The year 2016 will bring us the 100th Indy 500 race on May 29, 2016. We have only been to the 500 once, in 1984. It was something that was on our “bucket list” for a long time. In 1984, we went on the Great American Race (now called Great Race). That year the GAR started in Hollywood and ended in Indy on 500 week. So, we stuck around and went to the 500.
Now, you may think we’re nuts talking about the 100th race in 2016. After all, any old car nut worth his salt knows that Ray Harroun won the 1911 race with a big, yellow Marmon Wasp that had the first rearview mirror. Or, at least that’s how the legend goes. Back in 2011, Old Cars Weekly even published the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s official 100th anniversary book.
Here’s the secret. Although the first Indy 500 took place in 1911, the contest was not held in 1917 and 1918 due to World War I and was also suspended between 1942 and 1945 because of World War II. These gaps in the history of the race eliminated six 500s, so the 2016 race will be a centennial 500.
The 2016 race also comes five years after the the Indianapolis Motor Speedway started celebrating what it calls its Centennial Era. That three-year-long program highlighted the 100th anniversary of the opening of the circuit in 1909 and the 100th anniversary of the first Indy 500, which was held in 1911.
The 100th race will kick off on Friday, May 27. It will start with the legendary rock band Journey presenting a concert that will be free with Miller Lite Carb Day admission of $30. Race fans wanting the closest access to the concert stage can purchase a $20 upgrade to the Miller Lite Concert Pit. Prices will increase closer to the event, so it pays to order tickets early. The Speedway says that VIP viewing options and packages will be announced at a later date.