The Indianapolis 500 open-wheel car race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the day before the American Memorial Day holiday. The race was first held in 1911.
The race consists of 200 laps around a unique 2.5 mile rectangular oval circuit. In recent years, the top qualifying lap speeds have exceeded 225 miles per hour, with straightaway speeds exceeding 230. The Speedway can hold up to 400,000 spectators.
The 2012 IndyCar season features a new formula of car, with the return of turbo-charged engines, a new chassis designed for improved driver safety, and three competing engine manufacturers (Chevrolet, Honda, Lotus).