Maggie moved to Indianapolis from Austin, Texas, in 2016 and has lived in Speedway for 4 years. She moved to Indy to work for the Indianapolis Airport Authority at the award-winning Indianapolis International Airport (IND) and has since worked on behalf of the community to gain new nonstop flights. She is a proud Speedway resident and champion of all things Indy, wellness, and racing. Maggie is an alumni of the Mitch Daniels Leadership Fellowship, sits on the Speedway Community Development Corporation, and teaches yoga at Practice Indie in downtown Indianapolis.
Speedway, Indiana, is a home for racing fans and kind neighbors.
Speedway, Indiana, is a small town on the west side of Indianapolis that gleans its name from its most famous resident: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On a normal day, Speedway is home to just over 12,000 residents across its 4.5 square miles, but every Memorial Day weekend, over a quarter million people come visit for the Indy 500!
On this one day in May, Speedway hosts the largest single day sporting event in the world. Fortunately, most visitors to Speedway love our town as much as we do, and we shine brilliantly throughout the entire month leading up to the 500-mile race. After all, if anyone knows how to celebrate over a century of racing tradition and innovation, it’s Speedway!
Anyway, you get the picture—Speedway is a very exciting place to be in May. But would you enjoy living in our town the other 11 months of the year?
My answer is absolutely yes! With a walkable main street, beautifully maintained parks, friendly neighbors, exercise trails, highly rated schools, and the ideal local geography, the whole year feels just as perfect as May in Speedway.
Speedway is more than just a racing town.
If Speedway is the center of the IndyCar racing world, Main Street is the heart and soul of Speedway. On any given day, you will find busy restaurant patio tables and nearby workers gathering for a beer after a long day. You’ll notice kids riding bikes in the designated bike lanes and joggers getting in some miles on the walking paths. There’s ice cream for humans and puppy treat boxes for our four-legged friends.
If you look close enough, you’ll find a creative co-working space, go-kart racing, and local art and music on display throughout the town. Our latest addition, the Wilshaw Apartments, overlooks Main Street and offers residents the convenience of downtown apartment amenities with a refreshing small-town feel.
Speedway is an ideal location for your family.
In addition to our charming Main Street (which I’ll speak about more later), Speedway is also home to an award-winning public school system. Speedway has four public elementary schools, one public middle school, and one public high school. In 2020, Speedway High was recognized as one of Indiana’s eight Blue Ribbon High Schools, which recognizes the school’s academic excellence. Way to go Speedway Spark Plugs!
And speaking again of engines, Speedway is the perfect location for an easy work commute. We’re less than 15 minutes from downtown Indianapolis, located right on the west side of the I-465 loop with hassle-free access to the rest of the Indy region! In the opposite direction, Speedway is also an easy 15-minute commute to my office at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND). Every time I drive to work, I am so thankful for my close proximity to the airport—and especially so on the days I have to wake up at the crack of dawn for an early flight.
Wind down in Speedway’s quiet public parks.
When I’m looking for a break from the roar of engines—car and airplane alike!—it is nice to visit one of Speedway’s two public parks. Despite its small 4.5 square-mile footprint, Speedway has over 25 acres of public park space across Meadowood and Leonard Park.
Between the two parks, there are multiple playgrounds, pavilions, sand volleyball courts, baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, and walking trails to explore. And in the summer, the town hosts a Speedway Summer Nights live music series once a week at Meadowood Park. It’s one of my favorite ways to meet neighbors and enjoy a beautiful summer evening.
Speedway is an excluded city of Indianapolis with its own elected town council that appoints a Town Manager. The Town Manager is responsible for the day to day operations of the town’s utilities and departments.
The Speedway Historic Home District is just west of Main Street and dates back to the town’s origins in 1912. The original purpose of the neighborhood was to give automotive factory workers a place to live near the industrial plants.
The Speedway section of the B&O Trail was one of 17 trail sections to receive funding from Governor Holcomb’s Next Level Trails initiative. When completed, the trail will run from Eagle Creek through Speedway to Allison Transmission.
Speedway is a kind community that looks out for one another.
