In the racing world, few events outshine the Brickyard 400, a Sprint Cup held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway annually since 1994. In fact, it’s become Nascar’s biggest event, drawing roughly a quarter of a million spectators each year who take part in four days of camping, country music and other aspects of track culture.
For first timers, the event can be overwhelming. To help you navigate the hustle and bustle of race weekend, here are four insider tips for getting the most out of the event.
1. Arrive Early (and Buy the Super Ticket)
Though the weekend’s marquee event, a NASCAR Sprint Cup race, doesn’t actually happen until Sunday at 1 p.m., the event’s promoters bill it as a multi-day affair: “Four races. Three Days. One Track.” In reality, though, insiders and race fanatics typically arrive on Speedway grounds on Thursday, July 25. That’s when camping lots open, and there’s also a parade to kick off festivities. On Friday, there’s a GRAND-AM Road Racing event. And on Saturday evening, there’s a Nationwide Series race.
Bonus tip: General admission tickets are $30 per day (which would cost you a total of $120 if you arrived Thursday and stayed through Sunday). But if you’re planning on attending all three races, you might consider nabbing the Super Ticket for just $80. If you’re planning on making it a family affair, kids 12 and under get in free with an adult ticket holder.
2. Bring Your Camping Gear
To make the most of the weekend, consider setting up camp on Speedway grounds, which feature both tent and RV lots. Check out Bass Pro’s wide-ranging selection of camping supplies to gear up for the weekend.
3. Bring a Sharpie
With racing stars such as Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Danica Patrick at the event, don’t get caught empty-handed during one of the many opportunities you’ll have to score autographs. Also, don’t forget to bring race gear they can sign.
4. Attend More Than Just The Races
From country music acts at the Brickfest Music Festival to street festival, the Brickyard 400 is more than a race. If you only head to the track for the race, you’re missing out. For more details on the event, check out IMS.com