Written by Wm. R. LaDow

In 1938, at the age of 15, Ray Nichels, went on the road as a midget car crew chief, racing at tracks across America. From 1938-1948, the drivers of the Ray Nichels prepared midgets (campaigned by his father Rudy Nichels) were Ted Duncan, Tony Bettenhausen, Johnnie Parsons, Paul Russo, Mike O’Halloran, and Ray Richards (All members of the Midget Racing Hall of Fame.)

Rudy Nichels shop at the corner of Cline Avenue and Ridge Road in Highland, Indiana in 1947. Working on the two Nichels owned midgets in the front of the garage is 24-year-old Ray Nichels. In the back on the right in the white tee shirt is Ronney Householder, who at the time was one of the most respected drivers in racing. He went on to manage Chrysler Corporation’s racing operations from 1955 thru 1972 – Nichels Engineering Archives

Hammond, Indiana Speedway 5/8th’s mile track w/two Nichels midgets. The car on the left is the #25 driven by Mike O’Halloran and on the right is Teddy Duncan in the #2. Both drivers eventually were elected to the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame. Kneeling between the Nichels cars are from left: Dale “Tiny’ Worley, Ray Nichels and Rudy Nichels – Nichels Engineering Archives

Following his time midget racing, Nichels moved on to Indy cars and eventually participated in 12 Indianapolis 500 races, as a chief mechanic and crew chief. In those twelve 500’s, Ray Nichels won one Pole (1957 w/Pat O’Connor), garnered 2 top-fives (a 3rd and a 5th w/Paul Goldsmith), and 5 top-tens.

Most notable of his top-ten finishes was the 9th place showing in the 1950 Indianapolis 500 of the Russo-Nichels Special. Paul Russo and Ray Nichels constructed this car in the basement of Russo’s Hammond, Indiana home during the winter of 1949-1950. Qualifying in the 7th row, the Russo-Nichels Special captured the imagination of the American racing public by running with the leaders for much of the day, before the rain-shortened race ended at 345 miles. The Russo-Nichels Special soon became affectionately known as “Basement Bessie” as it campaigned on the AAA Championship Trail during the 1950 season. In December, Nichels with Johnnie Parsons behind the wheel won the first-ever Indy car race at the newly built Darlington Raceway. On the season, Ray Nichels and Paul Russo and their hand-built “basement” creation missed the chance to win the National Championship only after a season-ending injury to Russo in the November AAA Indy car race in Phoenix.

Nichels then toiled as chief mechanic for Johnnie Parsons’ entries in the 1953 and 1954 Indy 500 races. In June of 1954, Ray Nichels joined the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company as its chief mechanic for all race tire testing. In their first test together, he and driver Sam Hanks teamed up to set a new world’s closed-course speed record of 182.554 mph at Chrysler Corporation’s newly built Chelsea, Michigan proving grounds in a Nichels prepared Chrysler Hemi-powered Kurtis-Kraft roadster. It would be the first of many world speed records that Nichels and his cars would set over the next 20 years.

In 1957, Ray Nichels and Indiana-based Nichels Engineering won the pole (w/Banjo Matthews) and won the race (w/Cotton Owens) at the NASCAR Grand National Beach Race at Daytona. Two months later, Nichels traveled to Monza, Italy on behalf of Firestone, and set a series of world speed records on the world’s highest-banked oval with driver Pat O’Connor behind the wheel of the Chrysler Hemi-powered Kurtis-Kraft roadster. Nichels and O’Connor then returned to the United States where they won the Pole position for the world’s most important race, the Indianapolis 500. It is believed Ray Nichels remains to be the only mechanic to ever win the pole at both Daytona and Indianapolis in the same year.

