Indy 500 was one of the nine launch titles offered when the Atari 2600 went on sale in September 1977. Sears Tele-Games later re-released it as Race; no changes were made to the gameplay. Included with each game was a set of two driving controllers, which were identical in appearance to the 2600 paddle controller but could rotate indefinitely in either direction, among other differences.
Though the packaging material claims it to have fourteen games, this number treats each of the various tracks as a "game". There are actually only three unique game modes, which are as follows. Each can be played with one or two players, and with either a time limit or a score limit.
Standard racing: Players can race against the clock to complete as many laps as they can, or compete to finish 25 laps (requires two players). A number of courses were featured, which all have "Ice Race" variations featuring slippery physics.
Crash and Score: This mode requires two players, but one can be computer-controlled. Either way, the goal is to seek out and drive into a white square randomly placed on the track; this will earn whichever player points, and the square will then be randomly placed elsewhere.
Tag: Similar to the above, this is a two-player mode where one can be automated. This is essentially tag; whoever has the blinking car gains points by avoiding the other player's car who gains points by "tagging" the blinking car, after which the roles of the players are reversed.