Indianapolis 500 Activities Over Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend means only one thing for the people of Indianapolis and open wheel racing fans worldwide:  it’s time for the Indianapolis 500.

It also means that it’s time for to send our intern—the good one who filed this Super Bowl XLVI report and this summary of the NFL Experience in Indianapolis, not the moron who filed this dumb report on New Year’s resolutions of famous athletes and got himself fired—back to Indy to check out what’s going on around the Circle City for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.  Here’s what he found.

Race Photo from 2008 Indianapolis 500

Carb Day – Friday, May 25

Get the Memorial Day weekend started early by spending the day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, beginning at 8 a.m., when the gates open.  Watch the final practice for the Indy 500 drivers, then there’s the Firestone Freedom 100 race involving cars from the Firestone Indy Light series, followed by the pit crew challenge.  Then at 3:30 p.m. in the infield, some little band you may have heard of—Lynyrd Skynyrd—takes the stage.

For more information, visit this website.

Legends Day – Saturday, May 26

Head back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where, beginning at 8 a.m., you can get inside and get in position for an autograph session with the 33 Indy 500 drivers beginning at 9 a.m.  Then enjoy a vintage car race on the track, an Indianapolis 500 memorabilia show, a public drivers’ meeting, Q&A with Roger Penske, and a chance to get autographs from veteran Indianapolis 500 drivers.

For more information, visit this website.

The 500 Festival Parade – Saturday, May 26

Who doesn’t love a parade?  The traditional 500 Festival Parade starts at noon on Saturday and winds through downtown Indianapolis, delighting an estimated crowd of 300,000 fans who will line the streets to see all 33 Indy 500 drivers, the Indy 500 princesses, floats, balloons, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Motorcycle Drill Team, marching bands, celebrities, and more.  Eight-time Grammy Award winner Gladys Knight will serve as legendary honoree and will ride in the parade.

For tickets and more information, visit

Night Before the 500 – Saturday, May 26

Can’t wait until Sunday for some racing?  No worries.  Hendricks County has you covered with the Night Before the 500.  Activities begin at 2 p.m. at Lucas Oil Raceway, located in the town of Brownsburg, just 15 minutes northwest of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Enjoy Star Mazda, USF2000, and USAC Midget Series racing on the .686-mile oval.  This event has featured A.J. Foyt, Johnny Parsons, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, and Ryan Newman among its past drivers.  Which up-and-coming driver will win it this year?

For tickets and more information, visit

Indianapolis 500 – Sunday, May 27

It all leads up to this:  the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500.  Can Ryan Briscoe win from the pole?  Will fan favorite Helio Castroneves bring home a record-tying fourth Indy 500 victory?  Can Dario Franchitti find his way to the Winner’s Circle for the third time?  Does Scott Dixon have a chance to kiss the bricks for a second time?

You’ll just have to be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with 300,000 of your closest friends by the time the green flag drops at noon.  Gates open at 5:30 a.m.

For tickets and more information, visit

Gentlemen, start your engines!