Nichels Pontiac 1957 Nascar Victory – (from left) Ray Nichels, Semon Knudsen, Harley Earl, Cotton Owens, Bill France, Sr. – Photo Credit: Nichels Engineering Archives

With his 1957 Daytona win, Nichels expanded his stock car racing business becoming the “house” racecar builder for Pontiac from 1956-1963. Working directly for Pontiac Gen. Mgr. Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen, Nichels managed Pontiac’s involvement in stock car racing from his operations in Highland, Indiana. By 1961, under Nichels’ guidance, Pontiac dominated American stock car racing. Nichels Engineering driver, Paul Goldsmith captured the USAC National Championship with 10 wins, 7 poles and 16 top-five finishes in 19 races. Overall Pontiac performance in USAC was 14 wins, 10 poles and 38 top-five finishes in 22 races. In NASCAR, overall Pontiac performance was 30 wins in 52 races. In 1962, Pontiac’s dominance under Nichels became even further evident as Nichels and Goldsmith won their 2nd consecutive USAC National Championship with 8 wins, 6 poles and 15 top-five finishes in 20 races. Overall Pontiac performance in USAC was 10 wins, 10 poles and 34 top-five finishes in 22 races. Four Nichels Engineering drivers (Goldsmith, A.J. Foyt, Rodger Ward, and Len Sutton) finished in the seasons Top Ten. In NASCAR, overall Pontiac performance was 22 wins in 53 races, with Joe Weatherly winning the National Championship driving a Nichels Engineering built, Bud Moore prepped Pontiac.

In 1961, Nichels Engineering prepared and ran two 1962 Pontiac Catalinas, setting one lap, 500 mile and 24 hour world stock car speed and endurance records at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway. The Nichels Engineering driving team consisted of Rodger Ward, Paul Goldsmith, Len Sutton, Fireball Roberts, Joe Weatherly, and Marvin Panch. Nichels mechanics for these historic speed and endurance runs were Ray Nichels, Dale “Tiny” Worley, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens, and Smokey Yunick.

In 1963, Nichels and driver Paul Goldsmith delivered one of the most lopsided victories in Daytona Speed Weeks history, in the Challenge Cup 250, when Goldsmith piloted the Nichels Engineering #50 Super Duty 421 Pontiac LeMans to victory, beating 2nd place finisher A.J. Foyt by over 5 miles.

In 1963, Nichels Engineering became the “house” racecar builder for all of Chrysler Corporation. Nichels role with Chrysler was identical to his with Pontiac. Working for Ronney Householder, Nichels was commissioned to build the fastest and safest stock cars in the business, disseminate racing knowledge and design technology to all Chrysler teams in support of their collective racing efforts. Working with legendary stock car racers Cotton Owens, Ray Fox, Harry Hyde, Norm Nelson, and Petty Enterprises, Nichels Engineering did just that. It is no coincidence that the most prolific period in Chrysler stock car racing history was 1964-1970. Nichels Engineering-built stock cars won national stock car championships in USAC, NASCAR, ARCA and IMCA, several years running, setting speed records at tracks across America.

Ray Nichels and Nichels Engineering won three (3) National Stock Car Championships in USAC. Paul Goldsmith and Ray Nichels combined to win titles in 1961 and 1962. Then in 1967, Nichels and all-time winningest USAC Stock car driver Don White teamed-up for the USAC national championship.

In 13 years of NASCAR competition, Nichels Engineering campaigned cars raced 223 times, garnering 89 top-ten finishes, 62 top-five finishes, 12 Poles and 11 victories. Nichels Engineering was a winner at tracks such as Daytona, Bristol, Rockingham, Michigan, and Talladega. Nichels also won NASCAR pole positions at Daytona, Talladega, Charlotte, Rockingham, Darlington, Michigan, and Riverside.

Nichels Engineering was a seven (7) time NASCAR winner at Daytona from 1957-1970. Winning drivers were Cotton Owens, Bobby Isaac, Paul Goldsmith (2), AJ Foyt, Sam McQuagg and Charlie Glotzbach.

