Milwaukee Indyfest Part Two

We woke up early on Saturday to get to the track as early as the girls would allow. There was a tweet up and coffee with the legends that I wanted to attend but we didn’t get there quite early enough. We were able to see some drivers being interviewed in the fan village though. They included Ed Carpenter and JR Hildebrand. Also Indy Lights drivers Tristan V. Oliver Webb and Sebastian saavedra. We signed up for free bags and tshirts. And got our picture in the Honda two seater. We were having a great time. We also ran into Zach and Theresa in the store and were able to give Theresa a checkered flag necklace we made for her. Then the rain came.

Fortunately we were under the Chevy tent when the rains began and we were able to keep dry. They had pictures of the drivers on the walls so we were being silly and taking our pictures with the “drivers”. I tweeted our location as we were stuck there for about an hour and Mike was able to meet up with us. That was perfect because we had made his son a necklace too so we were able to give it to him. The rains stopped and it looked like we would have the race shortly. We grabbed a bite to eat, dropped some things off at the car and eventually made our way to our seats.

The race started shortly after we sat down and did not disappoint. Enough action and passing to make it a fun race. Tony stayed in contention for the entire race and kept me hopeful I would see him win. Justin was not as lucky and his car caught fire. It was a bit scary seeing in live and not knowing right away if he was out of the car and safe. Sometimes I really miss my tv coverage. I tried listening on my phone to the radio coverage but kept losing the signal. Dario Franchitti also crashed (see previous post) and I was quite disappointed with the crowds reaction. Scott Dixon had to serve a drive through penalty for jumping an aborted restart. That was a mistake that Beaux Barfield admitted to after the race. The officials didn’t realize they were looking at tape of an aborted restart they thought he jumped the start on the official green flag. It probably didn’t matter as Dixon had trouble keeping up to speed and would not have won the race. In the end it was Ryan Hunter-Reay that won. It was great to see Andretti Autosport win at Milwaukee and good to see someone new in victory circle. TK finished second and James Hinchcliffe was third. Deanna was the big winner in our group as RHR was one of her choices to win.

After the race we headed infield to catch some of the Smashmouth concert. It was quite hot by that time and we didn’t stay for all the concert. As we were walking out we saw Bobby Rahal drive by and also Mike Conway but I couldn’t get the camera out fast enough for pictures. I would have just hung out there waiting for more drivers to pass but that is not what the girls were up for. We headed to the car and then out of town. We had a nice dinner at Cracker Barrel on our way home and talked more about the race. Deanna had such a good time she talked of watching the Iowa race. Maybe new fans are being born. I hope so– for Indycar and for me.

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Milwaukee Indyfest Part One

Indyfest at Milwaukee was a blast. I truly enjoyed every minute. I convinced first my husband to let me attend even though we had plans to visit his family that weekend and second some girls friends to join me. I wanted the friends for both the company and for ticket sales. I bought 4 tickets for Milwaukee but in the end there were only three of us. Usually, we get pedicures before a race. That is probably not what most people do pre race but it makes the experience much more fun for the none race fans. This year though my friend happened to have coupons for free massages in the Milwaukee area. That was a nice treat. After we went to Champs for lunch and attempted to check in to our hotel. The room was not ready which gave us more time and no plans so we headed to the track. That worked in my favor as I would have gladly spent the whole day at the track.

We got a great parking spot and admission was free if you didn’t want to go in the infield. I would have loved to pay the extra to go infield but I had two non race fans that didn’t want to spend the extra. We walked around a bit and looked for shirts to buy and then decided to get a beer before qualifying started. Some friends from Twitter were also attending and I was tweeting to see if we could meet up. We found a spot to sit and waited for qualifying. The girls enjoyed this as they were able to see the cars and choose favorites and become more familiar with the drivers. I did meet up with my friends Mike and Zach and was able to meet Zach’s wife Theresa. I talked with them a bit before heading back by Kristen and Deanna. After qualifying was the Indy Lights race. Tristan V. won the race. We each placed a dollar on our favorite driver to win and Kristen walked away with two extra dollars. I had chose Brian Clausen to win. Mike joined us part way through the lights race and we all talked after. Mike was telling me about meeting Pippa Mann and then he said, “oh there she is.” I made him introduce me and loved hearing her take on the race. She was so sweet and I hope she will be in a car soon.

We said goodbye to Mike and headed out to dinner. We decided on RedRobin and quickly gave our waiter our drink order. As soon as he left I said, “omg does he look like…”. Before I could finish Kristen said, “Tony Kanaan”. Our waiter saw us laughing and we told him why. He made me get up and brought me over to another table where the people there had told him the same thing. We all had a good laugh. After dinner we hung out inn the pool and picked our drivers for the race tomorrow. Of course TK was my first choice.

It is pronounced Fran-kee-tee

I can’t tell you how many times I told someone this past weekend at Milwaukee Indyfest how to pronounce Franchitti. Really people the man has won the Indianapolis 500 three times, learn how to say his name. Then these same people have the nerve to cheer when he crashes. Really? Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when I have cheered in the comfort of my house when Dario, Dixon or Power have run into problems on the race course. I have cheered when they have crashed but I am not really happy they crashed. I am just happy that someone else now has a chance at winning. I am also at home and no one hears me. I don’t think Dario could have heard the crowd but I was not and wouldn’t be among those cheering when he hit the wall on saturdays race. My reaction was a gasp. It also did not really matter that he was out of the race because it was fairly obvious he was not going to win. Do you dislike him so much that you want him in the wall?

There was a time when I loved seeing Dario win. His first 500 victory I was pretty excited. His second one felt good too. Now I am just tired of seeing him win. I want a TK victory, especially at Indy. I want Wilson and Hinchcliffe and Pagenaud to win. I want someone new. So while I am sometimes disappointed seeing another Franchitti (or Dixon or Power) win, he doesnt deserrved to be booed for winning and cheered for after a crash. Honestly, hearing the crowd on saturday just made me like him more.

Then there is Ashley. I know most Indycar fans don’t like her but how would you respond if your spouse won a great honor and everyone booed? She actually handles it with great grace.

Getting back to my point—Learn how to pronounce his name. Get to know Dario better. Learn some manners. If you don’t like a driver of course you wont want him to win but you can still be respectful. If you can not pronounce Franchitti then think about how well you really know him and if you should really be booing a man you do not know well enough to even use his name correctly.