indianapolis speedway museum

Culture + Style

How to Live the Auto Racing Dream at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

Get close to IndyCars, ride the Indy 500 track and stand on the “Yard of Bricks” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s pretty much impossible not to think of the Indianapolis 500 when you think of Indy. If you are a racing junkie, welcome to mecca. You are in the racing capital of the world, known for playing host to one of the world’s biggest motorsports events. If you’ve made it to the race, you lucky dog. If not, you can still live the dream and get under the hood of some of racing’s historic moments at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

You now have permission to geek out. This is the place to get close to those lean IndyCars — anything fast really. Some of the fastest in NASCAR, Formula 1, dragster and even motorcycle racing history represent here. But be patient. Before you try to hug and drive all the cars (Kidding! Don’t touch the cars!), get started in the Tony Hulman Theatre, where a film about the history of the Indy 500 educates and thrills. Then reward your patience by checking out the exhibits, where you can drool over all things vehicle, including Ferraris and uber-cool vintage Duesenbergs and Stutzs.

After gazing longingly at all those fast, fast cars, you’ll probably want to get moving yourself. Lucky for you, the museum offers Track Laps. As long as there’s no race on the tracks, take this guided bus tour for a lap around the track and learn while you do. Now, you can go home and tell all your friends you “drove” the Speedway.

Need more to brag about? The Guided Grounds Tour will give it to you. For about an hour to an hour and a half, you can put your feet on the track, close your eyes, and imagine the exhilaration of racing. You get to stand on the “Yard of Bricks,” a truly transcendent experience for any Indy 500 fan — just think of all the race car drivers who’ve been in that spot. It gets better, though. Your insider’s tour lets you stand on the victory platform (wow!), visit a gasoline Alley hospitality suite and much more. The only way you’re getting any closer is to enter a race yourself.