The drivers who piloted cars built by and/or campaigned by Ray Nichels and Nichels Engineering are synonymous with American racing excellence …. they are Bobby Isaac, A.J. Foyt, David Pearson, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Roger Penske, Paul Goldsmith, Rodger Ward, Don White, Tony Bettenhausen, Richard Petty, Dan Gurney, Junior Johnson, Buddy Baker, Bobby Allison, Gordon Johncock, Pat O’Connor, Paul Russo, Mario Andretti, LeeRoy Yarbrough,Jim Hurtubise, Fred Lorenzen, Charlie Glotzbach, Glenn “Fireball” Roberts, Joe Weatherly, Cotton Owens, Banjo Matthews, Sam McQuagg, Joe Leonard, Len Sutton, Darel Dieringer, Troy Ruttman, Dave Marcis, Richard Brickhouse, Ramo Stott, Ernie Derr, Jimmy Pardue, James Hylton, Butch Hartman, Roger McCluskey, Bobby Johns, Ray Elder, Norm Nelson and Lloyd Ruby.

On April 25th, 1996, Ray Nichels was inducted into Mechanics Hall of Fame within the International Motorsports Hall of Fame located in Talladega, Alabama. On the same day, Indiana Governor, Evan Bayh, awarded Ray Nichels the “Sagamore of the Wabash,” the highest distinguished service honor bestowed upon an Indiana citizen by its governor.

Copyright© 2005 — Wm. LaDow / LaDow Publishing

Image  —  Posted: September 5, 2021 in Uncategorized

INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2021) – Veteran radio and television broadcaster Bob Jenkins, a former “Voice of the 500” inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame in 2019, died Aug. 9 at age 73 after a valiant fight with cancer.

The voice of the Liberty, Indiana, native was heard globally over five decades on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, serving several positions, including chief announcer from 1990 through 1998. Jenkins was one of only four people to serve as television play-by-play announcer in ABC’s 54-year history of broadcasting the Indianapolis 500.

With an easygoing, friendly style that mirrored his personality, the beloved and respected Jenkins anchored NTT INDYCAR SERIES races on television and was a frequent contributor to the public address system at IMS. Jenkins also was a frequent master of ceremonies at “500”-related functions, including the Indianapolis 500 Victory Celebration.

In one form or another, Jenkins was connected to IMS for more than 40 years, and his most familiar call was the thrilling finish of the 1992 race between Al Unser Jr. and Scott Goodyear.

“The checkered flag is out, Goodyear makes a move, Little Al wins by just a few tenths of a second, perhaps the closest finish in the history of the Indianapolis 500,” Jenkins said on radio, his baritone voice climbing a few octaves.

The victory margin of .043 of a second remains the closest finish in the race’s 105-year history.

Jenkins attended his first “500” in 1960 and said he had only missed two races since – in 1961 when he couldn’t get anyone to take him, and in 1965 when he was on a trip as a high school senior. He came to the track last May while fighting his illness to receive the Robin Miller Award, where he made a brief, poignant acceptance speech and was warmly received by a large group of friends and admirers from the racing community and media.

Indiana University graduate Jenkins turned his love of music into a job in radio, first as a news reporter at stations in Fort Wayne and Valparaiso and then at WIRE in Indianapolis as the co-anchor of a nationally syndicated farm news show “AgDay.”

Jenkins, who had attended Indiana dirt-track races with his father, landed his first position in motorsports in 1979 as the backstretch announcer on the IMS Radio Network. His friend Paul Page, a member of that broadcast team and an employee at rival WIBC, helped him land the job. Later, Page helped Jenkins start the USAC Radio Network.

Jenkins was one of the first on-air employees of ESPN when it launched in 1979. For more than 20 years, he was the lead voice of NASCAR races for ESPN and occasionally ABC, including the first seven Brickyard 400s at IMS. His pairing with former stock car drivers Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons became one of the popular trios in motorsports broadcasting history.

If there was a form of motorsports on U.S. television, Jenkins likely was involved with it at some point in his career.

Along with his NASCAR and IMS work, Jenkins anchored for the Indianapolis-based company that produced ESPN’s popular “Thunder” series broadcasts of USAC Sprint Car and Midget series races, and he was the host of “SpeedWeek” on ESPN.

