The Indy 500 is held every year over Memorial Day Weekend and is an American tradition. The 500-mile race, nicknamed the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indianapolis 500 is one of the oldest races in the world and has some of the richest history and traditions. The first 500-mile race that was held at the Motor Speedway took place on May 30, 1911 - back when the rear view mirror was a new invention. Approximately 80,000 spectators showed up to watch Ralph Mulford take the checkered flag in his Marmon Wasp. Between 1912 and 1919, European motorists claimed the top prize in the event, before American drivers returned to dominance after World War I. The Indy 500 race has had many different names including the International 500-Mile Sweepstakes race, the Liberty Sweepstakes, or simply "the 500". The Indy 500 name, however, has stuck for the length of it history. It is considered part of the Triple Crown of motorsports, along with the Monaco Grand Prix, and the 24 hours of Le Mans. Take a look at our Indy 500 Winners page for a full list of all previous winners going back to 1911.
Traditions at the Indy 500 abound, from the call "Gentleman, start your engines..." to the release of balloons during the singing of "Back Home Again in Indiana" and the drinking of a bottle of milk by the race winner. In 1933, driver Louis Meyer asked for a glass of buttermilk after winning his second Indy 500 race, setting off a tradition that persists to this day. Take a deeper dive into the history of the event at our Indy 500 History page. Score with TicketCity - the place to go for Indianapolis 500 NASCAR tickets.
2016 Indy 500 Preview - 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500
The 2016 Indy 500 is set to raise the flag on May 29th, 2016. 2016 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, and is expected to draw record crowds for the celebration. Last year Scott Dixon broke Ed Carpenter’s 2 year hold on the pole position, and will look to add a 2nd Indy 500 title to his resume this year. Defending champion Juan Pablo Montoya will try and be the first person to repeat as Indy 500 champion since Helio Castroneves in 2001-2002. Other favorites to watch for during the 2016 Indy 500 will be Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Tony Kanaan. Qualifying for the 2016 Indy 500 is set for May 21, with practice rounds beginning on May 16.
Check out our Indy 500 Preview History page for previews of previous Indianapolis 500 NASCAR races.
2016 Indy 500 Race Day Schedule
- 6:00AM - Gates open
- 7:00AM - Snake pit opens (Turn 3 Infield)
- 8:00AM - Parade of Bands
- 9:45AM - 500 Festival Princesses Lap
- 10:40AM - Former Indy 500 winner laps
- 11:10AM - Military Tribute Lap
- 11:33AM - Driver introductions
- 12:00PM - Start of the Indy 500
- 6:00PM - Gates close
The Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Address: 4790 W 16th St. Indianapolis, Indiana, 46222
The Indy 500 is held in Indianapolis, IN., at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Each year racing fans travel to Speedway, Indiana, to check out one of the oldest and most significant events in the world of motorsports. The Motor Speedway contains enough seats and infield space to accommodate approximately 400,000 fans, all eager to take part in one of the largest single-day sporting events in the world. Buy Indy 500 tickets today and don't miss the roar of the engines at the Indianapolis 500! Check out our Indy 500 Event Guide for more information on the event.
Seating at the Indy 500 covers 90% of the track. Sections H, C, The Paddock, and A provide a great view of the main straight. Sections B, E SW Vista give a great sightline into drivers coming out of turn 1. S Vista, G, SE Vista and the VIP Suites hug Turn 2. Coming off the back straight the Northeast Vista hugs the entirety of turn 3 and is a great spot to see overtaking as the driver’s power through the back. North Vista, NW Vista and section J cover turn 4 and drivers coming off the last turn and heading in the front straight and the finish line.
Indy 500 Event Guide
Is there anything I can't bring into Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
You may bring coolers but nothing over 18 inches by 14 inches in size and that is the same for purses, backpacks and other bags. You can bring food and beverages into the raceway but no glass containers are allowed.
Can I rent scanners at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
Track-Scan rents scanners and binoculars for raceday. Prices vary but you can get them from $20 to $40 on race day.
Does my child need tickets to get into Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
Any person, no matter what age, will be required to have a ticket to enter andy of the reserved seating areas on Indy 500 race day.
Will I have reserved seating at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
Some Indy 500 tickets include reserved seating, while others are general admission, make sure that you select the Indy 500 ticket with the appropriate level of seating that you are looking for.
Can I tailgate at the 2016 Indy 500?
Tailgating is permitted at the 2016 Indy 500. Participants are allowed to use small portable grills, but will not be allowed to dump the charcoal or ashes. All portable shelters can be no larger than 10 feet by 10 feet.
How can I buy cheap Indy 500 tickets?
TicketCity offers a large selection of Indy 500 tickets which includes some of the lowest priced seats on the market. Indianapolis 500 ticket prices fluctuate based on demand for the races in the months leading up to the racing season. The Indy 500 is one of the biggest NASCAR event of the year, so if you want to bu cheap tickets it’s best to act early. TicketCity has been a trusted source for Indy 500 tickets for 20+ years!