When is the Indy 500? The 106th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing will be held May 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with race coverage beginning at 11 a.m. ET on NBC.
And for the first time in three years, the Brickyard will be wide open for business. A crowd of up to 300,000 is expected for the 2022 Indy 500, which had a limited attendance of 135,000 last year and was run for the first (and hopefully only) time without a crowd on Aug. 23, 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There will be no restrictions for this year’s event, which also will enjoy the Carb Day and prerace Snake Pit concerts that have been absent the past three years.
Here’s some pertinent information for following this year’s Indy 500:
How can I watch the Indy 500 on TV?
The Indy 500 will be shown on NBC. Prerace coverage will begin at 11 a.m., and the race broadcast will run through 4 p.m., followed by a postrace show on Peacock. It also will be available via streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com. For the Spanish race broadcast, the Indy 500 will begin at 11 a.m. ET on Universo.
NBC Sports host Mike Tirico and studio analyst Danica Patrick return to Indy 500 coverage for the fourth consecutive year, contributing to prerace, in-race and postrace coverage.
NBC Sports motorsports analyst and popular racing personality Dale Earnhardt Jr. will contribute to prerace coverage with Rutledge Wood and also will join Tirico and Patrick on the Peacock Pit Box during the race.
Leigh Diffey will have the play-by-play call of the Indy 500 for the fourth consecutive year with analyst Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe making his Indy 500 debut in the IndyCar on NBC booth. Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Dave Burns and Dillon Welch are the pit reporters.
Practice and qualifying for the Indy 500 will be shown on NBC and Peacock (which will have stream all sessions).
Who is racing in the Indy 500?
Click here for the 33 teams that are entered in the 106th Indy 500. The field includes eight former winners and seven Indy 500 rookies (the most since 2014).
When is qualifying for the Indy 500?
The 33-car field for the Indy 500 will be set over the May 21-22 weekend before the race. Scott Dixon is the defending Indy 500 pole-sitter, qualifying first at the Brickyard for the fourth time in his career.
May 21: Practice, 9-10:30 a.m., Peacock Premium; Indy 500 qualifying, noon-5:50 p.m., Peacock Premium
May 22: Top 12 practice, 12:30-2 p.m., Peacock Premium; Top 12 qualifying, 4 p.m., NBC; Indy 500 Firestone Fast Six, 5:10 p.m., NBC.
When is practice for the Indy 500?
There will be six practice-only days, starting Tuesday, May 17 and continuing through Carb Day on May 27.
May 17: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (oval veterans 10 a.m.-noon; rookies and refreshers noon-2 p.m.; 3-6 p.m. all drivers), Peacock Premium
May 18: Noon-6 p.m., Peacock Premium
May 19: Noon-6 p.m., Peacock Premium
May 20: Noon-6 p.m., Peacock Premium
May 23: 1-3 p.m., Peacock Premium
May 27: 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Peacock Premium
How many fans will be allowed to attend the Indy 500?
For the first time in three years, the Indy 500 will be at full capacity with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions having been lifted. A crowd of roughly 300,00 is expected for this year’s race after there were 135,000 fans permitted last year in the 230,000-seat grandstands.
The infield also has been reopened to fans. The Snake Pit festival will return on race day with a roster of EDM superstars in concert that includes Martin Garrix, Galantis, Steve Aoki and deadmau5.
For tickets to the Snake Pit festival, the Indy 500, the Carb Day Miller Lite concert or any practices and qualifying, click here to reserve a seat.
How many laps and how long is the Indy 500?
The race is 500 miles over 200 laps. Depending on the number of yellow flags, the Indy 500 typically takes about 3 hours to complete (give or take 30 minutes).
What is the size, length, width and banking of Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
The track is 2.5 miles, which consists of:
- Front straightaway: 5/8ths of a mile
- Back straightaway: 5/8ths of a mile
- Turns: Each a quarter-mile.
- Short chutes: Each 1/8th of a mile
The track’s width is 50 feet on the straightaways and 60 feet in the turns. Its turns are banked at 9 degrees.
IMS sits on 963.4 acres (which includes the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, 315 acres of parking lots and a solar farm). There are 17 grandstands, 26 bridges and six tunnels. The infield is 253 acres.
Why do 33 cars start the Indy 500?
There were 40 cars that started the inaugural 500 Mile Race in 1911. Afterward, the American Automobile Association’s contest board decided the field was too big for the 2.5-mile track. A formula was created that decreed each car should be entitled to 400 feet when the field was spread around the track. Because 2.5 miles equals 13,200 feet, that allows for 33 cars at 400 feet apiece.
Why does the Indy 500 winner drink milk?
The tradition began in the 1930s when two-time winner Louis Meyer asked for a glass of buttermilk after his second victory (his mother taught him it would refresh him on hot days). After winning a third time in 1936, a photo of Meyer drinking buttermilk led to a dairy industry executive requesting milk be available annually to the winner. Since 1956, winners have been given a $10,000 bonus from the Indiana Dairy Association for including milk in their postrace celebration.
What is the winner’s trophy?
The Borg-Warner Trophy has honored the winner since 1936. Each victor’s face is sculpted onto the trophy with a square that includes their name, winning year and average speed. Originally designed to hold 80 winners, two new bases were constructed to add more space (in 1986 and in 2004, which provides capacity through 2034).
The trophy is 5 feet, 4.75 inches high and weighs 110 pounds. It’s valued at more than $3 million and also features a 24-karat gold sculpture of late IMS owner Tony Hulman. It resides at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Hall of Fame Museum. Since 1988, race winners have received a 14-inch “Baby Borg” to keep.
Click here for the backstory of how Helio Castroneves’ face was added to the trophy for the fourth time this year.
Which drivers have won more than one Indy 500?
|Helio Castroneves||4||2001, 2002, 2009, 2021|
|A.J. Foyt||4||1961, 1964, 1967, 1977|
|Rick Mears||4||1979, 1984, 1988, 1991|
|Al Unser Sr.||4||1970, 1971, 1978, 1987|
|Dario Franchitti||3||2007, 2010, 2012|
|Bobby Unser||3||1968, 1975, 1981|
|Johnny Rutherford||3||1974, 1976, 1980|
|Mauri Rose||3||1941, 1947, 1948|
|Wilbur Shaw||3||1937, 1939, 1940|
|Louis Meyer||3||1928, 1933, 1936|
|Tommy Milton||2||1921, 1923|
|Bill Vukovich||2||1953, 1954|
|Rodger Ward||2||1959, 1962|
|Gordon Johncock||2||1973, 1982|
|Emerson Fittipaldi||2||1989, 1993|
|Al Unser Jr.||2||1992, 1994|
|Arie Luyendyk||2||1990, 1997|
|Dan Wheldon||2||2005, 2011|
|Juan Pablo Montoya||2||2000, 2015|
|Takuma Sato||2||2017, 2020|
What are the closest finishes in history?
|Year||Winner||Runner-up||Margin of victory|
|1992||Al Unser Jr.||Scott Goodyear||0.043 seconds|
|2014||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Helio Castroneves||0.06 seconds|
|2006||Sam Hornish Jr.||Marco Andretti||0.0635 seconds|
|2015||Juan Pablo Montoya||Will Power||0.1046 seconds|
|1982||Gordon Johncock||Rick Mears||0.16 seconds|