Jenkins’ voice was used in several motorsports video games and films, including NASCAR-centric “Days of Thunder” and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”

Jenkins was a colon cancer survivor in the 1980s and retired from television in 2012 to care for his wife, Pam, who had her own cancer battle. She died that October. In February 2021, Jenkins revealed he had been diagnosed with two malignant tumors behind his right temple following a severe headache on Christmas night.

The track build for the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, the first new temporary street course circuit on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule in a decade, is taking shape for the highly anticipated Aug. 6-8 motorsports weekend in downtown Nashville.

Nearly 75 percent of the 2,000 12-foot sections of a brand-new barrier and fencing modular system are in place on the 2.17-mile layout as work continues this week between 8 p.m.-5 a.m. on the 18-day, Sunday-through-Thursday construction calendar. The state-of-the-art, energy-absorbing system, which meets all the most recent FIA testing requirements, will line the layout that includes the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge and the campus of Nissan Stadium.

The coming days also will include continued improvements such as grinding transitions, adding new expansion joints to the bridge, erecting crossover bridges and releveling manhole covers before they are welded shut during race week. Other significant prior work on the layout included a complete repave for the pit lane area, including entry and exit, as well as creating concrete pit boxes to accommodate up to 30 cars if needed.

The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix is among four temporary street circuit venues on the 2021 schedule – joining St. Petersburg, Detroit and Long Beach – but will be the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ first new temporary street course event since 2011 when the Grand Prix of Baltimore made its debut. The layout and build are being spearheaded by NZR Consulting Principal Tony Cotman, a veteran track designer and builder of temporary street courses.

The signature segment of the 11-turn layout will be the cars racing across the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge, which stretches across the Cumberland River and connects East Nashville with downtown.

“While running over a bridge may be different or new, at the end of the day you are just purely building a racetrack,” Cotman said. “In this situation, the track goes down one side (of the bridge) and then the other, and it will certainly showcase the city of Nashville well. When you see that bridge, you will know where this race is from anywhere in the world.”

So how did Nashville’s iconic bridge wind up in the downtown layout? The proposed course was established from the outset that the Tennessee Titans and Nissan Stadium were going to be vital partners in this event coming to fruition.

“Early on, we were aware that a significant portion of the track was going to involve the Titans’ stadium, not only the track but pit lane as well since there were not a lot of areas that could handle that footprint,” Cotman said. “So, we started on the Titans’ side of the river and branched out looking for straights and the bridge came into play due to the lengths of the straightaways. They are about 3,400 to 3,500 feet in length, which is equivalent to the frontstretch at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The bridge also could present passing opportunities for drivers.

“If a driver gets a better corner exit than another, you will be able to overtake them especially with the width of the track over the bridge,” Cotman said. “Forty feet is the typical width of a racetrack, and we are 40 feet wide on each side.”

However, the prime passing opportunities, according to Cotman, may be Turns 4, 9 and 10, the latter two being left-handers after coming off the bridge straightway.

“That first corner (9) coming off the bridge is as wide as Cleveland and fast with a massive run-off area, so drivers will be enticed, especially with multiple lines into the corner,” said Cotman, referring to the old street circuit that was run on the expansive runways of Burke Lakefront Airport. “Then you have a straightaway from Turn 9 heading into Turn 10 that could be another location for overtaking.”

One of the aspects that Cotman relishes about this layout is the spectator viewing from various grandstands.

“You can’t get away from the uniqueness of the bridge and what it brings,” Cotman said. “Two of the high points are when you see the bridge you know exactly where the race is, and number two is the viewing locations coming off that bridge. Due to the shape of the street and width as well as the barrier locations, there are some great viewing opportunities coming off the bridge.

“Overall, you can see a lot of action from different grandstands, and we really want to put on a good show for the fans. With this being a new event and the teams have no data to fall back on usually makes for a good event.”

On-track action begins Friday, Aug. 6, including the opening NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice at 4:10 p.m. (ET). The weekend culminates Sunday, Aug. 8, with the running of the 80-lap Big Machine Music City Grand Prix NTT INDYCAR SERIES race beginning at 5:30 p.m. (NBCSN).

For more information on the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, visit musiccitygp.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @musiccitygp. Limited single-day grandstand tickets, general admission tickets and festival add-ons are available at http://www.musiccitygp.com/tickets or by calling the Tennessee Titans’ ticket office at 615-565-4650.

Indianapolis (Thursday, July 22, 2021) – Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott and NTT INDYCAR SERIES veteran Conor Daly were named to drive entries in the third Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink on Aug. 18-19 at The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Elliott will compete in the United States Auto Club (USAC) NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship event for the first time. He will drive the No. 9 entry fielded by Paul May Motorsports.

Eight-time Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge starter Daly raced in 2018 and 2019 in this event on the quarter-mile dirt track inside Turn 3 of IMS. The event didn’t take place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year Daly will drive the No. 47D entry fielded by Diaedge Racing.

Tickets are on sale now at IMS.com/BC39. Reserved seat ticket prices for qualifying and the feature event Thursday, Aug. 19 start at $35, the same price as in 2019.

Elliott, 25, earned his first Cup Series championship last season with Hendrick Motorsports. He is fifth in the Cup Series standings this season with two victories, qualifying him for the NASCAR Playoffs for all six seasons of his full-time Cup career.

Georgia native Elliott made two USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget starts in February at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida, finishing 14th and 18th. Elliott also raced in the prestigious Chili Bowl Nationals in January.

Daly, 29, from Noblesville, Indiana, is a two-time veteran of the Chili Bowl, racing in the indoor classic in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2019 and 2020.

The BC39 event on the quarter-mile dirt oval inside Turn 3 at IMS will continue to honor late USAC champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 starter Bryan Clauson and increase awareness of and participation in the Indiana Donor Network and Driven2SaveLives.

This year’s Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink also will be the conclusion of nearly a week of exciting action on the road course and The Dirt Track at IMS. The NASCAR-INDYCAR tripleheader takes place Aug. 13-15, with the Big Machine Spiked Coolers for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard for the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday, Aug. 14 and the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard for the NASCAR Cup Series on the IMS road course for the first time Sunday, Aug. 15.

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, June 2, 2021) – The BC39 is back.

Exciting United States Auto Club (USAC) NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship racing will return Wednesday, Aug. 18 and Thursday, Aug. 19 to The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink. The event is back for its third running after a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in a new calendar slot – the week after the NASCAR-INDYCAR tripleheader at IMS.

Tickets will go on sale soon, with information available at IMS.com/BC39. Reserved seat ticket prices for qualifying and the feature event Thursday, Aug. 19 will start at $35, the same price as in 2019.

“Everyone missed the wheel-to-wheel action of the BC39 last year, and race fans have asked us since last summer when it’s returning to the schedule,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “It’s back – and better than ever. We can’t wait.

“This event delivers two nights of some of the most exciting racing you can see anywhere, and it also raises awareness for such an important cause, the Indiana Donor Network and Driven2SaveLives. We also appreciate the continued support and promotion of USAC Midget racing and the BC39 by NOS Energy Drink.”

The event on the quarter-mile dirt oval inside Turn 3 at IMS will continue to honor late USAC champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 starter Bryan Clauson and increase awareness of and participation in the Indiana Donor Network and Driven2SaveLives.

“Everyone at Indiana Donor Network and Driven2SaveLives is thrilled to see the BC39 return to its rightful place on the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget schedule,” said Taylor McLean, Bryan Clauson’s sister and marketing program specialist at Indiana Donor Network. “The Driven2SaveLives BC39 has not only become a destination event for teams but also a place for race fans to honor Bryan and share how their lives have been impacted by organ donation and transplantation. We cannot wait to celebrate not only Bryan’s legacy, but the legacy of all of those who decided to say yes.”

