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Fans Have More To Look Forward To In 2017

It may be hard for some to remember or believe, but there was a time – about 82 years, to be exact – when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was relatively quiet for 11 months per year.

The great facility on the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road was open to the public for on-track activity only during May for the Indianapolis 500. Otherwise, the 2.5-mile oval sat stately and silent for the other 11 months of the year except for Indy car testing and occasional automotive endurance testing, with a few other exceptions such as the 1987 Pan Am Games.

Those days are long gone.

IMS has become a landmark that lives and breathes with activity more often than ever since the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994 became the second annual event at the facility. Formula One event weekends took place at the track from 2000-07, with MotoGP also here for races from 2008-15.

This year IMS features eight events that span a weekend or longer. And it’s Aug. 1, which was only a week away from the end of the IMS season until F1 arrived in 2000, and we’re only halfway through the 2017 IMS event calendar.

So while the exciting INDYCAR Grand Prix, 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational and Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400/Lilly Diabetes 250 event weekends have come and gone this year, there’s still plenty of action, fun and excitement to come in 2017 at the Racing Capital of the World.

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Here’s an overview of the rich variety of remaining event weekends on the horizon for IMS fans. Tickets for all events can be found at www.ims.com:

Sept. 7-9: Indy Women in Tech Championship presented by Guggenheim

Some of the top women golfers in the world will compete for victory during the three-round LPGA tournament at Brickyard Crossing, a championship-caliber course at IMS designed by legendary golf architect Pete Dye.

The 18-hole course includes four holes in the infield inside the massive IMS oval and has been named as one of America’s top 100 public courses by Golf Digest.

This tournament continues an impressive legacy of pro golf tournaments at Brickyard Crossing, one of the few courses in America to host PGA, LPGA and Champions (seniors) events. The last pro event at Brickyard Crossing was a PGA Tour Champions tournament in 2000, the last of a seven-year run for the senior circuit at IMS.

A PGA Tour event, the 500 Festival Open, took place at Brickyard Crossing from 1960-68. The Masters champions Gary Player, Billy Casper and Doug Ford were among the winners.

An LPGA event, the 500 Ladies Classic, previously took place in 1960. World Golf Hall of Famer Mickey Wright won.

LPGA
Sept. 28-Oct. 1: SCCA National Championship Runoffs

It’s always special when an event or series comes to IMS for the first time, and the SCCA National Championship Runoffs will be no exception.

The 54th Runoffs will come to IMS for the first time as an event that has evolved into the pinnacle of amateur American motorsports.

It’s almost assured there will be more competitors and cars at IMS that weekend than any other event on the calendar. Just 24 hours after registration opened July 19, 763 driver entries were registered, which obliterated the 413 entries made in the first 24 hours for the 2016 Runoffs at Mid-Ohio.

Drivers will compete for National Championship medals in 28 different classes, with 19-lap or 40-minute feature races in all classes taking place on a 15-turn, 2.592-mile road course layout at IMS.

Fans will see an incredible array of machines raced mainly by “weekend warriors” that form the spine of our beloved sport.

SCCA Runoffs
Oct. 14-15: Red Bull Air Race World Championship

IMS has played host to the most prestigious, elite races and series since it opened in 1909, so the Red Bull Air Race World Championship was a perfect fit for its IMS debut in 2016. The series is an official World Championship, just like Formula One and MotoGP were during their respective IMS runs, accredited by the FAI – the world air sports federation.

The Red Bull Air Race features the world's best racing pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, lightweight raceplanes, pilots hit speeds of 230 mph – just like an Indy car on the IMS oval – while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate a low-level slalom track over the IMS infield marked by 82-foot-high, air-filled pylons.

That combination of high speed, low altitude and extreme performance of the aircraft ensure only the world’s most elite pilots will race at IMS.

And the stakes will be even higher this year than the successful inaugural event in 2016 at IMS. This year’s event features the ultimate prize – the World Championship. The Indianapolis race is the last on the 2017 schedule, so it’s a safe bet World Champions will be crowned at IMS in both the Master Class and Challenger Cup divisions.

An American pilot, popular Kirby Chambliss, leads the Master Class standings with just three races to go and could clinch his third World Championship above home turf.

Red Bull Air Race
November-December: Lights at the Brickyard

Families from around Central Indiana and the Midwest received extra holiday cheer through the inaugural Lights at the Brickyard in 2016, and the seasonal event will return in late November through December at IMS.

Lights at the Brickyard consists of a 1.7-mile driving experience through the IMS grounds – including across the iconic Yard of Bricks – for the general public in their vehicles that includes more than 40 scenes filled with 400 light displays, including festive holiday celebrations and racing-themed installations.

Last year’s displays included more than 2 million lights, and this year’s Lights at the Brickyard will be even bigger and brighter.

Stay tuned to IMS.com for more specifics about this new holiday tradition that already has become a hallmark of the holiday season in Indiana.

Lights at the Brickyard
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Fans Have More To Look Forward To In 2017
While the exciting INDYCAR Grand Prix, 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational and Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400/Lilly Diabetes 250 event weekends have come and gone this year, there’s still plenty of action, fun and excitement to come in 2017 at the Racing Capital of the World.
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