Many of you have already read the best part of our day. I greatly appreciate everyone who helped share that story. I was hoping it would have a bigger audience as it was such a neat story about some great guys. I never imagined it would be shared as much as it was. Thanks again for all who shared. If you happened to miss it then please check out my post IndyCar Drivers are the Best.
The rest of the day was tons of fun too. We arrived at the track and made a plan. We grabbed some food, looked through a couple shops and headed to the Family Fun Zone. I had been telling the boys how they have rides and they couldn’t wait. Well, when we arrived it was a bit disappointing- no rides. There were a couple things but no where near what they had in the past. They were all still free though. So the boys begged to try the stunt jump and trampolines but I convinced them to take a walk through the paddock first. Practice was over and I figured it would be a good time to find some drivers. I was right. Almost immediately we saw Will Power and Graham Rahal. That helped get the boys minds back on IndyCar and off playing.
We saw a lot of the cars go by. I pointed out drivers and owners. Then we strolled past the vintage cars. Eventually the boys had enough and back to the Family Fun Zone we went. It was fun too. Both boys jumped on the trampoline and Matthew was brave enough to try the stunt jump. We got an ice cream before walking to the Fan Village for the autograph session.
It was 50 minutes before the autograph session would begin and the line was already long. I asked the boys what they wanted to do. Both chose to play a bit in the Fan Village but not to stay for the autographs. I wanted to see all the drivers but I was kinda on the same page. So as the line continued to grow we left and strolled the paddock. We had a snack and made friends with Butch and Dan, who were sitting at the table next to us. They met at Indy years ago and have been friends since. They live in different states but meet up a couple times a year for IndyCar races. How cool is that.
We also enjoyed talking with the guys that drive the transporters. Zach stopped to ask them if Hinch was around and we struck up a conversation. It was pretty neat hearing about the sport from a different view. The guys were super polite. They admitted it’s been a tough season with so many races so close together and are hopeful next years schedule will allow a couple more breaks. I don’t blame them. I’d also like to see the season spread out a bit more.
We continued strolling and saw lots of drivers and IndyCar celebrities. Everyone was great taking time for pictures or autographs. Paul Tracy even jumped off a golf cart to make sure we got the picture we wanted. James Jakes stopped his scooter. Selfies with Jon Beekhus and Tristan Vautier. What a fun day! Of course the best part was meeting up with James and Ryan.
We spent some more time in the Family Fun Zone, compared notes with Butch and Dan on which drivers we saw and decided to take one last walk through the paddock before heading back to the hotel. By this time Zach was really getting into trying to spot the drivers. If anyone looked official he was asking who it was. Of course half the people in the paddock work with one of the teams but I don’t know who they are. Zach was getting frustrated since I’m the expert on all things IndyCar until we saw Michael Andretti and he was talking with Curt Cavin. We missed Michael but that is fine I was more interested in talking to Curt. I never miss an episode of Trackside and often talk along with Curt and Kevin- which cracks my boys up. Now I would get to really talk to Curt. Curt kept walking as I called his name but eventually turned around saying he didn’t realize we were calling him. I said, “Are you kidding? You are super famous in our house.” or something like that and right on cue Zach asked, “Curt Cavin?”. Yep Zach we are talking with Curt Cavin. I told him how much I enjoy trackside and shared our Hinch and Briscoe story. Curt asked our names and we talked a bit more. It was Curt who Tweeted about my story and really got it going. More about that in the next post but I am very grateful. Just another example of how awesome the IndyCar family is.
We left the track still feeling pretty pumped up about our fun day. We saw very little of the cars on track for practice but made up for it with the interactions we had. We still have another day at the track to enjoy too. What a fun trip with more to come.