Fans also can visit IMS.com/BC39 for more information about pit passes, camping and prepaid parking.

This year’s Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink also will be the conclusion of nearly a week of exciting action on the road course and The Dirt Track at IMS. The NASCAR-INDYCAR tripleheader takes place Aug. 13-15, with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and NASCAR Xfinity Series conducting separate races Saturday, Aug. 14 and the NASCAR Cup Series racing on the IMS road course for the first time Sunday, Aug. 15.

Visit IMS.com for more information on tickets to all IMS events in 2021.

Image  —  Posted: May 29, 2021 in Uncategorized

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 28, 2021) – The logo for the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge captures one of the most visible and beloved traditions of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – the winner’s wreath.

The 106th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 29, 2022.

Bold burgundy and gold colors highlight the design that features the wreath presented to every Indianapolis 500 winner in Victory Circle since 1960, when Jim Rathmann triumphed after an epic duel with Rodger Ward.

The core of the design remains the continuation of the type lock-up introduced with the unveiling in May 2018 of the logo for the 103rd Running of the race. This lock-up creates a strong, consistent annual brand appearance for the event, made unique by various new elements each year.

As in recent years, the wordmark leans forward, representing speed and a never-ending commitment to progress. That design is placed over a new shield of dark red.

A gold line encircles the burgundy shield and white wordmark, with the wreath leaves also in gold. The timeless legacy of the “500” and IMS also is saluted through the inclusion of the famous Wing and Wheel logo of the track.

The original winner’s wreath featured “exotic-looking” dark yellow and brown flowers. It was created by Indianapolis-based florist Bill Cronin, who was a consultant for the Rose Bowl parade and 500 Festival parade.

In 1989, the current wreath design was created by adding 33 ivory-colored cymbidium orchids with burgundy tips (representing each of the cars in the starting field of the race), red, white and blue ribbon, checkered flags and a base of cedar blocks inscribed with “BorgWarner.”

Julie Harman Vance, the owner of the Buck Creek In Bloom flower shop in Yorktown, Indiana, has made the wreath every year since 1992.

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, May 27, 2021) – Fans attending the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 30 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway are encouraged to “Plan Ahead” through IMS.com/PlanAhead, an interactive web page that serves as a home base for fans headed to the track this weekend.

The “Plan Ahead” page features detailed information about the entire fan experience at IMS, including directions, parking, schedule, gate regulations, digital ticket and parking guide, ADA accessibility and much more.

Additionally, IMS.com/PlanAhead highlights several key health-and-safety measures being enforced to protect fans, participants, workforce and the broader community. These measures have been developed in consultation with health experts and city/state officials.

There will be horizontal spacing between customer groups in the grandstands. IMS will have cleaning and sanitation processes in place, with hand sanitizer and washing stations readily available. Face coverings must be worn at IMS per the most recent Marion County Public Health order and the event procedures agreement between IMS and local officials.

More Fan Information

All Speedway patrons should be aware of the following to ensure a successful day at the track:

Public Parking:

Parking for the Indianapolis 500 is available in a variety of locations around the track, and infield parking is not available this year. Parking must be purchased in advance. Race fans can visit IMS.com to purchase available parking passes, limited inventory available.

North Zone parking areas are accessible from 30th Street, Lafayette Road and I-465 via 38th Street exit.

  • Parking areas are: Lot 1A, Lot 1B, Lot 1C, Lot 4, Lot 4 Premium and Lot 7 (North 40)

West Zone parking areas are accessible from Crawfordsville Road and I-465 via Crawfordsville Road exit.

  • Parking areas are: Lot 2, Lot 5, Lot 6, Lot 8, Lot 9 and Gate 1

South Zone parking areas are accessible from 10th Street, Crawfordsville Road and 16th Street.

