If you’re a petrol head who loves nothing more than to wake up to engines roaring to life, then the IndyCar Grand Prix is not an event you will want to miss. It’s held every year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 4790 W. 16th Street and forms part of the IndyCar Series during spring.
The two-day IndyCar Grand Prix in Speedway, IN, attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year, and there’s no escaping the reason why. It’s a race that serves as a lead-in to the Indianapolis 500 and incorporates a whole host of racing action. From the Indy Lights and Indy Pro 2000 to USF2000 and NTT IndyCar, this event offers it all. Those who call themselves motoring enthusiasts will surely make the time for an RV road trip if such entertainment is on the schedule.
All visitors can also expect plenty of on and off-track entertainment, camping opportunities, and a lot of fun things to see, do, and experience. Practice and qualifying are on the first day, and racing takes part on the second. The event venue will quickly fill up on the second day, so you’ll want to be there bright and early on the first day for camping if possible.
If the time has come for an RV vacation that you won’t be in a hurry to forget, then let it be to the IndyCar Grand Prix. This famous event in Indianapolis will be a highlight for your entire year.
The ticketing process for the IndyCar Grand Prix is quite unusual and is likely to be a process you haven’t experienced before with other activities. Instead of purchasing your tickets, you head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway website and apply for them. You get to make three selections in your price range, enter your credit card information, then wait to find out if you get any of those tickets.
If you miss out on your chosen seating area, a representative may contact you to offer an alternative. Prepare to apply for your tickets months in advance. Otherwise, there’s a chance you might miss out altogether.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the IndyCar Grand Prix, is at 4790 W. 16 St in Speedway, Indianapolis. Access to the site is available from I-465, I-65, and I-70. How you enter the venue (west, south, and north zones) can depend on your exit from an interstate road.
Slow down, allow delays for congestion, and take note of your ticket information to help guide the way. Most importantly, have patience upon entering the city. Remain up to date with traffic levels with the help of a traffic app such as INDOT, and arrive well in advance of the event start time.
When the time comes to drive to the IndyCar Grand Prix, you are going to need to have your wits about you. There are various parking areas available for RVs and day travelers, but many are reserved or booked far in advance. On practice day in past years, parking has been open (and free) in Lot 7 and Turn 3 through Gate 10 from 30th Street. Paid parking is through the main gate into Lot 1A and Lot 2.
On race day, the parking facilities open up to include six lots in total. Some are reserved, others are paid, and some include a mixture of camping and parking. Make sure you check your ticket to align it with your pre-booked parking space of choice.
If you are not camping at the race track and would prefer not to drive your RV around the area while in the area, then you’ll be pleased by the abundance of public transportation options. Indianapolis Motor Speedway provides a rally bus which can bring travelers from over 45 different locations. You can also make use of rideshare services which have been available in the past for pick-up and drop-off on the corner of Gillman and Main Streets. Taxis are usually in operation on the corner of Polco and 10th Streets.
If you prefer to get yourself to the venue, there is an e-scooter route from 10th Street, as well as parking for the scooters once you arrive.
There are paved, dirt, grass, and gravel lots for both tenters and RV-goers. All those who camp on site in any of the four lots must wear their supplied wristband at all times. You can use an above-ground grill or firepit, bring leashed pets, and hook into the available electricity. Dumping facilities, showers, RV repair services, tank water, ice, and wood, are available on site.
If you’d prefer to sleep somewhere quieter, over a crowded campground with racing fans, then you’re in luck. While the onsite camping areas are ideal for many people, those who prefer to camp away from the action can remain nice and close. There are several RV-friendly campgrounds in the general area, some as close as 0.2 miles away. Expand your search to around 15 miles and book months in advance to better your chances of getting your first pick.
There are plenty of transportation options to get you to IndyCar Grand Prix, but the safest mode of transportation once you’re in the gates is yourself. No golf carts or similar are allowed on the grounds, and even scooters that got you to the venue are not for use on Indianapolis Motor Speedway property either. Grab a facility map and familiarize yourself with the area for effortless navigation.
Spring in Speedway, Indianapolis can be quite fresh. With average highs in the low 70s, you can feel comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts but may also like to bring long-sleeved tops and jackets to keep you protected and warm outside. Don’t forget to pack both comfortable footwear and your racing supporter’s gear.
If you choose to camp on site at the IndyCar Grand Prix, then you are fortunate enough to be able to leave much of your belongings in your secured RV. You can then wander around the event site with only the bare basics such as your cash and credit, water, and wristband. Don’t forget to stock up on camping and cooking supplies for the duration of your stay and only bring a small cooler out of your camping area into the main racing venue.
Given that the IndyCar Grand Prix is a two-day event, you are going to want to prepare for all eventualities. Make sure you carry any medical supplies and prescriptions with you in your RV, and sunscreen for if the spring weather decides to turn up the heat.
Those who smoke or use E-cigarettes may do so a minimum of 20 feet away from buildings and seating areas. Smoking is prohibited in the infield and grandstands.
Once you settle into your RV campsite for two days of racing action, you’re bound to work up an appetite. You are welcome to use your grill and above-ground fires, but you won’t be able to experience a traditional campfire as you may have hoped. If you need to head to the shops for some supplies, there’s an international market and convenience store within a three-mile drive of the Grand Prix.
If the time has come to take a break from all those noisy cars, then wander into the City of Speedway for a bite to eat. Even within a few miles of the Grand Prix, you can find yourself in proximity to many established eateries with winning menus. Treat yourself to pancakes, dessert, pizza, fried chicken, BBQ, and more. You won’t go hungry with so much from which to choose.
If you’ve been saving all your pennies for your RV trip, then there’s no better place to spend them than at the vendor concession stands. Satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst at many of the food stalls surrounding the venue, or why not purchase some IndyCar merchandise? There is plenty on offer at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so bring cash, credit, and debit, and hop in line to purchase your favorite items.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway takes safety and security seriously and wants to make sure that the IndyCar Grand Prix is a safe experience for all. Expect yourself, your bags, and your RV to go through a screening process. You can speed up this process by being aware of what you can and can’t bring to the event, and removing it from your bag before you enter.
Selfie sticks, weapons, fireworks, drugs, wheeled transportation, glass, golf carts, and drones are a few of the many prohibited items. You may, however, bring in food and beverages, chairs, umbrellas, carts and wagons, and certain-sized coolers. Check with a security officer if you’re not sure.
Temperatures in spring, early May in Speedway, Indianapolis average between 50 and 70 degrees. While you may not be breaking out the shorts and singlets in a hurry, you're not likely to be sheltering under a rain umbrella in galoshes either. Enjoy the pleasant, mild conditions, but know what you’re in for by checking a weather app before you travel to the racing action.
If you find yourself with an illness or injury that you can’t take care of on your own, then approach a site official for assistance. There are many first aid sites dotted around Indianapolis Motor Speedway, all manned by trained staff who are ready to lend a helping hand. If you require further assistance, talk to an official, dial 9-11, and travel to the nearest hospital, which is around three miles from the race track.