much longer than itself that makes an event exciting. Thinking about what has come before at that same exact location makes the anticipation all that much better.
There is nothing quite like being at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the month of May. One has to truly be there to understand. It's what keeps people coming back and loving the Speedway more than any other race track in the world. Hopefully, you too can feel that on a warm sunny day in May sometime soon.