News & Multimedia

Rite Of Passage At IMS

A lot of our fans first experienced the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a child. I did so as a lanky 13-year-old, exploring the grounds, watching practice from various stands and attempting to sneak into Gasoline Alley numerous times.

As I learned, and as thousands have surely discovered, that first experience at IMS is the moment you get hooked.

For me, it was the sound of the engines, the size of the arena and the bravery of the drivers. I’m guessing you remember your first visit to IMS, and many of the same sights and sounds that I took with me have stayed with you as well. It’s unforgettable.


Waiting patiently for a driver, in 1968


Last spring I brought my young son, Oliver, to the track on a quiet day to enjoy a sunny April afternoon, wanting to share my appreciation for the Pagoda with him.

 

Oliver Sterling Incandela enjoys his first experience at IMS


Within moments, IMS became his playground.

Since then, I’ve worked the three main IMS events and paid closer attention to the kids at our facility. I wanted to think about their exposure to IMS, what got them excited and how we could make a visit to the track an experience that made them fans for life. These youngsters are the future fans and followers of what takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and, so the task is definitely worthy of consideration.

Even if I didn’t work at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I’d still have elaborate plans for Oliver and I to visit IMS – practice days, qualifying, bump day and of course, race day. Everyone needs a rite of passage. He’ll have his chance to establish his first memory, pick a favorite driver – even pick a favorite form of motor sport.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has already taken a big step in offering a Kids Club Membership (my son is a member), and beyond that, we’re always thinking of ways we can bring our fans closer to the racing action. Whether it’s a physical visit to IMS or a virtual visit through our website, we still have more work to do, but it’s important to all of us here.

The younger audience has played a pivotal role in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. One only has to look through our 100 year photographic history to see that. Kids have always been a major part of IMS’ fabric.

Like generations of parents before me, I’m gradually introducing my son to this 102-year-old facility, its folklore, history, heroes and excitement. It’s a tradition I hope he passes on to his children, and so on.

Take a look back on photographs of yesteryear and you’ll understand why it’s vital to cultivate a new audience for the general health of auto racing. And how that first experience at a racetrack has the inspirational power to not only breed the next generation of race car fans, but the mechanics, drivers, owners, sponsors, photographers and journalists that will add new chapters to IMS’ history.
 
PHOTOS: Click below more images of Kids At IMS
 

 
You can also view this story with image gallery on SPEEDTV.com
 
Now – let’s hear your stories about visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time.
 
Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Rite Of Passage At IMS
 
Rite Of Passage At IMS
Like generations of parents before me, I'm gradually introducing my son to the 102-year-old IMS facility, its folklore, history, heroes and excitement.
Read More
Related Media
Daytona
 
NASCAR Kicks Off Daytona 500 Weekend with Can-Am Duels Thursday Night
The drivers of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will take to the track at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday night for the Can-Am Duels. The Duels will determine who starts in the third through 40th positions in Sunday’s DAYTONA 500.
Read More
Hulman Terrace Club
 
On-Sale Now, Hulman Terrace Club Offers Premium Seating for IMS Events
The Hulman Terrace Club, located on the outside of the front straightaway of the famed 2.5-mile oval, features some of the best views of the track plus ADA-accessible seating for fans seeking a club option. All tickets to the Hulman Terrace Club were sold in its inaugural season in 2016. Space is limited, so fans interested in tickets should act now.
Read More
NASCAR Format
 
NASCAR Enhances On-Track Product with New Stage-Based Race Format
NASCAR, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, announced an enhanced competition format that will be implemented in all three of its national series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Read More
Jimmie Johnson
 
IMS Statement on New NASCAR Format
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles release the following statement regarding format changes announced by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series officials this evening:
Read More
Carl Edwards
 
IMS Statement on Retirement of Carl Edwards
Edwards first ran the Brickyard 400 in 2005. He placed in the top ten three times, finishing second in 2008. Over the course of his NASCAR career he compiled 28 race victories, 22 poles and 124 top five finishes.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 718
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
RT @500Festival: They're here! Join us in welcoming the @PrincessIndy500 #PrincessProgram class of 2017! Meet this year's Princesses: https…
about 2 hours ago