Sights, Sounds and Smells of Indy

I’m not sure why but I was very aware of the sounds and smells while at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this last weekend. Ironically IMS asked on Twitter today which is more important to you the sight or sound of the cars. Most responded that they go hand in hand. I agree I’m incredibly thankful I don’t have to choose and also that I am able to enjoy all my senses but I did wonder what was most important the sights or the sounds. Of course somewhere in the mix is the smells. They add a lot to the experience.

Edit- since I first started writing this piece I’ve seen so many people mention the smells. I guess after not being able to attend last year we are all so appreciative of all the ways the Speedway touches our senses. There is nothing quite like the smell of IndyCars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


  • The enormity of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • Cars flying by
  • Flowers moving in the wind created by the cars from cameras during the broadcast.
  • The beautiful Pagoda
  • The improvements Roger Penske has made from paint to flowers.
  • Blue sky- or clouds moving in.
  • Twitter or Facebook updates
  • Flags waving, both from the stands and more importantly from the flag stand.
  • Massive crashes and seeing drivers walk away uninjured.
  • Balloon release
  • Flyover
  • Winners drinking the milk.


  • The cars
  • The cars
  • The cars (c’mon we all love the sound)
  • Public address
  • Play by play on radio
  • Cheering
  • Flyover
  • Crashes
  • Taps- the crowd is silent
  • Back Home Again in Indiana
  • Command to start engines
  • The cars 😉🏎


Okay I’m not good at describing the smells but between the heat on the pavement when you arrive, the smell of the ethanol and tires as you enter the track and of course the concessions there is nothing quite like it. I breathe it all in deeply. I’ve been to a monster truck event and the exhaust is way to suffocating but when outdoors and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the smell of the ethanol, along with the rubber on the track is diluted by enough fresh air to make it the perfect mix. I inhale deeply and feel my stress melt away on my exhale. I love the smells of IndyCar just as much as the sights and sounds.

So I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you love the most? Thank goodness most of us are able to enjoy them all, including feel and taste. Hope you get to enjoy them this beautiful Month of May!

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