“Glamping” (glamorous camping) has arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway even before the cars. Call it April Madness, but a group of journalists spent the frigid Tuesday night there to see if the accommodations are up to snuff. Oh, cute, I thought upon arriving and spying the heavy, waterproof safari-like tents in the infield. I quickly realized what an understatement that was when I stepped inside my designated dwelling. This is nicer than my room at home! Inside I found a color-coordinated queen bed—not an air mattress, a bed—and on that bed, plumped pillows. And on those pillows, York Peppermint Patties. There were even flowers on the nightstand. While defrosting close to the fire, I realized: There’s something special about sitting under the stars at a globally renowned track, something fans at the Speedway for over 100 years have never been able to do. I could almost imagine hearing the accelerating vrooms of the cars.
So why would someone spend $650 for a four-night stay (that’s for two cots and a pair of tickets to the race, Carb Day, and Legends Day—packages go up to $1,100 if you want a queen bed) when rates at two-star hotels at the airport are half of that? Here are some of the selling points, besides the location:
- Those hotels are sold out.
- Your temporary neighbors will love racing just as much as you do.
- No need to bust out the tacky sleeping bag. All linens are provided.
- You will be able to brag about the experience of falling asleep in the IMS infield without getting “the eye” from concerned relatives at family gatherings.
- You can take a midday nap. Sitting in the sun all day can be tiring.
- If you take a party foul (i.e., spill beer on your shirt or wear the same Tony Kanaan shirt as your wingman), you can change in the privacy of your own tent.
- You have a bed to jump on if your longshot favorite takes the lead. Kidding—don’t do that.
- More time at the track means a better chance of meeting a driver—many of whom rough it at the track themselves (in luxury motorhomes). Right? It’s worth a shot.
- Speaking of shots, you won’t have to drive home. Need I say more?
See more information at indy500snakepit.com
Exterior photo by Heather Lloyd of The Blue Mare sports blog; interior photo by Doug Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway