SPEEDWAY, Ind. – The 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 is May 27, but the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum offers a lot for fans outside the month of May.
Currently two exhibits are on display for racing fans of all ages.
For families, IMS offers the ‘Offenhauser Petting Zoo,’ an exhibit named after the Offenhauser engine.
At most museums, visitors aren’t allowed to touch anything, but here it’s the exact opposite.
This hands-on display is in a room full of car engines with an area where the engines are taken apart. Here, kids are invited to handle the different components of a race car’s engine to get an idea of how they work, how heavy the parts are and where the engine’s sound comes from.
For children interested in a STEM career, the museum’s assistant curator says this exhibit may be perfect for the next generation of engineers.
“We want the children to interact with the Offenhauser Petting Zoo,” said Jason Vansickle, Assistant Curator at the IMS Museum. “Maybe start to cultivate this desire or passion of whether it be racing or just a STEM component, this science, technology, engineering, math that is part of racing as a whole.”
Another component in this display area is to highlight the sounds of May at IMS. A separate area offers a touch screen where kids and adults can learn about the different engines that have raced at IMS and listen to how they’ve changed over the years.
This display runs until April 1.
The other display currently at the IMS Museum is the Camaro display, where visitors can see the Camaros that have paced the races over the years.
The Camaro debuted in 1967, and that was the first time it paced the Indianapolis 500.
To date, the Camaro has paced the Indy 500 nine times and the Brickyard 400 three times.
It’s second in the number of paces for the race, only behind the Corvette.
This exhibit is open until March 25.
In April, the Unser exhibit opens, showcasing the Unser family’s nine Indy 500 wins. That will run through October.