The quaint town of Crawfordsville in Midwestern Indiana is home to the Annual Ironman National. The last weekend in August is the perfect time of year for this awesome race where spectators can enjoy watching both pros and amateur riders race for the gold.
When the trees are just beginning to turn their beautiful fall colors, but the sun is still close enough to keep you warm, you can jump in the RV and head to the racetrack for the weekend. If you love listening to those bike engines revving and the crowds cheering on their favorites, you will enjoy the Ironman National.
The Ironman National was named in honor of Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) ATV Champ Bob “Ironman” Sloan. Bob was born in Indiana and wanted to see a GNCC event in his home state. However, the Ironman track was not built until 1995, after Bob was gone. The track has become more popular every year and has grown from one race once a year to being busy and overbooked all year long.
Whether you are here to watch your favorite rider or just come for the sport and camaraderie, you’re sure to fit in here. Some of the hills and jumps on the track are the Lucas Oil Launch, Hoosier Hole, and the massive Godzilla. Bring a camera to get some awesome shots to share with your friends, and don’t forget to visit the food court and Sponsor Village to check out the latest in motocross racing items.
The ticket prices vary quite a bit depending on whether you want to just come for one quick race or if you are staying all weekend in the campground. VIP Super Tickets include all kinds of special privileges like a free buffet, Pro Pit access, private restrooms, and souvenirs. These tickets have gone for about $200 in the past.
The Holeshot Club gets you a private viewing area, Pro Pit access, and admission for the whole weekend. These are usually about $100. Preferred camping includes a campsite close to the action for the whole weekend and usually costs about $150.
Just an hour’s drive from Indianapolis and two hours from Gary, the Ironman National is held in Crawfordsville, Indiana every year on the last weekend in August. Easily accessible from I-74 to the north, east, or west, you will have no trouble finding the track. If you are coming in from the south, you may take US-231 or IN-47 to County Road 200 South to arrive at Ironman Raceway.
Parking has been free for the Ironman National in the past, except on Saturday when there is a small fee. However, the lot fills up fast, so it is best to get there early or be ready to walk from your parking space to the raceway. As an RV or campervan driver, you would do best by getting a camping ticket, so you don’t have to worry about parking. The main parking lot for fans is just past the campgrounds and staging area at the northern end of the track.
Montgomery County has a train and bus service, but services may not bring you directly to the raceway. You can call a taxi service or use a rideshare app in the area, but the walk may be longer. You can also check for shuttle services if you are staying at one of the nearby campgrounds. If you are trying to order food, many of the restaurants will deliver or you can use a food delivery app for this as well.
You won’t find any electric, water, or sewer hookups at the Ironman campground because it is primitive. It is literally a giant grass parking lot. It is important to bring plenty of water and a cookstove to prepare meals. Generators are allowed but not during quiet hours. All spots are first-come, first-served, and you will be guided to the next available space when you arrive. Preferred camping tickets are more expensive because they are closer to the action. If you are curious about length limits, you may want to contact the track for specifics.
The closest RV campground is less than five miles away if you would rather stay somewhere less primitive. The Crawfordsville KOA is 4.8 miles to the north on US-231, and it has 61 campsites with a ton of amenities, including electric, water, propane, and Wi-Fi. They also have a pool, cable TV, pet walking services, RV clubs, and ice cream socials. Nearby you can also find a campground with 76 campsites, several that have full hookups. They also have two ponds and a variety of different playgrounds, ballfields, and canoe rentals.
Wheeled transportation such as pit bikes, golf carts, scooters, bicycles, and Segways are not allowed outside of the course action. You won’t have to walk around too far, though, if you don’t want to because the park is not that big. Wheelchairs and strollers are allowed, of course. Bring a backpack or cooler with wheels to carry around your necessities.
Indiana pre-fall is not usually too hot, but it has been known to be in the 90s in some years, so bring a variety of different clothes with you. T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, and jeans are all good choices. A long-sleeved light shirt and a hat are good to keep the sun off your skin, and comfortable shoes are essential. You may even want to bring a light jacket because it can get a bit chilly in the evening.
You are allowed to bring food and beverages, including alcohol, but no glass bottles. Your best bet is to use a cooler with wheels or pull a wagon to carry your stuff because you are not going to want to lug a heavy cooler all the way to the track from the campsite or parking lot. Take a camp chair, binoculars, a camera, and a radio, too. The race will be announced live on MXFM 88.3 FM so you can keep up with the action.
It can be hot during August, so make sure you pack a water bottle to keep you hydrated during the race. Although the track sells drinks and snacks, you probably won’t want to leave your viewing spot to visit the food court until the races are over, so enjoy a snack with your water. Wear a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses to protect you from the sun and bug spray to repel those creepy critters that come out when the sun goes down.
It's always a good idea to bring a grill to cook on at any campground, and there are no utilities like electricity or water at the Ironman Raceway, so pack what you need. A camp stove, propane, and cooking utensils, as well as extra water for both cooking and drinking, are top items to consider. There are a few local grocers and convenience stores nearby if you need to grab some last-minute items, too.
A plethora of food choices is waiting for you just outside the track. No matter whether you are looking to sit down to a nice relaxing meal or just need to run through the drive-thru at a fast-food place, you can find it all in Crawfordsville. Asian cuisine, burgers and fries, seafood, and tacos are all within a few minutes of the track.
Make sure you save some room to try some of the tasty snacks the vendors have to offer in the Food Court, which is just to the west of the entrance at Gate 1. The sponsors and other vendors will also be on-site with previews of new bikes and other racing paraphernalia.
Security headquarters is located at Gate 1, the main entrance. The officers will be stationed around the park as needed. However, it is best to lock up your valuables while you are away from your campsite. Also, motocross races can be hazardous, so when you come to the event, you are accepting any risk of injury or damage to personal property. Keep your loved ones and yourself a safe distance from the racetrack and other areas where you could get hurt.
The end of August is warm pretty much everywhere across the country and Indiana is not much different. Expect temperatures in the upper 70s to lower 80s and lows in the upper 50s and lower 60s. Rain is possible, but not common at this time of year. Check the weather forecast before packing because the weather can vary a great deal as summer turns to fall.
There are two first aid tents at the Ironman Raceway for your convenience. One is at the entrance to the park at gate one, and the other is near the Media Center by the finish line. If you need a hospital or pharmacy, the closest is Franciscan Health on US-231, about five miles to the north.