As much as I enjoy watching the race, this weekend is also about family and all the things to do on a race weekend. Matthew is now twelve but we began our tradition of spending time at Indy in May when he was just five. Two years later when Zach turned five he joined us on our trips. This year did not disappoint. We had a great time.
You can read about qualifying day in my previous post- Fun Day at the Grand Prix of Indy. It truly was a fun day. Saturday was race day and just as busy and fun as qualifying.
We enjoyed breakfast at our hotel and got in a quick swim before heading to the track. We arrived at the speedway around 11:45. That gave us plenty of time to make the tweet up by the pagoda. It was good to see Eric Hall (@erock_in_indy, anotherindycarblog.wordpress.com) and also George and Susan Phillips ( @oilpressureblog, Oilpressure.com) among others. Pippa Mann and Tristan Vautier were there with Pippa running a Q&A. Unfortunately, with car noise in the background it was impossible to hear much at all. I also wish there could be someway to introduce those in attendance. I talked with some but I’m sure I missed some twitter friends simply because I don’t recognize the face as I do the twitter handle. I’ve enjoyed other tweet ups more. My boys however, had a great time. They had their checkered flag necklaces and were finding many takers. A couple people were especially appreciative. We talked with one man for quite awhile. He even bought Zach’s hat from him. Another woman liked the necklace so much she found us later and gave the boys t-shirts. And yet another woman, from IndyINtheLoop.com, interviewed the boys. They were having a blast.
Time for lunch so we got a turkey leg to share. If you are looking for a cheaper way to feed a family always go for the turkey leg. All three of us ate from it and were quite full after. Matthew did have a hot dog too. We had drinks in our cooler (love that IMS allows outside food and beverages) so we didn’t break the bank for lunch. If you can find the vintage tenderloin sandwich that is an incredible value too. We weren’t so lucky this trip but plan to hunt them down at the 500.
After lunch, Zach got a picture with the Firestone Firehawk. We were packing up our things, thinking about finding a spot on the mounds to watch the race, when a woman came up to us. She asked if we had seats. I said no and she asked if we wanted seats in the Northwest Vista. Umm sure. She then explained that she was an Angie’s list employee and saw me with my boys and wanted to do something nice for us. Looking back I think she thought I was a single mom. I’m not but it is overwhelming sometimes being at such a massive facility and keeping track of two boys. This has become easier each year and this year Matthew has a phone so knowing I can contact him should we get separated helped a lot. Still it is a hectic weekend and was such a sweet gesture from this woman. We had great seats– they were just a bit farther away than we had anticipated. Oh well we seldom get to that side of the track so let’s just enjoy.
We made our way to our seats. Saw Big Steve, winner of the Rickshaw races at the 2014 Milwaukee race and got settled in just in time for the short rain shower.
The boys loved the rain and wished it had rained longer. They also really loved the start of the race. I know you shouldn’t hope for crashes but it does make it a bit more exciting, especially for young boys. It certainly grabbed Matthew’s attention and he watched the first ten laps or so pretty closely. Zach grew bored a bit quicker and attempted to take a nap. Eventually they went to buy an ice cream and all was good again. After the crash there wasn’t much to keep their attention but we would point out when one of our favorite drivers would pass by. The race ended with Will Power winning. Not one of our favorites.
Zach had seen, on our way to our seats, where they were selling used tires from the Pro Mazda series. He had to have one. I tried my hardest to talk him out of it. We were on the exact opposite side of the track from where we were parked. I thought there was no way he could carry that tire the whole way back. It turned out to be the best ten dollars we spent. He fairly skipped back to the car. He was so proud of his tire and loved the attention he got carrying it back. Matthew begged to help carry it but Zach wouldn’t let him.
As we neared the walkway overlooking the garage area went went up to see if we could see any drivers. We were lucky enough to see Takuma Sato with AJ Foyt. So very thankful he is doing well and was at the speedway. We also saw Hinch.
IMS was offering a chance to go out on the track, a track invasion, but the boys were tired and not interested. We continued back to our car and barely made it before the rain began. Wow! Such a fun day.
We finished our day with dinner at Steak ‘n Shake to celebrate Graham’s second place finish. After that we played in the pool.
Sunday was Mother’s Day and although there was no track activity we didn’t let that keep us from going back to the speedway. We visited the museum and the gift shop. The boys picked out my Mother’s Day gifts and I couldn’t be happy with their selections, after all they are from IMS. Well actually I do have one complaint. Zach bought me a t-shirt. He knew ahead of time to get an XL. I warned him that sizes run small. When he presented it to me I knew we had to exchange it. Thankfully the sweet woman working remembered us and it was an easy exchange. We got the 2XL. Okay people, I could definitely stand to lose a couple pounds but as a rule I wear a large—2XL– I should be swimming in it and actually it is still quite tight. It is absolutely ridiculous. I can’t even imagine once I wash it. Guess my nieces will be getting another t-shirt from me. This is not a one time problem.
We “opened” the gifts by the fountain before making our drive up north to the Chicago area. I can’t think of a better way to spend Mother’s Day and can’t wait to do it all again in two weeks and next year.