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First Things First:

I feel there is no such thing as bad seats at the giant Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  
I always have a great time no matter where I sit.
If you do not find the seats you want, don't let that discourage you from attending!

Of course, some seats are better than others, and naturally they cost more.

Seats have different good points and bad points.  

Not only are there stands around the outside of the track, there are stands along
the inside as well!

In addition, there are grassy hills in the infield where you can watch the race with
just a general admission ticket.

You cannot see the entire track from any seat.  About the best you can do is see half.

Passing usually happens toward the end of a straight.
General Tips on Choosing Seats
The Problems:

1) The fence post blend into a wall as you look
down the stretch.

2) Many people tend to lean forward which causes
everyone else to have to lean forward to see.  

3) If you watch the cars going by, it means
constantly rotating your head.  You will spend
most of the time looking left at the cars coming
at you, or looking right watching the back of them.  
If you stare straight ahead, the cars are just blurs.  

The Pros:
All the festivities are along the front straight, from
opening ceremonies to the victory podium.  
To best see these and the pit stops and finish line,
sit in the paddock.  The closer to the Pagoda
Control Tower, the better.

Best Views of the long Pit Lane are from the
Paddock and Stands A and C.
The best locations with the widest view
from the corners can easily be spotted by
the camera cages above the stands that
the TV crews use.

Listed below are those sections, but know
that the track is so large, that great views
are available from many sections away
from the sweet spots listed below.

1st Turn - Stand E, section 1 and
Stand B - section 25

2nd Turn - SE Vista, sections 25

3rd Turn - NE Vista, section 12

4th Turn - Stand J, section 30 and
NW Vista, section 1
Sweet Spots in the Corners
Notes on Tower Terrace:

If you sit up high in Sections 37-40, the
pagoda tower will block your view of
the south half of the main straight.

The tower terrace is one of the stands
that have backrests.

If you sit at the very top, you may have
some shade from the suites above.  
Most people will be facing the afternoon
sun with no shade.
Paddock Seats that straddle the Finish Line:

Paddock Boxes 22 - 23
Paddock Section 11
Paddock Penthouse Boxes 14-15
Paddock Penthouse Pressbox Box 1
Looking Straight ahead
Looking Right -
Can see turns 3 & 4
Here are some 3rd Turn photos from 1998.
I was sitting near the top of Section 12 of
the NE Vista.  - a definite "Sweet Spot" as
you can see half the track.
Get a Seat with a Backrest.  Not only is it more
comfortable, it offers a boundry from the people
sitting in front and in back of you.

Places with Backrests:
Decks, Paddock (Sections, not Boxes)
Tower Terrace, Stands A, B, C & E.
Penthouses have stadium-style chairs.

You can also rent seat cushions at the track that
come with backrests!  Once the race is over, you
just leave them there.  Stores sell collapsible
cushioned seats with backrests that you can bring
with you.

Have a Good View of TV Monitor
Jumbotrons allow you to see crashes that happens
on the other side of the track and also lets you
keep track of driver positions. There are huge TVs
scattered around the speedway and most seats
have a view of one or more.  Mainly, the only
spectators that might not have a monitor in view
are those with general admission who are sitting
on viewing hills.

Note: The Jumbotrons were replaced in 2015 with
bigger and brighter high-definition LED HD networked
video boards.
Looking Left, can see all the way down to Turn 2
Sit High
Generally, you want your seats as high as you can get for the furthest view.  

Most seats have a fence between your eyes and the race cars.  Sitting high in some areas allow
you to see over the catch fence, which is nice, especially when taking photos or shooting video.

If you are sitting very low in an area where cars drive close to the wall, the wall may obstruct
your view of the cars when they pass.

Top Row - One of the nicest things about getting top row is that you can stand up and lean
against the fence without blocking anyone's view!  You will be more susceptible to the wind
which can be a good thing on a hot day, and normally it's going to be hot.

Note: Sitting high does not apply to the Penthouse level.  Instead, the front row is the best,
providing an unobstructed view of the track.

Note: The bottom row is usually Row A and the top row is often RR, for stands with 44 rows.
Use my seating guide to check.

Negatives to Sitting High:
When you sit low, you are closer to the track.  The closer you are, the louder and more exciting
it is when cars go by.

If your legs are tired or you
leave often to visit the snack bar or restroom, you may not want to
keep climbing the stairs back to your seat way up high.
There are digital readouts along
the roof of the paddock.
The scoring pylon on the front
straight is north of the Start/Finish
Line.  It shows car numbers in order
of race position.  For instance the
number shown at the top is for the
car that is currently in 1st place.

A new fancy pylon was erected in
2014 that is powered by thousands
of LEDs and is used for flashing
Location of high-definition LED networked video boards
This page discusses choosing reserved seats for an oval race at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

I also offer these similar pages:
Choosing Where to Sit for the Road Course Races
Tips for Watching Oval Track from the Infield
Seating Chart
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Sit Under a Roof.
Get a seat with a roof to protect you from the sun or rain.  The Penthouse seats have roofs.
Also the Penthouse level serves as a roof for the stands below them.  Stands that have
Penthouse levels include the Paddock, Stands A & B and most of Stand E.

If you happen to get top row in stands that have a deck, the deck will shade you from
the sun.

Do not Face the Sun
Depending upon the weather, it is often better to be facing east or north instead of west or
south to avoid the sun shining in your face
in the afternoon.

Arrange Your Parking to be Near Your Seats
If you are buying tickets for the first time, you might consider trying to get a parking pass
from the speedway first.  If you are successful, then begin a search for tickets to the stands
nearest that parking.

(If you cannot get speedway parking, you can just park in the surrounding area closest to
where your tickets are located.  It will probably be cheaper than speedway parking.  I would
rather pay more and have a guaranteed spot personally.  However, I have parked in people's
yards more than I've parked in a designated parking lot over the years.)
For most suites, you have to be invited to get in, or rent one if you have big money.
Beginning in 2016, the Hulman Terrace Club (above Stand C) were created and turned into suites
for the individual who pays by the year or by the event.
 See separate web page About Suites.
The Deck
There is a 2-row set of bleachers 10 feet
above the top of some stands.  They are
usually as expensive as the Penthouse seats.  
They offer an unobstructed view, but have
no protection from the elements.  If you are
in row B, you can stand and lean against the

Stands with Decks include SW Vista, South
Vista, SE Vista, NE VIsta and NW Vista.
Sit in the Corners
You can see more of the track when you sit in a corner.  
Corners provide the widest view of the track AND you do not have to swivel your head as much.  
You may be able to see down an entire straightaway, two corners and a short chute.  
Also, most crashes occur when a car is exiting a corner.
Sitting Along a Straight
The Penthouses are upper decks above the Paddock and Stands A, B and E.

They offer a superior view and in areas in Turn 1, some seats allow you to see the track
without a fence in the way.

There are elevators, small concession stands and restrooms; except for Penthouse E.

The other penthouses were rebuilt in 2016 and a new upper deck was added.

There are 11 rows of seats altogether in Penthouse A & B .  Penthouse E only has 5 rows.

There are support structures that may interfere with your view in the new penthouses if you
sit above row F.  Those sitting below row G have an unobstructed view, unlike people in
Penthouse E.

The seats in rows AA-CC in Penthouse B, closest to Penthouse E, have their view of Turn
1 blocked by the roof of E Penthouse.  
THE EXPENSIVE TICKETS:  Suites, Penthouses and Deck