What to Bring to the Indy 500
Attending the Indy 500 is an easy way to have a great time over the weekend—assuming you are well prepared. The race itself usually lasts three to three and a half hours, depending on how many caution flags come out, and you’ll probably be at the circuit even longer if you come early and linger after. To ensure you have the best Indy 500 experience, make sure to bring the following items:
- Ear plugs. This is a no-brainer for anyone who has been at races before, but if it’s your first time, be warned: these cars are loud. A single IndyCar makes a lot of noise. But 30 cars? That can cause permanent ear damage if you don’t protect your ears. If you forget to bring some with you, you’ll be able to buy some at the track for $2.
- Comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking around. Better not show up in your fancy Gucci shoes or high heels—you’ll soon wish you wore a comfy pair of flats!
- Weather protection. Even if you enjoy the warmth, your skin won’t be happy soaking in ultraviolet rays all afternoon. Bring enough sunscreen for the day as well as a hat and sunglasses; though depending on the weather, you may prefer to bring an umbrella and poncho instead.
- Seat cushion. The grandstand seats at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are not very comfortable. Bring seat cushions unless you want your back and bottom to ache all the next day.
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- Cash. The food courts do not accept credit cards. If you don’t bring food or water with you, make sure to at least bring cash, though you should be able to find cash machines.
- Food and water. If you’re not buying at the courts, make sure to bring your own food and water, especially the latter. You can’t enjoy the race if you’re dehydrated and starving!
- Cooler. The food and water you bring won’t be happy sitting out in the sun or the rain, so best bring a cooler to keep them fresh. However be advised that all bags, coolers, and purses will be checked on race day, and that coolers are restricted to a maximum size of 18” x 14” x 14”.
- Camera. You can bet there will be a lot of action at the Indy 500. You might even get to meet some of the drivers! Bring your camera and take lots of pictures to show off to the world or keep for your memories.
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- Binoculars. Don’t miss any of the action! Bring binoculars to see the cars go round the track even on the opposite side of where you sit.
- Radio scanner and headphones. You’ll have a hard time hearing the P.A. speakers on the track when the IndyCars go by. Bring a radio scanner and headphones with you to tune into the frequencies used by the speedway, the TV channels, and the race teams to communicate. You can also rent some of these at the track.
- Stop watch and speed chart. Time your favorite drivers and use a speed chart to determine their average lap speed. Though the speedway does a good job of keeping you informed of drivers’ speed, this is a fun way to get engaged in the race and to track the speeds of whoever you want, whenever you want.