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Start your engines: Indianapolis 500 returns in May

If you're considering joining in on the fun of the Indianapolis 500, start shopping Indiana rental cars now and prepare in advance for this massively popular competition. It takes place every Memorial Day weekend, which often falls at the end of May, at the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With its rich and long-running past, the historic race attracts more than 1 million visitors each year. Learn more about the exhilarating event and gear up for some of the most heart-pounding moments in sports history.

About the Indianapolis 500

The Indy 500 was established in 1911, just two years after its home track was built. The Speedway is a much-beloved feature of the city, and the course spans 2.5 miles - large enough to fit the Rose Bowl, Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, Vatican City, Roman Coliseum and Wimbledon Campus within the 253-acre oval infield.

Known as Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indy 500 lets some of the world's most talented open-wheel drivers go head-to-head for a chance to win the Borg-Warner trophy, which is delivered in victory lane during an intriguing ceremony. During the race, spectators can experience a delightful sports tradition - a performance of "Back Home Again in Indiana" by a guest singer who is backed by the Purdue marching band (it's been sung by American music icon Jim Nabors every year since 1972).

More features of the Indy 500

Race day is a great opportunity to taste the flavors of Indiana. Restaurants, wineries and breweries from the area set up shop at more than 100 food and drink stands on the grounds. There are also other activities to make the Indy experience exciting, such as a grand party in the Snake Pit that features live music, dancing, beach games and food trucks. Keep in mind that parking can be difficult during the massive event, but you can guarantee yourself a spot for your Indianapolis car rental by purchasing a parking placard in advance.

Other activities in Indianapolis

Make your trip for this one-day event a long weekend trip and use your Indianapolis 500 car rental to see the attractions of the Midwestern locale. Explore the galleries of the Indiana Museum of Art, peruse the books lining the shelves of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and learn about the locale's role in health care's past with a visit to the Indiana Medical History Museum.

To spend some time among nature, drive to White River State Park at the edge of downtown, where you'll find colorful gardens and a walkway that shows you the sparkling waters of the Indiana Central Canal. It also contains a plethora of cultural sites, including the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art (it has masterpieces by Georgia O'Keeffe, Frederic Remington and other world-famous artists) as well as a zoo and science museum. Sports fans will especially love this spot - it's home to the NCAA Hall of Champions.

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