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May 05, 2022

Top Events For The Indy 500

The Indy 500 is truly the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, but it’s more than a single race. It’s really a month-long celebration featuring a parade, half-marathon, concerts, and a wealth of other activities for people of all ages. Traditional events like Carb Day, Legends Day, and the Snake Pit concert are finally coming back after two years of pandemic-related cancellations. In other words, the Indy 500 is back in full force.

As The Circle City prepares to welcome fans from across the country and internationally, you won’t have a hard time finding entertainment. If you’re trying to find the top events for the Indy 500 or something to do during May, you’ve come to the right place.

Indy 500 race car on the track 

GMR Grand Prix

May 13: GMR Grand Prix Practice & Qualifying

The world’s best-known racing oval transforms into a 14-turn road circuit for the GMR Grand Prix. Find out who will be starting at the front by going to the practice and qualifying session on Friday, May 13 at IMS. This is a general admission event and children 15 and under are free! Gates typically open around 7:30 a.m. so get there early for your choice of seats.

May 14: GMR Grand Prix

Can budding superstar Rinus VeeKay successfully defend his crown? Will road-race favorites Simon Pagenaud or Will Power take the checkered flag? Get answers to these questions and more by attending the GMR Grand Prix on May 14. This exciting day includes the main INDYCAR event along with races featuring up-and-coming drivers from the following tiers of open-wheel racing:

  • Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship

  • Indy Pro 2000

  • Indy Lights

There is a range of tickets available from general admission to reserved penthouse seats.

Indy 500


May 17-20: Indianapolis 500 Practice – Fast Friday

Diehard race fans will want to be there for opening day on May 17 as the best drivers in the world start their preparations for The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. All practice sessions at IMS are general admission so arrive when the gates open at 9 a.m. to find your perfect spot. The highlight of INDYCAR practice comes on Fast Friday, May 20. On this thrilling day known for extreme speeds and close calls, cars get a turbocharger boost to simulate what they will have for qualifying. Look for the top drivers to establish themselves and see who is likely to land in the pole position.

May 21-22: PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying

One of the top events for the Indy 500 is unquestionably qualifying weekend. Drivers will attempt to land in the top nine on Saturday so they can battle for the pole the following afternoon. All drivers will get a chance to complete the four-lap, 10-mile run and have the option to withdraw their times if they want to make another attempt. The field is finalized on Sunday, culminating in the Fast Nine session which determines the pole and the first three rows of the field. The fastest qualifying time ever? Arie Luyendyk posted an almost unfathomable four-lap average of 236.986 in 1996.

May 27: Miller Lite Carb Day

One of the best parties of the year is Miller Lite Carb Day on Friday, May 27. You will enjoy on- and off-track excitement with Indy 500 practicing, the annual pit-stop challenge, and a concert co-headlined by the Kings of Chaos and Rick Springfield. The music starts with the funk and R&B stylings of Morris Day and the Time. Note that the Miller Lite Stage is in a new location this year on the inside of Turn 3. Here are some key times for Carb Day:

  • 8 a.m. - Gates open

  • 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Indy 500 practice

  • 2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge

  • 3 p.m. - Concert gates open

  • 3:30 p.m. - Concert starts

May 28: Legends Day Presented by Firestone – Indianapolis Motor Speedway and TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park

In a special twist this year, the Firestone Legends Day concert will move out of IMS and into downtown Indianapolis. Country music star Dierks Bentley will headline the show at TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park. The venue features 2,500 reserved seats and 3,500 general admission lawn seats. There will still be events at IMS, including a full-field autograph session and public drivers meeting. Fans can get autographs from their selected table of three drivers. There will be a limited number of fans allowed per table so be sure to arrive early. Gates open at 8 a.m.

May 29: Indianapolis 500 -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway

There truly is nothing like the Indianapolis 500. The unmistakable sound of cars reaching speeds of 230 miles per hour and world-class drivers risking everything to reach Victory Lane. Can Helio Castroneves become the first five-time winner? Will one of the young guns like Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin cross the finish line first in 2022? Witness the Greatest Spectacle in Racing and find out for yourself. While many sections are sold out, you can still get great seats for The Indy 500 from Only Indy Tickets.

Here is the unofficial schedule for race day:

  • 6 a.m. - gates open

  • 8:30 a.m. - Cars moved to pit lane

  • 9 a.m. - Borg Warner Trophy march to the bricks

  • 11:50 a.m. - Driver introductions

  • 12:25 p.m. - National anthem

  • 12:35 p.m. - Singing of Back Home Again in Indiana

  • 12:45 p.m. - Start of the race

May 29: Snake Pit Concert at IMS

After a two-year hiatus, the Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Coors Light is back and the party is sure to be bouncing with some of the top global EDM artists. DJ and producer Martin Garrix headlines the event with deadmau5, Galantis, Steve Aoki, and Yellow Claw also scheduled to appear. General admission and VIP tickets are available. Please note, the party is limited to guests 18 and older and you must also hold a valid general admission ticket to the race.


Miscellaneous Festivities

May 7: One-America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

How would you like to kiss the bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway while participating in one of the top half marathons in the country? The race, which features a lap around the famed 2.5-mile oval, starts and finishes in downtown Indy. There are plenty of water stations to keep you hydrated and a free post-race party to celebrate your achievement.

May 28: AES 500 Festival Parade - Downtown Indianapolis

A family favorite and one of the largest parades in the country, the AES 500 Festival Parade features floats, bands, celebrities, and of course the 33-driver field of the Indy 500. Plan your route in advance and get there plenty early as 300,000 spectators are expected to attend. It’s also advised to use parking garages and lots as there will be limited metered parking available. Special seating is available and tickets go on sale closer to the event. The parade is scheduled to start at 11:45 and ends at approximately 2 p.m.


Year-round: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

Motorsports history comes to life in thrilling detail at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. View race cars from different eras and learn about your favorite drivers from past and present. Kids will get a kick out of getting their picture taken inside the special Photo Car. Admission is free for members and children under five. For non-members, cost is $15 (adults), $14 (seniors over 62), and $8 (ages 6-15). The IMS Museum is open year-round, closing only on Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Get Your Tickets for the 2022 Indy 500

Don’t miss out! If you still need tickets for the Indy 500, the best place to find great seats is Only Indy Tickets. We also have you covered for other top events like the GMR Grand Prix and the Firestone Legends Day concert. Make this month of May one you will always remember.