I signed my kids up for the IMS kids club knowing that we would not be able to attend most of the events and possibly not any. I still signed them up though for the t-shirt, credentials and when is it not fun to get a package from IMS. When I found out they would be having an event on Bump Day from 11-1 I was torn. We really needed to leave the Indianapolis area by noon to ensure we would make it home for the kids choir concert the boys were participating in at church. I didn’t think we could stay an extra hour and give ourselves enough of a cushion in case we ran into trouble on the way home. I went back and forth over this issue for a week or two before it finally dawned on me. Indianapolis is an hour ahead of us. We could make it home in time! Wow, can’t believe it took me so long to figure that out but as soon as I did I signed the boys up to attend.
The boys were very excited to be attending this event and it helped greatly that we made a friend while hanging out in the Social Media Garage right before the event. While waiting in line they had fun kissing the bricks and just being silly. I got in on the fun too and also kissed the bricks (Charles West might not think I earned that right yet but I had my chance and I took it. It was in the infield not on the track so the significance is not the same but still kinda cool). That was also how I came up with my blog name. It made our wait time go a bit faster. I was surprised at the number of kids attending.
The event was awesome. My boys had so much fun. They did not want to leave- a change from the previous day. They played in the bounce houses, raced Lego cars, ate delicious cupcakes and truly enjoyed every minute.
Our highlight though was meeting Justin Wilson. I had tweeted him prior to the event asking if he could attend. The morning of the event I received a message from Justin asking what time and where was the kids club event. My son, Matthew, was beside himself. He said that meeting Justin would make the trip worth the five hour drive (which was really more like 4 hours). About 30 minutes into the event I tweeted Justin saying I was still hoping he would attend. Within a couple minutes Justin replied “Well I’m here”. I looked around and saw him and suddenly was transformed to a teenage girl. Now don’t get me wrong I like Justin but I am a Tony Kanaan fan. I was not prepared for how giddy I was to meet Justin. I was just so excited for Matthew to get to meet him. Looking back I am not sure I even gave Matthew a chance to talk to Justin. I wanted a couple pictures and a couple things signed, including Matthew’s Justin Wilson Dads Root Beer shirt. Justin noticed it was last years shirt and said Dale is a bit slower about getting shirts and hats done but hopefully soon. I knew people were waiting and I was feeling rushed so I really wish I could go back and relive that moment in my usual state of mind not that of a overly excited young girl meeting. Mostly I wish I had given my young son a chance to talk more and not feel that I needed to take over the situation just to get a good picture and an autograph. A nice conversation would have been better than a picture and autograph. Hopefully we will get a chance to meet him again and I will set back and let my son enjoy the moment. All that being said we did get a great picture and it was a day we will always remember.
We also met Anders Krohn, Katherine Legge, John Andretti and——————-. I was a bit calmer meeting John Andretti and was able to tell him how disappointed I was he wouldn’t be racing this year. The kids continued to play and had a blast. We left around 12:40 as I wanted to be in the car by 1:00 (12:00 central) to make it home at a decent time.
We stopped by the social media garage so I could share that Justin stopped by. I was still a bit giddy about that. As we were leaving I saw Randy Bernard walking by. I was about as flustered to meet him as I was Justin. I credit that with feeling rushed to get home and just a general high from a great day. Randy was great and took a picture with us. I thanked Randy for the great job he is doing with Indycar and we were on our way.
We did make it home in time for the boys concert at church that night. All three of us did a lot of yawing during the concert but I think it was worth it. We truly had a great weekend.
The boys had a blast climbing on the military vehicles, holding guns and attempting chin-ups.
We stopped in the gift shop and then hurried back to the main straightaway to watch the shoot-out. By this time the boys were exhausted. They would really prefer it if we went back to the hotel at this time but I want to stay till the end and find out who will be starting from the pole. TK and Viso went out to qualify but were content with 8th and 9th position so they both waved off the qualifying effort and used their original time. That was disappointing even though it was probably a smart move. Briscoe qualified with a time that would stick till the end but he waited an eternity to learn that his time was indeed the winning time. You don’t get a feel for it at the track but watching later on tv I was pretty anxious for Briscoe and I knew he would win. Josef Newgarden gave his best and I admire him and the team for giving it their all. James Hinchcliffe had an amazing run and would have won the pole posistion if his warm up lap counted as his first lap but it wasnt meant to be. Hinch’s time was just shy of winning him the pole Will Power was the last to try and qualify and I am still amazed he didn’t knock out Briscoe. Power seems to have both luck and speed on his side most of the time and it wouldn’t of surprised me if he took the pole.
In the end I was pretty happy to see Ryan Briscoe on the pole. I am the first to say I am tired of Penske and Ganassi always winning but Ryan is usually not the ones getting the wins for Penske so it is nice to see him up front too.
Finally, it was time to go back to the hotel. The boys were dragging their feet because they were so tired and I was dragging mine because I didn’t want to leave the speedway. This trip was a bit different than past ones though and we would be returning the next day. We had a kids club event to attend and we were all looking forward to that.
This May I took my boys to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Pole Day. As stated in my previous post my first trip was in 1993. My oldest son Matthew first went in 2008. We just drove down for the day. It was a really long day. The following year Matthew and I went down on Friday and spent a night in Indy returning home on Saturday. In 2010 we took Zachary with us for his first time. We spent two nights in Indy on that trip and every year since. Both boys enjoy going to the speedway but wish we spent less than 8 hours there. I think they would skip the trip if we didn’t stay in a hotel and get to swim. The other thing that saves me is the National Guard, Marines and Army areas at the speedway. The boys love climbing in and out of the large trucks and pretending to shoot the guns. They even try doing chin-ups. They can’t quite do them yet. All in all it is a great trip and one we look forward to each year. I hope we do it for many years to come.
This year the boys had a half day of school on Friday so we were able to leave at a nice time. We made great time getting to Indy and checked into our hotel. We had dinner at steak n shake before getting into the pool. Saturday morning, Pole Day, Tony Kanaan was to be the first driver to qualify so I wanted to get to the track on time. I have a routine down now with a parking lot that I like to park at with good rates and easy access in and out. We then walked to the main straightaway to find good seats that were in the shade. The boys were a bit restless until qualifying began but we talked a bit with other fans sitting nearby and Zach made some of them checkered flag necklaces. Tony came out and qualified with a good speed but would later be disqualified because the car was missing a small weight that was to be placed in his mirror. By the end of the day he would have qualified in 8th position.
We watched qualifying for about two hours before needing to stretch our legs and find a way for the boys to play a bit. We walked into the infield and made a stop at the Social Media garage. I joined twitter shortly after the Las Vegas race. I quickly found that a lot of others share my passion for Indycar. Now I was going to get to meet some of the bloggers I follow. The boys drove/played in the track simulators and I introduced myself to the bloggers. What a great bunch of guys! They have kept me up to date during the off season and I had a blast talking with them. Zach gave Mike Knapp (15daysinmay) a checkered flag necklace he had made and then we went in search of a cold drink.
We bought some lemonades and sat down in the shade. Zach worked on more necklaces hoping to make some money by selling them. Within 30 minutes we were refreshed and ready to make the trek to the museum to see the military equipment.