Marco Andretti’s first memories of the Indianapolis 500 (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET) were not made inside the walls of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They come from the parking lot outside Turn 2. That’s where the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Motel, better known simply as the “Speedway Motel,” stood from 1963 to 2009. Every May, the old-school, 96-room motor lodge was the residency of the greatest names in 500 history.
When Mario Andretti started racing there in 1965, his little boy Michael would play on the balcony of the family’s room at the Speedway Motel and swim in the courtyard pool that was lined with those balconies, all while the motel was shaken with the roar of his father laying down hot laps on the 2.5-mile rectangular racetrack only a few hundred yards away.
In the late 1980s, it was Michael’s son who was on the balcony and in the pool, while