The boys are I were fortunate enough to get to spend one more day at the Speedway on Sunday for 500 practice. This was exciting for me because as much fun as the GP was I wanted to see cars on the oval. The speedway already had such a different feel. It was a small crowd with limited shops and food venders. You had your choice of places to sit and could just relax and enjoy. First thing my boys did was beg a yellow shirt to give us a ride- they were tired of walking across the speedway. The first one they asked was kind enough to drop us off at the pagoda. We walked out to view the track and ran into Eric Hall (@Erock_in_Indy, anotherindycarblog.wordpress.com) and Sage Karem. That was great. I got to talk Indycar with Eric and got a great picture of my boys with Sage. I called Sage by the wrong name so I apologize for that but I can promise you we won’t make that mistake again. He will become a favorite in our house for his willingness to stop and take a picture before he finished up his rookie orientation laps he needed to get in. I can’t imagine the stress and nerves and he stopped to talk. That was great.
Then George Phillips (@oilpressureblog, oilpressure.wordpress.com) walked by. Great having a chance to talk with him. Honestly, I might have met him briefly last year or the year prior but can’t remember. That is how I feel with some twitter friends- like we go way back even though I’ve never met them and they might not even follow me. I read their tweets and blogs and love that we have the same love for Indycar.
The boys and I got a snack, talked with Eric some more, tweeted Justin Wilson and hoped cars would get out on the track. Then Justin Wilson tweeted back- that is one of the awesome things about Indycar. Everyone is so approachable and willing to take time to talk with the fans. Justin said he wouldn’t be on track for a couple hours as they were still working on the car. The boys and I walked along the fence by the garages hoping maybe Justin was nearby and would come to the fence for a picture or autograph. At that time Eric happened to be in the garage area and tried to peak in the garage for us but said it didn’t look like JW was around. Thanks again for checking Eric.
We did see Juan Pablo Montoya. Zachary yelled out, “Hi, Juan Pablo Montoya” and then kept walking he didn’t really expect JPM to hear or respond but the opposite happened. JPM waved and kept waving until my son turned around and waved back. That was very cool. I would have to say he has softened up and might be more fan friendly than I thought he would be. He was also the only driver we happened to see standing outside his garage talking and giving autographs.
We stopped in the gift shops and met a mom with her boys- late teens. They had flowers for Pippa Mann. She said her and her boys were up late talking about which driver was best, who would win etc. I loved seeing a mom with older boys doing exactly what I hope to be doing with mine as the years progress.
Cars were now on track so we found some seats to watch and sat in front of a dad and his son (about my boys age) and he knew Scott Dixon. We enjoyed talking with him and seeing what Scott was texting to him about when he thought he would get some practice laps in. This dad also took a great picture of the boys and I with the pagoda in the background.
It was such a fun day! I can’t think of any other venue where acquaintances feel like old friends and I strike up lengthy conversations with total strangers. We even had some people on race day ask us to watch their things for them while they walked a bit. Where does that happen? Well it happens at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I’ve heard stories of the partying and drinking that goes on there (I’m sure race day would be a bit different) but that has not been our experience at all. For us it has always been such a great family experience and a place that I am happy to share with my boys. It’s a place where families gather and everyone wants to share their experiences. It’s a place where history is made and I’m so thankful for the time I get spend there
with my boys and share stories of my time there with my dad.
We will be counting the days till our next trip.