Everybody’s grandma lives in Speedway—or, at least, so the saying goes. At face value, I think it’s sweet, funny, and probably a little bit true. (Regretfully, my grandma does not live in Speedway, but I wish she did.) The saying alludes to a much more charming part of Speedway that is hard to experience until you become part of the resident fabric.
We support and care for our older residents in Speedway.
Many people that moved into Speedway in the 1950s and 1960s are still in those homes today, or they passed down those homes through their family generations. According to the last census, about 13% of Speedway residents are over the age of 65 and living alone. And let’s face it, taking care of a home is no short order at any age.
To support these more established and cherished neighbors, the volunteer-led Speedway Community Development Corporation and Speedway Housing Advisory Council work together to host the semi-annual Speedway Home Helpers Day. The Council accepts applications for house projects, and town residents lend their time and elbow grease to tackle each project.
Young professionals and new homeowners find a caring community here.
With such a kind and generous mix of neighbors, it’s no wonder Speedway has such loyal and long-standing residents. As a first-time homebuyer, I did not know the value of caring and trustworthy neighbors until I hit the jackpot in Speedway. My neighbors have been kind enough to grab a package from my doorstep while I was traveling, check on the house during a cold spot, save our game night with a wine opener, and text me a reminder that parking is only allowed on the west side of the street during race weekends. (I always seem to forget that rule.)
And despite the grandma saying, I know a lot of young professionals and young families who live in Speedway. Some do live here to be closer to family, while others moved here because it shortens the work commute. Some (like myself) are charmed by a beautiful bungalow with 70-year-old hardwood floors carefully maintained over the years by—you guessed it—someone’s darling grandma who decided to downsize.
Regardless of the reason for living here and the range of life experience, we all share a mutual adoration of Speedway and embrace the responsibility to take care of one another.
Experience a day in the life here in Speedway.
I am a firm believer that seeing is believing, especially when it comes to choosing where to live. A lot of people experience some version of Speedway thanks to the Indy 500, but as I’ve mentioned, Speedway has a lot to offer outside of May, too. Consider this your invitation to experience life like the locals!
Wake up in the morning with delicious breakfasts.
If you were my guest, we’d start the day with breakfast at Charlie Brown’s Pancake and Steak House. If we got there early enough, we might catch some locals finishing their coffee at one of the two horse-shoe shaped breakfast bars up front. This is hallowed Speedway ground.
Normally, my breakfast at Charlie Brown’s involves a side of cakes, which prompts the need for a walk. I love to take a stroll down Main Street to check out the various handmade goods at B. Erin Designs, see the latest clothes at Three Sisters and a Trunk, get lost antiquing at the three-level Main Attraction Antique Mall, or pick up a treat at City Dog’s Bakery.
Spend the afternoon with fun adventures and things to do.
When hunger strikes us again, we won’t have to go far. For a sit-down lunch, we can have tacos at Tacos & Tequila, barbecue at Barbecue & Bourbon, steaks and salads at Dawson’s on Main, or pizza down at Big Woods. If we needed something a little quicker, we might head around the corner from Main Street to The Famous Tomato for a fresh salad, soup, and chili. You can even snag locally grown produce, hard to find hot sauces and rubs, or pick up an old-fashioned soda pop. (My Texan mother will be so disappointed to hear me say pop instead of “coke.”)
After lunch, it’s time for competition—Speedway style. Speedway Indoor Karting (SIK) offers the fastest go-karts in town with top speeds of 40 mph, although it feels even faster when you’re driving. Hopefully, we’d run into SIK owner and beloved IndyCar driver, Sarah Fisher for some driving tips.
SIK also offers axe throwing, duckpin bowling, and arcade games upstairs in their 1911 Bar and Grill. We can sit upstairs to overlook the go-kart track or escape on the outdoor patio by the fireplace.
If you’re not feeling the high-stakes competition or if the day is just too gorgeous to be inside, we can also take a walk through the beautiful historic neighborhood just west of Main Street. I love to see the various porch swings and traditional home facades.
Relax in the evening with (more) good food.
