It was developed by the Papyrus Design Group, consisting of David Kaemmer and Omar Khudari, and distributed by Electronic Arts.
Indianapolis 500: The Simulation attempts to be a full simulation of the Indianapolis 500 race, with 33 cars and appropriate Indy car "feel". While racing, it only offers a first-person perspective, but the game offers a replay mode as well. Indy 500 offers the ability to realistically set up the car, and any changes made to the car directly affect how it handles.
It was a landmark release for racing sims, clearly distinguishing the genre from arcade racers for the first time.