Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Home of the Indianapolis 500
Experience the Park Indianapolis Motor Speedway Fan Guide
Experience the Infield
Race? What race? The infield is a popular spot to experience race-day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and every fan should try it at least once. To many folks who return year after year it’s the only place to take in a race, although those who gather there are often doing about as much watching as partying… not that there’s anything wrong with that.
The infield has something of a notorious history, and a portion of it earned the nickname The Snake Pit a few decades back. In the 1970s, it became a mosh pit of sorts with heavy drinking, some drug use and occasional nudity, with police keeping a wary eye on everything. Denizens of The Snake Pit would sometimes celebrate the end of a race by streaking or overturning a car and setting it on fire. Variations on this behavior could be experienced into the 80s and 90s until track officials and police began to crack down on the more outrageous examples.
The scene was cleaned up and the number of spectators in the infield dropped off in ensuing years. But it seems to be making a steady comeback, driven in part by college students and other young people. The area inside Turn 3 with its free parking on the grass fills up quickly with tailgaters who break out their grills and coolers stocked with food and beer, as well as the ‘cornhole’ boards for the increasingly popular bean-bag game. While the scene may not approach its Snake Pit past, the infield is still definitely the place for fans who see partying and race-watching as going hand-in-hand. So stock up and get in line early.