When each boy turned five I began taking them to Pole Day for the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When IndyCar announced they would be racing on the Road Course at IMS the boys decided they would like to try a race instead of Pole a Day and we began a new tradition. We have attended every Grand Prix of Indy.
Zach’s first year, Matthew was a pro by his third visit. (I know I’ve posted this a couple times recently but it’s just too stinking cute.)
Friday morning Matthew had an algebra test he didn’t want to miss so we started out a bit later than I wanted but Matthew believes he did well on his test. We stopped for coffee and allergy medicine, which Zach forgot to pack and made our way to Indy. We arrived at the track around 2:30 and tried parking in a new spot. We parked in the turn 3 infield parking. It threw me off a bit. We usually enter from the opposite side of the Speedway, passing the museum, clearance shop and garage area. By parking in turn three we saw lots of grass and an empty Snake Pit. Not as much fun entering from that side. We texted friends and met up with them in the Pagoda Plaza. I then ventured towards the garage area before we went to find seats for qualifying.
Mike and Lisa met us in the plaza. Lisa spent the day with us.
We love sitting in the Penthouse suites for qualifying. It’s a great view, nice breeze and shaded. You overlook the pits and have video screens in sight. On general admission days these seats are available but they are completely sold out already for next years Indy 500- even if we were willing to spend the money for them. So we enjoy them when we can.
Robert Wickens was looking great during qualifying but as we’ve seen so many times Will Power won it at the end. No big surprise.
The boys and I passed by the garage area but didn’t see anyone before making the long trek back to the car. We met Lisa for dinner at Big Woods. Our first visit. I had zucchini noodles with shrimp and Alfredo. The shrimp was amazing but the noodles/sauce needed some additional ingredients. Still is great to see more restaurants offering healthier options. Yeah I know the Alfredo doesn’t scream healthy. I had it on the side and just added a bit for flavor.
Matthew was too tired to walk but Zach and I did a quick walk down main street before we went to the hotel. Of course we all jumped in the pool and got in some screen time before bed.
The forecast was talking about record highs so we did not rush right out to the track. The weather ended up not being too bad thanks to cloud cover. We entered on my preferred side of the track and took our annual photo as we enter. We walked straight to the mounds where we planned to watch so we could drop off our chairs. Fortunately, I have a friend who always sets up a huge blue tarp near turn 7. He always lets us crash his party and we appreciate it so much. Thank you Mark Wilkenson for your continued hospitality.
The boys ventured off to try a flight simulator and I went to get my scanner programmed so we could listen in during the race. We all met back at the blue tarp before the green flag. Shortly before we went green more friends stopped by. Great seeing D.Z., Eric and Katie.
Green flag- I can’t get into all the race details yet. While listening in on the scanner helps so much I still watch to watch the race on TV before I give race details. I will say it was great watching Robert Wickens lead. He was my pick for the day. The boys went with a traditional route and chose Will Power. We watched Will Power win this race from the Pole before and he did again yesterday. One of these days we will attend and see someone other than Simon Pagenaud or Will Power win. This was Will Powers third win at the GP, his 33rd win overall, his 30th for Team Penske and the 200th win for Team Penske. Power will be one to watch in the 500 for sure.
Post race we thanked Mark and made our way to the champagne celebration at the victory podium. With folding chairs on our backs we stayed on the edge of the crowd but did see some of the celebration. We walked past the garage area and saw Sam Schmidt and Zach Veach before heading out on track for the track invasion. So cool to walk on the track after the race. Culver’s for dinner and once again hit the pool.
Mother’s Day- The boys and I will return to IMS and visit the museum after breakfast at Charlie Brown’s. Another tradition I love. Check back here for more on our Mother’s Day fun and hopefully a race review before I return to Indy for qualifying weekend. As always, Thanks for reading.
Side note- I’m writing this at breakfast at the hotel and the news is on. Every five minutes they mention yesterday’s race. I really need to live in Indy. I’m sure there isn’t a single mention of it back home in the Chicago area.