Things NOT to Take to the Speedway
Related Links:
Spotter's Guide
Shows photos of all the cars with driver names.
Print one
from this page.

The Day's Schedule
I've goofed many times by not taking this!
They probably hand you one when you walk in - Take It!

In case you want to get an autograph.

Radio or Scanner with Headphones
Depending on where you sit, it may be hard to hear the P.A.
There are people renting scanners at IMS.

I try to provide up-to-date frequency lists for those with their
own scanners:

Scanner Frequencies

Stop Watch & Binoculars If You're 'Old School"

The Speedway does a good job keeping you informed of
drivers' speeds.  However,I find it fun to time race cars with
a stop watch.  I can calculate their average speed with a:
Indycar Speed Chart for the oval track.
If you park in the infield, you can bring a keg!  But if you'll be
parking outside the track, have some coolers and ice
unless you want to buy beer.  You cannot buy ice inside the
speedway.  Glass containers are NOT allowed, so buy

A Frisbee or Football
Something to play with in the 3rd Turn infield grass.
If you're not Peyton Manning, you might choose a
NERF in case you hit a car or someone's kid.

Little Red Wagon
These are good for towing large coolers around if you will
be hanging out in the infield or for hauling your drunk friend
back to the car at the end of the day!
No longer permitted
on Indy 500 race day.


Cornhole & Ladder Games
Nice if you'll be hanging out by your car where the ground
is flat.

Lawn Chair or Blanket
If you don't like sitting on the ground.  I use an adjustable
chair for sitting on hills (see below.)

Gondola Tent
Some shade is welcome on a long hot day.

Charcoal Grill
Grill up some breakfast or lunch!  The speedway used to ban
propane tanks, but apparently that rule was dropped in 2020
when Penske took over.
Race Fans Take
Party Crowd Takes
Don't Forget Your Race Tickets & Parking Passes!  
You will need your ticket at the entry gate and at your grandstand.
If you like to keep your ticket as a souvenir, use a plastic ticket holder and lanyard, available for sale at the track.
NOTE: Digital Tickets for your cell phone can be selected when you order your tickets in advance..

In case you park outside of IMS property, or you want to buy a T-shirt from a hawker, etc.  
All IMS concession stands and merchandise locations are cashless as of 2021.

Seat Cushion  
You can buy a foam cushion at the track. Meh.  They do have one that has a back that I'd like to try.
The best cushion is a dense foam rubber one that you can buy at a hardware store for $4.
On race day, you can rent cushion seats with back rests for the stands that don't have backrests.

Camera and Camcorder   
Cell phones are pretty good these days, but dedicated equipment is always better.   
Guide to taking Racing Photos

Can Coolie  

Sunglasses or Hat
Check out what the race car drivers wear - they set the style!

or perhaps
Umbrella / Poncho

Ear Plugs
These can be purchased at the track.

Restricted on Race Day to a maximum size of 18" x 14" x 14".
Note: On race day, expect all bags and coolers and purses
to be searched.

Wet Naps  
These are handy for messy foods.

Backpack or Tote
Save room for souvenirs!

Comfortable Shoes!  
You'll do a lot of walking as well as go up and down stairs.

Small Towel  
For drying your seat after your brother-in-law spills his beer, or it rains.
Things to Take to the Speedway
If you forget something, the Speedway gift shops sells it.
No Pets    
You may be able to sneak your pooch into the infield, but don't try taking it into crowded grandstands.
One time a dog got out on the track before the start of the 500!

No Drugs   
The police will CART you off to jail.  Pot is illegal in in Indiana.
Cigarettes and Vapes are no longer allowed in the grandstands.

No Glass Bottles
Only bring beer in cans.  Pour your whisky into flasks.

No Fireworks or Firearms

No Skateboards, Skates, Golf Carts, ATV's, etc.
*  If you ride a bicycle to the track, you cannot bring it in.  However you may park it outside
  Gates 1,6 or 9, then lock it up.  The speedway is not responsible if it gets stolen.
   (Note: between 2016-2019 the speedway allowed people to park their bicycles inside.)
* You can use a motorized wheelchair or scooter if you're handicapped.

On the plus side, the speedway has tractor-pulled trams that run up the middle of the speedway from
the north end to the south end, carrying people back and forth, but only during the Indy 500.  The
speedway also has courtesy golf carts running around that will give a lift to older people who have trouble
walking the vast distances at the speedway.  There are also people who operate pedi-cabs who can
take 1-2 people anywhere they want - but you have to tip them.

No Drones

Air Horns
While they are popular at Formula 1 races, air horns are not allowed in the stands.
If you choose to hold up a flag in the stands, it cannot block any fans' view.
The supplies I need varies by:
* What is going on that day
* Where I'm parking
* Where I plan to sit
* The Weather and
* How long I plan to be there.

For use on the viewing hills.

While normal lawn chairs can be used along the top of viewing hills, those spots
are all taken early on busy race days.

If you don't go real early and you don't like sitting on the ground,  I found a chair
that allows you to sit on a hill.

I recommend the
GCI Outdoor Everywhere Chair.  It has adjustable straps that
allows you to arrange the chair for different grades of incline.

It is also handy at outdoor concerts where people sit on hills to watch the show.
However, if you prefer soft-sided coolers, I recommend this Thermos cooler because
it has a lid on top that easily opens so  you can grab a beer without having to unzip
the lid every time.  

It also has a zippered external pocket for storage and comes with a strap.

It is also small enough to take into the stands on race day.

Once it's empty, you can sit on it.

I have a large cooler that I leave in the trunk for refilling smaller cooler or for tailgating.
It has wheels and a handle.  If I am parked close to the Carb Day concert, I'll bring it
along to serve as a chair or a platform to stand on.  

If you are going to bring a cooler, get one with wheels and a handle!

The Coleman 16-quart Personal Wheeled Cooler is small enough to use at your seat
on race day!  The handle retracts.  What it lacks is a handle for carrying it up the stairs.  
It was easy to attack a rope handle to this cooler.   
Cooler Modification Instructions
Specific Items I Use

People often use backpacks for carrying their gear.  They're bigger than I need
and you have to take it off each time you need something out of it.

So I like fanny packs.

I recommend getting one that has several zippered pockets.

I found a couple of fanny packs that can hold a "water bottle" on the side.

I chose the
Engyen Waist Bag.  It has several compartments.  It has a stretchy
material on either side to hold a water bottle.  I use it as a place put my open
pint of beer when I need to take a photo.

If you have a large, heavy camera, or one with a long lens, I think the best way to
carry it is with the
Skout sling-style harness, made by Cotton Carrier.

It holds the camera securely to your chest.  It does not bounce around or get in my
way.  The camera can be easily and quickly removed or attached using just one

It is adjustable to fit all sizes of people.

I now have no reason not to take my big camera to the track or on a motorcycle trip.

Cotton Carrier makes a Skout to hold binoculars as well as larger harnesses for
people who need to carry two large cameras.
Home    Contact    About    Site Map    Privacy
Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved