Maybe it’s your first time to Mid-Ohio or maybe it’s just been awhile since you’ve been there. Either way, I’ve got you covered with all you need to know about this great Ohio road course!
Food – Let’s get right to the important things! Sadly, the food is not as good as Road America…nowhere is. Food options at this track are reminiscent of a county fair. A reasonable amount of options, but if you’re going to be there the whole weekend, or would like healthier options, I recommend bringing your own food. Ice is available for sale at the food booth by the entrance to the tent camping area (near the keyhole).
Bathrooms – There are many port-o-potties throughout the course, and there is a permanent bathroom structure close-ish to the pits. (Not in the pits, does not require any special credentials to access it.) Not a long walk, but not ADA friendly enough to walk to unless you have your own golf cart. The port-o-pots are decent, but since it’s usually hot as hell during INDYCAR’s weekend there, you’ll want to be in and out as fast as possible.
Showers – There are temporary shower facilities inside the tent camping area, also near the entrance. There are also showers in the permanent bathroom structure referenced above. The permanent ones are nicer (or so I’ve been told), but the temporary ones are good, too!
“Mud-Ohio” – This track has earned this fun nickname because there are only dirt/gravel roads in the tent camping area, so if it rains we all get muddy! (Bring rain boots and a poncho.) If it doesn’t rain, we all get dusty from golf carts kicking up dust as they pass by. This combined with the excessive heat makes me feel that showers are moot, as you will be sweating before you even leave the shower. But you do you.
ATMs – THERE ARE ONLY 2 (TWO) ATMs IN THE ENTIRE TRACK. GET CASH BEFORE YOU COME. 1 of the ATMs is in the paddock, so isn’t available to the general public without a paddock pass.
Paddock Pass – Should you get one? Yes. It’s not very expensive and you will see tons of drivers and other notable people within the sport.
Golf Carts – Do you need one? Not necessarily, but it’s a hell of a lot more fun with one! There is a decent shuttle system in place that I utilized my first year there, but given the choice, I’d rent a golf cart 10 times out of 10. The only downside is that Mid-Ohio has caught up with Road America on golf carts being pretty pricey, so if you can split a 2- or 4-person cart with some friends, it’s not too bad! Most importantly, if anyone offers you a ride on a golf cart at Mid-Ohio, say yes!! It might just be a shorter trip to where you’re going, or you might end up in a team’s hospitality tent at 2am. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. Embrace that Mid-O magic!
Camping – Should you camp? HELL YES YOU SHOULD! The vibe in the camping area by the keyhole is like a state fair mixed with a music festival, and you’re all here to see fast cars! Might get a little rowdy after dark, but nothing too crazy. (There is a family area if you’d like a more quiet tent camping experience.) The people are friendly (gotta love the Midwest), there’s always a neighbor to help you if you need it, and INDYCAR drivers frequently ride through just to check it all out. Also, the camping spots are huge and leave plenty of room for decorations for whatever the camping theme is for that year. I’ve mentioned the temperature a couple times, but I’d like to reiterate that it is usually quite hot there and gets hot quickly once the sun is up. If you like to sleep in, get there early and nab a spot by the treeline so your tent can have some extra shade in the morning. Bringing a canopy isn’t totally necessary, but you can’t put a price on having a nice, shady place to drink your morning beer. Or a nice dry place for your chairs and yourself if it rains.
GA Seating – There are GOBS of great places to watch from at this track and I recommend checking out as many as possible during practices, quals, and the Road To Indy series’ track time. Not only do you have a weekend FULL of racing, you have lots of room to spread out and see different views!
Can you save your spot for Race Day? Yes and no. You are allowed to place canopies, chairs, blankets, etc, wherever you want starting at 06:00am on Race Day. Anything left overnight from Saturday will be removed by security. Gates don’t open to the public until 07:00am on Race Day, so this is where camping really has its benefits!!
Can I Bring My Dog? This is a dog-friendly track, so as long as your pooch is happy and chill with other people, dogs, and loud noises — bring the fur-baby! (And bring them to meet my fur-baby too!)
What to Pack – I’m not going to post a list here, you’re all adults and know how to pack. Just offering some suggestions and some things you may not have thought about adding to your packing list! Pack some rain essentials, as this is the best way to ensure that it will not rain during the weekend. You’ll want comfy, breathable clothes so that you don’t overheat. You’ll also want good shoes for walking. I suggest a couple extra shirts in case you need to change clothes during the day due to sweating. Ready for a road course/port-o-pot game changer?? Buy generic hemorrhoid wipes. (I know, I know, stick with me here…) They contain witch hazel, which not only helps keep your booty feeling nice and clean, they prevent “swamp ass”! Plus they can be used anywhere on your body! (Externally only.) They’re great to wipe dirt off of your face and feel quite refreshing! And as far as the port-o-pot situation goes – you never have to fear running out of TP and you never have to use that cheap sandpaper TP again!! Get these. They are cheap and your booty will thank you. Another pro-tip: Bring a rally towel or hand towel and place it in your cooler. As the ice melts, the towel will get wet with ice cold water. Wring it out and place it on your head or the back of your neck for some quick relief from the heat!
What’s Left? – Bring a good, insulated cooler to keep your food and beverages cool, and have a blast! Hope to see you there!