Behind the scenes of the vintage lap at the Indy 500

Behind the scenes of the vintage lap at the Indy 500

It’s just one lap, and is a small portion of the elaborate pre-race Indianapolis 500 pageantry. But it stirs hearts and imaginations like few of the other annual activities. It’s the ceremonial lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway featuring standout vintage machinery and notable drivers behind the wheel.

Taking place shortly before driver intros, the single ear-pleasing lap is anything but straightforward, with preparations for those few minutes next year often beginning shortly after the checkered flag falls.

“We really try to look at potential cars we would like to run maybe a year out now. We look at anniversaries or cars significant for other reasons and get the list finalized quickly,” remarked Jason Vansickle, the IMS Museum’s VP of Curation and Education. “From there we start preparing the cars around September.”

It’s a methodical and detailed process that involves assessing where the car is in its routine maintenance, any major work

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