After some afternoon activity, it will be time for a beer. Daredevil is just a couple steps away from both karting and the historic home district. The brewery’s expansive patio and cornhole area is my favorite outdoor spot on Main Street. Alternatively, we could head across the street to A.J. Foyt Wine Vault for a glass of wine and the best charcuterie board in town. The cozy setting is reminiscent of the Texas-born racer’s roots and a sweet reminder of my hometown just outside of Houston.
If root beer is better for quenching our thirst, we will take a quarter-mile drive to one of Indy’s oldest drive-ins, Mug-N-Bun. They are famous for their homemade root beer and charming drive-up service. I always tell myself I won’t get the onion rings, but I always get the onion rings, and I never regret it.
Speaking of more food, do you want to stay for dinner? Like I mentioned before, Main Street offers more than six different dine-in restaurants, each offering a different and authentically Speedway experience. We could also take a three-minute drive to Union Jack Pub for a deep-dish style pizza. And regardless of where we eat, the perfect way to end a fun day in Speedway is ice cream at Fundae’s.
- School Town of Speedway
- McGilvery’s Pub
- Long’s Bakery
- Daredevil Brewing Co.
- Main Attraction Antique Mall
- Three Sisters and A Trunk
- B. Erin Designs
- Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Museum
- Dallara IndyCar Factory
- Speedway Indoor Karting
- 10 Miles from Indianapolis Airport
- 15 Minute Drive
- Meadowood Park
- Leonard Park
Speedway helps you build your own racing traditions.
Living in Speedway is wonderful all year long, but there is nothing like Speedway in May. Imagine sipping a cup of coffee on your porch, listening to the faint sound of professionally-tuned rocket ships humming in a symphony of aeronautical and automotive excellence in the background. Welcome to (almost) every morning here in May. It is mesmerizing. It’s energizing. It’s thrilling. It is the heart and soul of Speedway.
Speedway celebrates the Indy 500 like no one else.
Most people in Speedway look forward to May all year. Racing and transportation innovation are inseparable from the identity of our town. And while most of us celebrate May as a community, we all have our own unique traditions.
The first weekend in May kicks off with a different kind of race: the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. I always enjoy waking up early to find the perfect spot to cheer on the runners as they pass through Main Street. The marathon path leads them from downtown Indianapolis to Speedway, around the 2.5-mile race track, and then back to the finish line downtown. The energy is always palpable, and I’m not even running!
That momentum continues throughout the rest of the month. On any given afternoon in May, you can spot a porch party or backyard barbecue to celebrate the spirit of racing. One of my big traditions is inviting my brother and sister to fly in for the weekend of the Grand Prix race. We get to enjoy the speed, sights, and sounds of IndyCar and IMS without the careful planning required by the big race.
Everyone in Speedway has their own race day traditions.
Everyone’s race morning looks a little different, steeped in their unique traditions. A few of my neighbors wake up early to park cars in their lawns (yes, really), while some sit in lawn chairs with their radios tuned to the race station. Others pass the time until the green flag drops by people-watching as fans fill the stadium. By dawn, some of my neighbors are already waiting in line to be the first fans in the grandstands, often in seats that have been passed down through generations.
But even though a lot of us are passionate about racing, trust me when I say that being a race fan is not a requirement to live in Speedway. Some neighbors have an annual tradition of going on vacation out of town for the Memorial Day weekend. So, however you want to celebrate our Indy 500, there is a place for you in Speedway to start your own traditions.
Take a drive around Speedway and fall in love with our community.
So, I have a confession. The truth is I haven’t always liked racing, and I did not grow up in Speedway. When I decided to buy a house, my main set of criteria was two bathrooms, a garage, and a yoga studio within 15 minutes (everyone has priorities). Other than that, everything else—including the location—was negotiable.
But after visiting Speedway a few times, I started to see the town in a different light. I fell in love with the people, the houses, and the ease of access to the rest of Indy. I found myself driving around Speedway neighborhoods on Sunday afternoons wishing I lived here. Fortunately for me, I found both a house and a home in a community with generous, loyal, and fun neighbors and a place that is cherished by people around the world. Fortunately for you, we would love for you to join us.