I’ve heard a lot of jokes about racing.

“How do you outrun a race fan?” (Turn right…)

I’ve also seen racing first hand. Today I saw a belt made out of eight can coolers, a beer in each cooler and one in each hand. Today my camera was invited to a shirtless stranger’s “gun show.” (He was double fisting a beer, how could my camera say no to an invitation like that?)

I saw a tattoo of a six point buck with a big red crosshair on it. I saw teeny bikinis on, well, nothing that could be described as teeny.

(You’re welcome for not sharing the picture.)

But I also met the legendary Indy Car announcer Tom Carnegie.

Tom Carnegie

I stood on the track of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

I witnessed the “kissing” tradition.

Strange tradition, but still, a tradition. (That I did not participate in.)

I stood close enough to smell the Borg Warner Trophy.

Trophy flare.

You could hear a pin drop during the performance of “Taps.” (300,000 people completely silent with nothing but a trumpet playing? Dude.)

National Anthem.

My new favorite sound is that of an Indy Car starting up.

Pole Day 2010, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Dan Wheldon is a stand up fellow, and he sounds just like the Geico gecko.

Dan Wheldon

I would be friends with Chip Ganassi.

Chip Ganassi

There is a lot of strategy to racing. (Seriously.)

Pole Day 2010, Indianapolis Motor Speedway-Will Power

Dario Franchitti finished the race with 1.6 gallons of gas to spare.

Dario Franchitti

I may not understand racing as much as the people I shared the press room with, but I understand a good human being and the look of a proud wife as her husband gets a little choked up as he admits that the real people who helped him win are the ones who are never going to get the real attention they deserve.

Proud wife, Ashely Judd

I saw a tweet from a lifelong local who had never been to the Indy 500, he said “I just don’t get the fascination.”

Ready for the race.

I wrote him back and said “Go once, you’ll get it.”

Peepers.

Comments

  1. “Just don’t get it?!” Oh boy. Sit in the stands, hear “Back Home Again in Indiana”, see the stealth bombers and planes fly overhead, see the fleet of 33 as they start the pace lap. Chills, baby. Nothin’ but chills!

  2. Oh, man. I was introduced to my first Indy race 2 years ago in Richmond. TOTAL. AWESOME. My husband’s stepdad works for Bridgestone/Firestone so we got passes to pit row. We got to walk right up to the tents and trailers, and they rolled the cars literally right past us! I still have the pictures – they’re on my FB somewhere, I’ll have to retrieve them. But you’re right, the cars are beyond cool. And the way they sound… mmmmmmmm. 🙂 It’s something you can’t imagine unless you’ve been there. Even just watching it on TV doesn’t do it justice. And I LOVED the fighter jets and the Golden Knights parachuting down with the American flag – it’s all just such an awesome experience.

    I can’t imagine getting to get as close as you did, even up on the TRACK! Oh, and I had no idea Ashley Judd was married into the Indy family either – very cool!

    Sarah Reply:

    Oh, and PS… Indy totally trumps Nascar in my book. 🙂

  3. Oh Casey THANK YOU THANK YOU for not sharing the teeny tiny bikini pictures;) The pictures are great and the gun show – AWKWARD!! But so funny…

  4. Ohh Betsy! says:

    I think it’s great that you appreciate it and those photos are fab. Especially of the cute wife (of someone I should know the name of, right?).

  5. I am an Indiana girl who now lives in Dover, DE. I miss the Indy 500. I went to qualifications a few times, and it was a blast (and an education…lol)

    Now I live literally 10 miles from a Nascar track. And I avoid it like the plague.

  6. How cool! I saw through your tweeting that you were at a race and it’s so fun to read about, too! I’ve never been to one but it sounds like an experience I’d enjoy 🙂

  7. As a lifelong Pittsburgh girl who moved to Indy almost four years ago, I figured I “owed” it to myself to see what this IndyCar stuff was all about. Went to my first race three years ago, and have been back every year since. There’s just something about the atmosphere, the sound, the tradition… all of it. Totally jealous of your press-room view of the action – great pics! Glad you enjoyed it!

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