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May '11

Travel to the Indy 500

This May marks the 100th anniversary of the first running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race – more commonly known as the Indy 500, or just “the 500.” This Memorial Day, May 29, race cars will once again roar around the track in Speedway, Ind., an enclave of Indianapolis.

            While the race is always thrilling, the weeks leading up to the waving of the checkered flag are filled with excitement, too. Race fans flock to the speedway, commonly known as “The Brickyard,” on practice days and qualifying days. With only 33 starting positions available in the 500, qualifying heats can be exciting races in themselves.

            If you choose to drive to Indianapolis or rent a car while there, May 25 – Community Day at the Speedway – presents an opportunity to drive your vehicle around the famous oval track. Visitors can also spend time in Pit Lane and collect driver autographs. You can also hunt for autographs on May 28 during the pre-race Drivers’ Meeting, which is open to the public. Also on that day, the IPL 500 Festival Parade kicks off at noon with all of the qualifying drivers, the Festival Princesses, cartoon characters, floats and bands.

            Talk with your travel professional about options for traveling to the Indy 500. Many tour packages combine transportation, accommodations and tickets for pre-race events and the race itself. You may want build in some other activities, such as golf, a bike ride along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail or a visit to the world-class Indianapolis Zoo.

If you’d like to among the 400,000 fan who will watch the 100th anniversary race, talk with your travel professional as soon as possible. And, be sure to pack some earplugs – you’ll need them when the roar of 33 racing engines fills the Speedway.

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