  • Parking areas are: Lot 3G, Lot 3P and Main Gate

Cashless Operations:

All IMS concession stands and merchandise locations are cashless this year. Tap-to-pay phone payments will be accepted, as will credit and debit transactions. Cash-to-Card machines, which convert paper money onto a temporary debit card, will be located throughout the facility. These funds can be spent inside the venue, outside the venue, online or anywhere in the world where Mastercard/Visa debit cards are accepted.

Pedestrian Gate Entry:

Public pedestrian gates open are: Gate 1, Gate 1B.1, Gate 1C, Gate 2, Gate 3, Gate 4, Gate 5B, Gate 6N, Gate 6S, Gate 6B, Gate 7S, Gate 7 Vehicle, Gate 9, Gate 9A, Gate 10, Gate 10A, Gate 11A, Gate 11B, Gate 11C, Gate 12

IMS Museum:

The IMS Museum, located inside Gate 2 of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will be open from 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for guests over the age of 62 and $8 for guests ages 6-15. Children 5 and under and Museum members are free.

Race fans can walk to the IMS Museum from the Speedway’s infield, and a free shuttle will run between the IMS Museum and tram stops located at 6th & Hulman and Tunnel 10. Pedestrians on the south end of the racetrack can access the IMS Museum via Gate 2.

IMS Museum visitors must possess an event ticket or credential to enter the Museum. Gate 2 will not be open for parking at the Museum.

Digital Tickets:

Digital tickets can be accessed on the IMS App or on their smart phone’s web browser. Fans are encouraged to ensure the brightness on their smartphone is turned up before approaching the gate for a seamless scanning of their digital ticket. Race fans are also encouraged to visit the IMS Digital Ticket guide to manage their digital tickets and enhance their at-track experience.

Weekend Street Parking:

Race event parking restrictions in the Town of Speedway will be enforced during the Indianapolis 500. No parking will be allowed on the south and east sides of any street bound by 25th Street on the north, Georgetown Road on the east, Lynhurst Drive on the west and Crawfordsville Road on the south from 6 p.m. Thursday through 8 p.m. Sunday. Additionally, race fans will not be able to park on Main Street in Speedway between 10th Street and 16th Street on Race Day starting at midnight.

Road Closures:

Race fans should be aware of multiple road closures before making their way to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Race Day. Those include:

  • Speedway Police Department will close Georgetown Road at 7 a.m. on Race Day to all vehicular traffic. Guests accustomed to entering Gate 7 should enter through Gate 2 or Gate 10. Local residents are encouraged to make provisions for the temporary traffic restriction. Georgetown Road will remain closed until approximately one hour after the race.
  • Speedway Police Department also will close 16th Street between Olin Avenue and the roundabout from approximately noon until the end of the race. Additionally, 16th Street will not be accessible from Polco Street, as it will be blocked at 10th Street.
  • The Indiana Department of Transportation is reconstructing the I-65/I-70 interchange between the north split and Washington Street in downtown Indianapolis. I-70 eastbound and westbound traffic will be routed around I-465. I-65 northbound and southbound traffic will be routed through the South Split, I-70 and I-465. Drivers southbound on I-65 will not be able to enter westbound I-70, and drivers northbound on I-65 will not be able to enter eastbound I-70.

Additional Resources and Information

Drivers can learn the locations of work zones and highway restrictions by calling INDOT’s TrafficWise at 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) or viewing an online map at pws.trafficwise.org or visiting @TrafficWise on Twitter.

No coolers larger than 18 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches can be brought into the facility, which will be strictly enforced. Fans will be allowed to bring one cooler and one standard backpack or book bag per person.

For more information regarding access to IMS, visit IMS.com. For additional information, follow on Twitter the Indiana State Police @IndStatePolice, the Speedway Police Department @SpeedwayPD or listen to radio stations WFNI-FM 107.5/WFNI-AM 1070 or WIBC-FM 93.1.

The Speedway Police Department can be reached for non-emergency services by dialing 311 on a cell phone. The goal of 311 is to provide an easy-to-remember number for non-emergency services while freeing up 911 lines for timely emergency response.

… from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Image  —  Posted: May 4, 2021 in Uncategorized