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
Matheus Leist
 
Freedom 100 Winner Leist Completes AJ Foyt Racing Lineup for 2018
AJ Foyt Racing announced that 19-year-old Matheus Leist – from Novo Hamburgo, Brazil – will team with veteran Brazilian Tony Kanaan in the upcoming season.
Read More
TK Foyt Ride
 
Kanaan Looks Forward to May in Indianapolis with AJ Foyt Racing
As Tony Kanaan prepared to sign last month with AJ Foyt Racing for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, the veteran driver did so with goals still to accomplish in mind.
Read More
Legends Sale Announcement
 
Race Fans Can Start Holiday Shopping Engines, Get Great Deals Nov. 18 at IMS
Race fans can get a turbocharged start to their holiday shopping at the 2017 End of Season Sale on Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with great deals available on a wide variety of IMS and INDYCAR apparel, collectibles and more.
Read More
Indy 500 Tickets On Sale Now
 
Month of May 2018 Tickets on Sale Now at IMS.com, IMS Ticket Office
Tickets for all Month of May events in 2018 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including the fifth annual INDYCAR Grand Prix and the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, are on sale now at IMS.com and the IMS Ticket Office.
Read More
2018 INDYCAR Aero Kit Test
 
New Aero Kit Test Sets Stage for Wild Indy 500 in 2018
James Hinchcliffe says he learns something every time he gets to get behind the wheel of his Verizon IndyCar Series car. Because of that, he’s been relishing his role as one of the two drivers tabbed by Honda to conduct manufacturer aero kit testing for the car that will debut in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 553
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 IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21