The Greatest Spectacle In Racing takes place in 25 days with the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge taking place at the legendary Brickyard, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indianapolis 500 is the biggest single-day sporting event in the world with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway taking the honor of being the largest sports venue in the world.
So what makes the Indianapolis 500 so special I hear you ask? Well, for one thing, it has given us incredible sporting moments and dramatic finishes such as the famous spin and wins, following a miraculous recovery by Danny Sullivan to win the 1985 Indianapolis 500.
The Speedway has also given us such greats as Bobby Rahal who won the race in 1986 and other winners such as Buddy Rice, Rick Mears, AJ Foyt Foyt, Bobby Unser, Dan Wheldon and Dario Franchitti.
We have also seen three generations of the same family compete at the Indianapolis 500 from legend Mario Andretti who won the race in 1969, his son Michael, who now operates Andretti Autosport, one of the most successful teams in terms of victories at the Speedway in recent years with five wins in 2005, 2007, 2014, and back to back in 2016 and 2017.
The Indianapolis 500 saw a tradition unique to the race born in May 1933, when Louis Meyer asked for a glass of buttermilk following his second win. This tradition lives on to this day with the Indiana Dairy Association providing the milk to the winner and a famous saying coming into being – Winners Drink Milk!
Not only does the winner drink milk but they also get their face etched on the famous Borg-Warner Trophy. There are other traditions too, such as the public drivers meeting which is held on race day morning.
Main Street, in Speedway, is the best place to go following the race with one of the best places to eat is Barbecue and Bourbon, where if you are lucky in the week leading up to the race if you are lucky enough to be Indy to enjoy the atmosphere you may spot, IndyCar Series veteran Tony Kanaan and some of his crew who are regular visitors during the month of May.
Another good place to eat is Dawson’s on Main Street. If you are lucky enough to have a general admission ticket for Carb Day which takes place on the Friday of the race weekend, you will get to enter the famous Gasoline Alley where you might be lucky enough to meet a driver or two.
Three Sisters & a Trunk on Main St (a couple of doors down from Dawson’s) for fabulous black & white fashions and accessories and race souvenirs (including authentic IMS bricks)! Mug n Bun on W 10th St at Lynhurst for Hoosier tenderloins, homemade root beer & other culinary delights and Long’s Doughnuts is also a great spot.
This season, due to the COVID 19 global pandemic the events building up to the race around Indianapolis have sadly been canceled however, fans will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indianapolis 500 for the first time since 2019.
When it comes to the race itself, in 2021, all 24 full-time NTT IndyCar Series drivers will compete in the race and attempt to qualify for one of the 33 spots on the grid.
There are a number of part-time entries this season including Stefan Wilson for Andretti Autosport, two-time Indianapolis 500 Juan Pablo Montoya who will compete for Arrow McLaren SP, while three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves returns to the race with Meyer Shank Racing.
RC Enerson will also attempt to compete in the race for Top Gun Racing while Sage Karam will once again compete for Dreyer and Reinbold Racing. AJ Foyt Racing has two additional drivers this year with Charlie Kimball returning to the race while JR Hildebrand who has driven for DRR in the past has made the move to Foyt.
In a wonderful story for the NTT IndyCar Series, former automotive industry executive, Beth Paretta has teamed up with Roger Penske for technical support from his Team Penske organization to run Paretta Autosport with Simona De Silvestro in the race.
Practice for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge begins on Tuesday 18th May before qualifying takes place on Saturday and Sunday 22nd and 23rd May. On Saturday, the final row will be set while on Sunday the Firestone Fast 12 will be set with the front row also decided.
Drivers are allowed to trade their bad times for another run if they want to. Carb Day is the final opportunity for the teams to dial in their race day setups.
For more information about the Indianapolis 500 visit – https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/