May 24, 2012  |   By Tom Surber

Indianapolis 500 Fans Urged To Take Precautions Against Heat


With unseasonably high temperatures expected for Miller Lite Carb Day on Friday, May 25 and the 96th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, fans are encouraged to take precautions to avoid heat illness, according to the Speedway’s medical staff.

Temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 80s for Miller Lite Carb Day and the lower 90s for the Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

“It’s going to be hot and actually the most important thing is that it’s going to be humid, and humidity is a bigger factor than the actual absolute temperature as far as heat-related illnesses,” said Dr. Geoffrey Billows, medical director of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
To prevent heat-related illnesses, fans are encouraged to:

  • Drink plenty of water regardless of activity level
  • Limit intake of beverages containing caffeine and alcohol
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, or at minimum, a light-colored ball cap
  • Take “shade breaks,” using the Speedway’s grandstands and trees
  • Wear sunglasses and apply sunscreen regularly
  • According to the Speedway’s medical staff, those at highest risk for heat illness are:
    • Children and the elderly
    • Persons with a history of heart failure, heart disease
    • Persons with a history of previous heat exhaustion
    • Persons who are overweight
    • Persons suffering from illness and fever

IMS officials suggest fans take the time to explore the numerous places at the track to cool off, which includes the Hall of Fame Museum. There are 78 misting stations on the grounds, with many located underneath the stands. Misting tents are located at the IU Health Emergency Medical Center in the IMS infield at Fifth Street and Hulman Boulevard, and near the walkover bridge on Hulman Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets. There also will be a number of cooling buses located throughout the facility.

In addition to the infield Medical Center, first-aid stations are located around the property, as well as numerous paramedics and certified emergency medical technicians on foot.

For fans who want to bring their own beverages to try to beat the heat, no coolers larger than 14 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches can be brought into the facility. These restrictions will also be observed in the Miller Lite Carb Day viewing area and the Snake Pit on Race Day.