It’s fun to drive fast on a highway, but that’s nothing like driving a racecar. Today Indianapolis will hold the 100th run of the Indy 500, one of the most famous car races in the world. The cars speed around the track 200 times for a total of 500 miles, which is how the race got its name. And with the cars driving 200 miles an hour, it’s very exciting to watch. More than 100,000 people watch the race in person every year…if you lined up their seats in 1 long row, it would stretch for 99 miles! To feed all of those fans, there are more than 40 ice cream stands and 35 pretzel vendors at the track. On race day they sell more than 10,000 pounds of hamburgers, which need enough ketchup to fill 10 bathtubs. And of course then there’s the gasoline, because the racecars get hungry, too.
Wee ones: The Indy 500 had its actual 100th birthday in 2011 (it didn’t run every year). Were you alive yet that year?
Little kids: If you filled your bathtub(s) in your house with ketchup, how many more would you need to match the 10 tubs at the Indy 500? Bonus: 3 people in history have each won the Indy 500 4 times. How many races have they won altogether?
Big kids: The 33 cars line up in rows of 3 at the start. If you’re stuck in the next-to-last row, what number row is that? Bonus: If each car burns 20 gallons of gas in the race, how much gas do they use together? (Hint if needed: What if each car used just 2 gallons? And how does 20 gallons differ from that?)
The sky’s the limit: The 200 laps around the track add up to 500 miles. If you wanted to try driving just 10 miles of it, how many times would you have to drive around the track?
Wee ones: Different for everyone…if you will be at least 5 years old as of May 29, then you were around for the 100th birthday!
Little kids: Different for everyone again…count up your bathtubs, then subtract from 10. If you have 10 or more, you don’t need any more tubs to match. Bonus: 12 races.
Big kids: The 10th row, since there are 11 in total. Bonus: 660 gallons.
The sky’s the limit: 4 laps. If you cut the 500 miles into 200 pieces (the laps), you find that the track is 2 ½ miles long. So you’d need 4 laps to drive 10 miles. Another way to solve it: 10 miles is 1/50 of 500, so you need to drive 1/50 of 200 laps.