Hendricks County, Indiana, is a next-door neighbor to the Racing Capital of the World, and there are a lot of racing tracks and attractions in and around our county that make us a popular destination for race fans.
Let's take a quick look around the area to see what we can find! For the purpose of this post, I'll use Danville as our starting point, since it is geographically centered in Hendricks County.
Lucas Oil Raceway
You don't even need to leave Hendricks County to find a premier race track! Whether you like racing on an oval or on a drag strip -- or both -- Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg has what you're looking for.
Equipped with a 0.625-mile paved oval track and a 4,400-foot-long drag strip, Lucas Oil Raceway hosts a wide variety of racing events throughout the year, such as the Carb Night Classic right before the Indy 500, the Hoosier Classic in conjunction with NASCAR's Brickyard Weekend, and the world's most prestigious drag race: U.S. Nationals.
Insider Tip: If you go to check out Lucas Oil Raceway, you may also want to take a trip around Northfield Drive and Southpoint Circle in Brownsburg to check out some of the race shops. They sometimes are even open to the public but not always.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Museum
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway needs no introduction. The 2.5-mile oval at IMS is, of course, home to the annual Indianapolis 500. Historically, NASCAR has held its Brickyard 400 on the oval track, but in 2021, they're taking to the 2.439-mile road course, instead, in the Verizon Brickyard 200.
Additionally, IMS is home to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, which is open to race fans year-round. It is located within the world famous oval track and is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, providing visitors with the rich and unique history of the Racing Capital of the World.
- Find Indianapolis Motor Speedway & Museum
- Distance from Danville: 17.3 miles
- IMS website
- IMS Facebook
- Museum website
- Museum Facebook
Speedway Indoor Karting
Just a few blocks south of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the town of Speedway's Main Street, you can get in on the racing action at Speedway Indoor Karting. This state-of-the-art, indoor karting facility provides visitors of all ages and experience levels the opportunity to race on both a European-style, multi-level road course as well as a banked oval.
Guests must be at least 8 years old and 48 inches tall to participate. Participants, ages 8-13, are put into junior karts, which race on a separate track from the adult karts. This indoor destination also has four lanes of duck pin bowling, arcade games and a restaurant on site.
Insider Tip: Another sightseeing opportunity on Speedway's Main Street can be found at the Dallara IndyCar Factory. However, this facility currently remains closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check their website before going to see if it has reopened.
Putnam Park Road Course
The Putnam Park Road Course in Greencastle, Ind., is a paved 1.8-mile course with 10 turns that allows thrill-seekers to drive their own high-performance cars and motorcycles to their limits. Open year-round, members of the Putnam Park Road Course enjoy access to the track, garage bays available for rental and a well-appointed country club.
If you like Figure 8 racing, Faskarts, modifieds, Speedrome Stocks, midgets, Factory FWD, inexpensive family fun, crashes, demolition derbies, complete chaos and more, then the Indianapolis Speedrome is for you.
This paved track is located on the east side of Indianapolis.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Located in Putnamville, Ind., Lincoln Park Speedway is a dirt oval track that hosts winged and non-winged sprint cars, midgets, super stock, modifieds, bombers and more in races throughout the year. It also serves as a leg of USAC's Indiana Speed Week.
Bring the whole family and sit in the stands or bring your own lawn chairs to enjoy the racing action.
Enjoy Friday night racing at the 3/8-mile dirt track of Paragon Speedway in Morgan County. Racing fans will enjoy sprint cars, midgets, modifieds, late models, hornets, bombers and more.
Ben Hur Speedway
This lightning fast 1/3-mile clay track in Crawfordsville is a gold mine for those who enjoy Go-Kart racing. Ben Hur Speedway hosts races every other Saturday from April to October and offers 14 different classes of Go-Kart racing.
The speedway is home to the Indiana State Dirt Championships, the Shookey Summer Shootout, and the Spooktacular.
Wabash Valley Dragway
Enjoy a wide variety of drag racing action in this 1/8-mile-long asphalt drag strip in Terre Haute. Wabash Valley Dragway hosts races from April through October.
Terre Haute Action Track
Right next door to the Wabash Valley Dragway is the Terre Haute Action Track. In addition to your standard dirt track racing fare, the half-mile flat Terre Haute Action Track also hosts USAC Silver Crown and World of Outlaws events. The Tony Hulman Classic in May is a big annual sprint car race.
I also thought you might want to eat during your adventures, so I scouted some eateries that embrace and pay homage to the motorsports industry. They include:
- Pit Stop BBQ & Grill, Brownsburg - Great barbecue and racing memorabilia everywhere. This restaurant is just down the road from Lucas Oil Raceway.
- Charlie Brown's Pancake & Steak House, Speedway - Located within walking distance of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (just a few blocks south) on Main Street in downtown Speedway, Indy 500 drivers have been seen inside this restaurant during the month of May. Racing memorabilia and other themed decor also can be found inside this eatery that embraces its spot in the racing capitol.
- Foyt Wine Vault, Speedway - Also located on Main Street in Downtown Speedway, this upscale restaurant is known for its appetizers, alcohol and A.J. Foyt racecar display.
- Union Jack Pub, Speedway - Located a couple of miles west of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway near I-465, this restaurant is known for its deep-dish pizza and racing atmosphere.
Other Race Attractions
Finally I wanted to include a few places where you can find racing memorabilia and other race-related gifts while you're here. Here's a small list I put together:
- Gearheads, Brownsburg - Located just west of Lucas Oil Raceway, this shop has all the latest diecast and other racing collectibles.
- IMS Gift Shop, Speedway - If you love the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500, there truly is no better place to pick up gifts than at this store inside the IMS Museum.
- Three Sisters and a Trunk, Speedway - This boutique on Speedway's Main Street includes race theme-inspired shirts, a lot of black and white clothing options and other clothing for women. They also have a room that is full of racing memorabilia that you can buy.
- B. Erin Designs, Speedway - Located in the same building as Charlie Brown's restaurant, this retail shop offers Speedway and race-inspired gifts by local artists.