It's the largest open air arena in the world, with a total capacity of 400,000 people, officially. Race operators don't actually release total attendance number, so that figure is actually more of a recommendation. Getting from one point to any other place is a battle and gets tiresome pretty fast. We won't get into the bathroom situation by the end of the day.
We're pretty sure every single person drives to the Indy 500 in their own vehicle and parks them as lazily as possible. Parking inside the ring is fairly orderly, but outside it's a free for all, with home owners for miles charging upwards of $50 for street parking and campgrounds running as high as $150 for a spot for the Saturday to Sunday stay.
The Caution Laps
With the Indy 500 being such a high speed oval crashes are very common and debris fields get to be pretty big. As a result the caution laps seem to drag on and on and on. It's especially disappointing when the race actually finishes under caution.
Without a doubt the worst part of the Indy 500 is leaving it. If you're dumb enough to stay to the end, expect to wade through hours of traffic and rivers of drunken sunburned fans. The nearest freeway is only about two miles away, but it might as well be a hundred. Do yourself a favor, hang around and take a nap under a tree for a few hours till the madness quiets down.
With the heat and the sun you've got a weapons-grade concentration of shirtless rednecks who shouldn't be shirtless. When future anthropologists study our civilization, footage of race fans from the Indy 500 will serve as an invaluable cross section of the species Homo-Redneckus, as all varietals are represented in their most resplendent forms.
It's Really Just Stock Car Racing
The Indy 500 began so many years ago with an open entry, cars in the past have used turbine engines, diesels, turbochargers, V16's and even wooden body work. Now every car has a Honda supplied engine and every chassis is supplied by Dallara. It's basically becoming the personality-centric NASCAR with prettier race cars.
Hey, here's an idea, run a race in the middle of the Indiana at the end of May, right when the weather is least predictable. Nothing is more frustrating than watching a race finish because of a rain storm, but the crazy humidity and wildly fluctuating temperatures sometimes make the Indy 500 a hot and sweaty mess.
This place is huge. It's a full mile down the long side and a half a mile across down the short side. If you're one of the many without a golf cart you best bring comfy shoes as there's a lot to see and do in the infield, plus you might be better off just walking home considering the traffic.
The Ad Orgy
Everybody with something to sell and an ad budget to sell it with is here, and they've got their logo plastered on everything from the cars to the umbrellas to the giveaway backpacks. Yes, we realize that's just part of racing, but that won't stop us from bellyaching about it.
Okay, let's see, we've got parking, the escape from the race and now we have to add the traffic. This one goes out to the actual inhabitants of Indianapolis. When the Indy 500 comes to the Brickyard it makes a good portion of the city impassable every year and we can't imagine how annoying that can be every single year.