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  • Current garages at IMS questions

    So with the cup boys at IMS this weekend, my twitter feed is filled with pics of stock cars in IMS garages. I just had a few random questions that maybe someone who's worked in or around them can answer.

    1. Those things are damn ugly. Just a bunch of gray walls.

    2. There ugly. Has there been any thought to updating at least there aesthetics?

    3. They are only front facing correct? That's why everyone gathers around when they are open?

    4. Are the teams happy with them? Because honestly that's all that matters. I'm not sure how different the needs are for the Cup and Indycar fields. Are they fully kitted out? Could IMS add more in there to help the teams?

    I live in Cleveland. We've turned the 25 year old Progressive field which was already aesthetically pleasing into a damn baseball palace. I think the best racecourse in the world could do a bit better in the garage area.
    I'd rather have 10% of the world interested in the ICS than 50% of US that NASCAR currently has

  • #2
    Yes, only a front door to the Gasoline Alley garages.

    Yes, aesthetically they are quite utilitarian. I guess it makes the colorful signs over the doors "pop" more.

    I paddocked in luxury at the 2017 SCCA Runoffs in the F1 garages but I stopped by Gasoline Alley and I was shocked at how small they were. I believe every other wall is retractable for multi-car teams, but still space must be at a premium.

    Without the teams' equipment, all garages on the property are completely empty shells. All crew amenities are set up by the teams.
    You have the IndyCar you deserve.

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    • #3
      The Garage Area is an interesting topic.




      If you've ever seen them empty, yes, they are plain and well, not the most admiring buildings aesthetically. They were designed and built in the mid-80s, still the tail end of the concrete cookie-cutter stadium era. Function over form. The attitudes of the time were function, safety (the old garages were considered "firetraps"), and space. The old garages were tiny, the teams needed room to work. The idea of retro buildings wasn't en vogue until probably Camden Yards.

      The Gasoline Alley garages only open one way. But there are open side to side (teams put up partitions). The F1 Garages were some of the top Cup teams are open front and back.

      As far as the teams...the garages' simple design is actually to their benefit, as it gives them the flexibility to set them up any way they see fit. Penske outfits their garages with what looks like inserts, as does Schmidt-Peterson. Penske even sets aside one or two stalls to set up an office area with desks and computers. Rahal has been setting theirs up lengthwise, so the fans can see them work on the cars better. I'd say the teams are probably fine with them as they are. They have at least another decade of usefulness, and with cars counts only around 33-36, they have plenty of stalls for everyone (96) to get at least two per car.

      I think it's a little unfortunate that the reconstruction of the garage area came when it did...they came about 5-8 years before the "retro" era came to be. I'd image if they were to rebuilt them now, they'd do more of a retro look. But there's nothing wrong with them, and the cost to rebuild the garage area is money much better spent improving other areas of the facility.

      Sometimes it's hard to believe that what we call the "new garages" are over 30 years old.
      Doctorindy.com

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      • #4
        I have always wanted to ask Doug Boles whether or not there is any interest in giving the current garages a facelift - perhaps designing structures that resemble the original garages at IMS... though they would need to be larger, of course. Maybe I'll ask this winter.
        Hi! I'm the owner and editor of Open-Wheels.com. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook! If you would like to discuss racing or opportunities with the website, feel free to contact me on here or by e-mail at [email protected].

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Doctorindy View Post

          I think it's a little unfortunate that the reconstruction of the garage area came when it did...they came about 5-8 years before the "retro" era came to be. I'd image if they were to rebuilt them now, they'd do more of a retro look. But there's nothing wrong with them, and the cost to rebuild the garage area is money much better spent improving other areas of the facility.

          Sometimes it's hard to believe that what we call the "new garages" are over 30 years old.
          I live right outside the speedway and have visualized my own garage door "wrapped" in the style of the old green and white windowed doors, but the style of my door won't let it work. A.J. Watson's house on Crawfordsville Road had a real set of the old doors on one of his garages but they're no longer there. It would be great to see some retro around the garage area.

          www.ragingphotos.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by uscman3 View Post
            - perhaps designing structures that resemble the original garages at IMS... though they would need to be larger, of course.
            Is the classic garage mock-up at the IMS museum to correct scale? If it is, I don't know how they worked on cars from the late '60s onward. There would have been barely 2ft. clearance around a '70s-'80s car parked in them.
            You have the IndyCar you deserve.

