Though the Brickyard is open every day except Christmas, pro drivers light up its famous track and road course only four times each year, including the Indy 500. That leaves plenty of idle time for visitors to take a spin around the most famous oval in the world.
Before Victory Laps launched this year, there were two options for a joyride: a cheap, everyman, tour-bus jaunt (free with museum admission) and a fat-cat $499 chauffeured adventure in a racecar through Indy Racing Experience. Victory Laps rings in at only $60—less than a speeding ticket in some places —for two laps around the 2.5-mile track. Choose to ride shotgun in an authentic open-wheel IndyCar, a NASCAR vehicle or a plush Chevy Impala pace car. You can even slip into a fire suit.
Your driver, an Indy Racing Experience instructor, will take the racing line twice around, floating high on the banked curves and passing the pits. On the straightaways, imagine what it must feel like for Helio or Danica to look up and see all 300,000 seats full—and cross the finish line with no other cars in front.
You might wonder why someone would opt for the Chevy instead of an authentic two-seater racecar—which gives you the thrill of riding just 2.5 inches off the ground—but it’s perfect for families. The ride is $60 per car, not person, and three people can fit comfortably in the sedan. Kids aren’t left out, either. The minimum age is 9 years old, and the track fits young riders with a special helmet, seat and neck restraints for safety.
Now dreams might not simply be achieved at the Speedway; they might be born.
Megan Fernandez is a native Hoosier and an executive editor at Indianapolis Monthly magazine, winner of most recent General Excellence award from the City/Regional Magazine Association. Favorite racing trivia: Indianapolis Motor Speedway pioneer Carl Fisher later developed Miami Beach.
MORE SUMMER TRAVEL QUESTS
2) Ride Shotgun Around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway