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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Why everyone should attend the Indy 500 this year

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There is something downright magical about this time of year in our city, and it’s something that everyone certainly needs to experience in their life.

It’s only the absolute greatest motorsports event on the planet, and with it being in your own backyard, how can anyone not take advantage of the iconic Indianapolis 500?

Many of you have already graced the hallowed grounds at 16th and Georgetown in May, but for those of you who haven’t, here’s a few reasons why you need to be there.

First of all, there’s the vibe that is unique to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. From the impeccably maintained grounds to the modern conveniences at one’s fingertips, it’s truly both an entertainment mecca as well as the Cathedral of Racing.

Not too familiar with the history of it all? No problem. 

Just spend some time in their museum and take a crash course on how it’s been part of the fabric in this community for well over one hundred years. Look at the plethora of vintage race cars on display and get a feel for the changes that have occurred over the decades, and you’ll quickly realize a stroll through this incredible world class facility is something everyone needs to see.

You can even ride a bus around the famed oval at your leisure and dream about traveling down the backstretch of this gigantic two- and one-half-mile oval at 230 mph just like the contestants in this year’s race will be doing.

After you’ve completed all the aforementioned, find your way to the frontstretch and sit down to watch some of the greatest athletes in the world as they blast by in their land rockets and feel the rush that can only come from you witnessing an Indycar at speed at IMS in person. There’s absolutely nothing l can compare it to, and it can only be described as truly exhilarating. 

Whether you attend practice or qualifications for the race itself, l must warn you in advance of the high probability that you’ll quickly become addicted to it and find yourself wandering over to the ticket office in search of your race day seat. If it sounds like I’m rather intoxicated by it all, well you are correct, and it has been that way forever now.

I’m willing to wager that those of you who might visit IMS after reading this will feel similar once it gets into your DNA. It’s just that simple. 

Notes: This Friday’s practice is dubbed “Fast Friday,” as it’s the last day the drivers have to practice in preparation to qualify for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Qualifications will be held Saturday and Sunday with the coveted pole position for the race being determined Sunday afternoon.  The field will have a limited practice afforded to them on May 22 before the final two hours of such is granted on May 26 as part of the popular Carb Day festivities, which will also feature a concert performance from Bryan Adams along with opening act Soul Asylum.

If you’d like to get your groove on, then The Snake Pit is for you on race day. The popular dance party features some of the best DJs in the industry, and this year includes a special performance by the legendary Shaquille O’Neal. 

For more information on this and tickets to all IMS events, log on to ims.com for details. 

Danny Bridges, who thinks his ideal residence would be a studio apartment inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, can be reached at (317) 370-8447 or at bridgeshd@aol.com

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