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            • #7
              Without the teams' equipment, all garages on the property are completely empty shells. All crew amenities are set up by the teams.
              Not really any different from garages at a large number of tracks. Functionality above all else. TMS garages are not anymore attractive.Even the F1 garages at COTA are pretty bare inside when teams are not there, but they do have doors front and back. Maybe a bit more attractive but that's because of the upper floors with suites, club etc.

              I think Daytona is quite the exception with the 'skywalks' for fans.
              BAN SHREDDED CHEESE! MAKE AMERICA GRATE AGAIN!

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              • #8
                It's a garage.... who cares if it's pretty?
                World's biggest Ryan Hunter-Reay fan!

                When not discussing opinions, I try my best to only post facts, if I post something factually incorrect please correct me with a source (if possible)

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                • #9
                  Maybe I'm a stick in the mud, but no changes needed. I like it that a team has the ability to shut the door and keep people away. There are times when teams need privacy. I like it that not everyone can get into gasoline alley. Its pretty darn cool to sneak in. The privacy of them add a bit of mystic to the area.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jakester View Post
                    Even the F1 garages at COTA are pretty bare inside when teams are not there, but they do have doors front and back.
                    I think the reason that may be is because to fulfill the requirements of an FIA Grade One course (i.e., in order to host F1) the garage must be of certain dimensions, and be basically "empty shells", because the F1 team typically arrive with pre-constructed, almost modular inserts.
                    Doctorindy.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jakester View Post
                      I think Daytona is quite the exception with the 'skywalks' for fans.
                      Mid-Ohio may have been the 'pioneer' in the fan-friendly garage complex. The balcony/cat-walk allows fans to peer down into the garages and watch the crew work.

                      I like Daytona's garage area...it allows fans without credentials to still watch action going on in the garages...whether from up above or behind glass. The courtyard area, and the rooftop walkways are popular. It would be nice if the current garages at IMS could be modified to allow fans (i.e., those without passes) to climb up and walk on the roofs of the A, B, and C, garage buildings (like Daytona). They could look down and at least see the action going on...right now fans can only climb up to the second floor of the Gasoline Alley Suites and look down at what's going on in the 'A' building.
                      Doctorindy.com

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RHRfan#1 View Post
                        It's a garage.... who cares if it's pretty?
                        At least one person, obviously. They could use couple centerfolds.
                        "Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world — and never will." Mark Twain

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dalz View Post
                          Yes, only a front door to the Gasoline Alley garages.

                          Not entirely true. The garages furthest to the east (by the actual "gasoline alley" fuel pumps) where Andretti is usually setup have doors that open to the back, the opposite side of the garage doors. That's the smart place to hang out if you want autographs because the drivers usually go out that back door and hop on their scooter/golf cart.
                          If you make something idiot proof, the world will build a better idiot.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BrandonW77 View Post


                            Not entirely true. The garages furthest to the east (by the actual "gasoline alley" fuel pumps) where Andretti is usually setup have doors that open to the back, the opposite side of the garage doors. That's the smart place to hang out if you want autographs because the drivers usually go out that back door and hop on their scooter/golf cart.
                            Another exception to the norm....There are a couple stalls that are front/back "drive-thru" open to both ends...I have been in those (along the north edge of C). I think they are/were intended to be used for Tech Inspection. I'm not sure they are always used for that anymore.
                            Doctorindy.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Doctorindy View Post

                              Another exception to the norm....There are a couple stalls that are front/back "drive-thru" open to both ends...I have been in those (along the north edge of C). I think they are/were intended to be used for Tech Inspection. I'm not sure they are always used for that anymore.
                              That's where the SCCA had their tech/headquarters set up in 2017.
                              You have the IndyCar you deserve.

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