Today: W9IMS special event honoring races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Brian D. Smith (W9IND), who shares this information about SWL-friendly awards offered by his amateur radio club to commemorate the three major auto races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway special event stations: Act now for your shot at a 2018 certificate!

Attention, paper chasers: Amateur radio station W9IMS has begun another year of special events honoring major auto races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And SWLs are welcome to submit reception reports qualifying them for the same colorful QSL cards and certificates available to the ham radio operators who contact the station.

The certificate and QSLs change every year, with three unique cards offered for the 2018 Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, so even if you scored the clean sweep in 2017, you’ll find new trophies to pursue this year.

Just one catch: You’ll have to move fast if you want to log W9IMS in the first race, because its final day of operation is Saturday, May 12.

But you’ll have a shot at tuning in the station on any of two and possibly three bands (20, 40 and 80 meters), and since it’s the last day (Race Day), W9IMS will likely stay on the air till as late as 11 p.m. and perhaps beyond.

Here are a couple of hints for tracking down the station during this and the other two special events:

  1. Go to, find the “2018 Schedule” heading, and click on the link to the Grand Prix operating schedule (or any other race). Although some W9IMS operators take to the airwaves at unscheduled times, you’ll have your best luck looking for the station during the hours and bands reserved with a name and callsign.
  2. Check DX Summit ( for spots that identify the current frequency (or frequencies) of W9IMS. If you type “W9IMS” in the search box, you can customize it to list reports for only that station.

The second and third special events will take place from May 21-27 (Indianapolis 500) and September 3-9 (Brickyard 400). Full details can be found on the W9IMS web page; note that QSL cards and certificates are not filled out until after the third race, so you can take your time in submitting your reception reports.

Feel free to submit all of your 2018 QSL and certificate requests in the same envelope. And even if you catch W9IMS for only one or two special events, you can still obtain individual QSL cards for those races.

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5 thoughts on “Today: W9IMS special event honoring races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

  1. Harald DL1ABJ

    I tried it from Germany, but no ConDX. I just checked my log and found QSOs in 2017 and 2016 though.

    This year it also was kind of tough to catch one of the crossband test stations. But NSS was easy. Why? Because they transmitted in CW.

    1. Brian


      You’re welcome to submit your W9IMS QSL requests, even years after the QSO, if you’d like to receive our cards. We answer direct and via bureau, so take your pick.

      Regarding CW, we’ve operated it at times in the past, but quite honestly it takes too much time to answer questions and convey information as opposed to Phone. Please note, however, that we have also begun operating on FT8, which should give DX stations a much better shot at working/hearing us.

      Finally, for anyone who’d like to take a shot at working or receiving W9IMS this year, here’s when we’ll be on the air.


      May 5-11: The INDYCAR Grand Prix
      May 20-26: Indianapolis 500
      Sept. 2-8: Brickyard 400

      Brian, W9IND

  2. Brian, W9IND

    Glad you made it through, Dan! Thanks for your interest.

    We spot ourselves on DX Summit frequently and include warnings such as “LAST DAY” and “FINAL HOUR” as our time on the air winds down, so pretty much anyone in the United States and many other places should be able to work us … or at least tune us in for SWL awards.

    Brian, W9IND
    (Op for W9IMS)

  3. Dan

    They were on 40 meters last weekend also. I worked them QRP (5 watts) from Iowa with my FT-817ND and an end fed wire.


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