Fans of IndyCar and the Indy 500

As we count down to The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, I thought it would be fun to once again remind ourselves of some of the differences between true fans of IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500 and casual fans of the sport. So here are some ways we differ. Hope you enjoy!

1. A super fan will wake up long before the sun rises to hit the road in order to attend a race weekend. It makes no sense to go to a race and not watch every practice and qualifying session. A casual fan would rather attend her sons ballgame and stroll into the track just before the green flag.

At the Indianapolis 500, the super fan has arrived before the bomb and enjoys vintage cars on track, the singing of Back Home Again in Indiana, Balloon real ease and many other prerace traditions. The casual fan is still waiting in the concession line minutes before the green flag.

2. A super fan refers to the drivers by their first name and acts like they actually know the driver (we feel like we do).  The casual fan often has no clue who the super fan is talking about because sport figures usually go by their last names and the casual fan is trying to figure out who the heck Tony, Charlie and Scott are.

3. When hanging out at the hotel pool after a hot day at a speedway a casual fan might be tempted to yell out “Polo” to a popular game kids are playing in the pool. A super fan will have a completely different answer and yell out “Andretti”.

4. A super fan knows the drivers birthdays and will often tweet birthday wishes. While discussing this at dinner Kristen couldn’t believe how many of the drivers birthdays Lisa and I knew without looking them up. Okay I will admit we didn’t always remember the exact date but between the two of us we knew the Month for many.

5. A super fan won’t go to just any restaurant while attending the Indy 500. Charlie Browns, Mug n Bun, Dawson’s and the Foyt Vault are all a must. Casual fan just wants to hit Cracker Barrel because it is close to the hotel.

6. A super fan gets all geeked out when her blog is mentioned by the king of IndyCar bloggers- George Phillip of – even more so when she wins the annual trivia contest. A casual fan is shocked that there is more than one person blogging about IndyCar.

7. A super fan has her own scanner and regularly checks in with Debbie who works for Racing Elecronics to make sure she is good to go before the green flag. A casual fan hopefully remembers to bring ear protection.

8. A super fan knows and recognizes the radio announcers. A casual fan scratches her head wondering how on Earth you know what the radio announcers look like.

9. A super fan will rearrange the IndyCar magnets on her car putting the driver with the most points in first. A casual fan sadly does not have any IndyCar bumper stickers or magnets on her car.

10. Perhaps our favorite and the one we laughed over the most. A super fan follows the drivers pet dogs on Twitter. During the Iowa weekend (2017) Norman Pagenaud tweeted reminding us to vote for Simon for the ESPY’s. Kristen could not stop laughing when I showed her the tweet. She laughed even harder when she learned he wasn’t the only dog I follow. Chevy Clausen is another sweet pup I follow. The best part was it didn’t even dawn on me that she would find it funny or weird that I follow dogs on twitter- don’t we all? When we told Lisa she said she also followed Norman and of course had voted for Simon.

11. A super fan refuses to attend weddings or graduation parties on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. A casual fan actually plans parties on that Sunday and doesn’t understand why the super fan refuses to attend.

12. A casual fan does not talk to strangers in a bar. A super fan notices their IndyCar shirt and approaches them asking all sorts of questions about who they like for the race.

13. A super fan talks along with the radio, tv and podcasts answering questions and pointing out facts along with the announcers. The casual fan is amazed people can talk about IndyCar for that long.

14. A casual fan may or may not recognize Mario Andretti. A super fan will pull out a homemade autograph book that includes pictures from the Andretti winery and end up having a 15 minute conversation with the racing legend.

15. Super fans wake up on Memorial Day Sunday saying Merry Christmas. Casual fans are greatly confused because Christmas is in December. Well that’s not necessarily true if you are a race fan. Our greatest day of the year is Indy 500 day.

I’ve put this fun list together twice before. You can check it out here and here. If some of these seem dated that is why. Today we will celebrate my sons graduation. I was very careful to make sure the party was on Saturday and not Sunday. While I don’t often attend the race in person, you can be sure I will be watching every second of it. Hope you enjoy our racing Christmas.

Do you have fun stories your friends and family don’t understand about your passion for the 500? I’d love to hear them.

7 thoughts on “Fans of IndyCar and the Indy 500

  1. First of all IndyCar needs every darned fan it can get, super or not.

    But calling yourself a super fan while not attending the most SUPER OF ALL RACES is a crock of crap. A REAL super fan WILL BE THERE TODAY LIKE GEORGE, SUSAN AND ME! I cannot believe you had the balls to write what you did, putting down average fans THEN telling us you’re WORSE than an average fan by not even going!

    There’s two minutes I’ll never get back. You should be ashamed….


    • In all fairness- you don’t know me. I promise you can be a huge fan and still watch from home. Not everyone has the same traditions and just because mine are different from your doesn’t make them wrong.
      It was just supposed to be a fun lighthearted post. If you can’t appreciate that then you are the problem. Hope you have a great race day. I know I will watching from home.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey, it was fun meeting you this weekend and talking Indy 500. How about that finish? One of my favorite memories is kind of 500 related, but not really. It took place at the Indy GP. We were camping in the infield and stayed after the race tailgating to let traffic dissipate (and stay a little longer inside the IMS…I mean, come on, who does not want to do that). My son was playing wiffleball next to our RV wearing a Graham Rahal shirt. As we are sitting there taking everything in, car rolls up and out of the car jumps Graham (Courtney was driving for the record) and he thanks my son for being a fan, shakes his hand, and gives him a hat. He visited, took some pictures and even played a little whiffle ball. It was awesome! Graham made some life long fans that day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So fun meeting you. I know we could have shared stories all day. I absolutely love this story about Graham. IndyCar drivers are the best! I also totally agree about spending as much time as possible at IMS. We are often among the last to leave.
      Was crushed for Graham when he lost that tire. I was just saying it could be his year. Thrilled for Helio though. Such a fun race.


  3. I totally refer to the drivers by their first name (though now that McLaughlin is in the series, I’ve had to start calling Scott Dixon by his last name to distinguish when I’m talking about him or Scotty. 😊
    I know several birthdays though I admit to not knowing all by heart. 😕
    I geek out when I’ve commented on a tweet and the driver likes it 😁
    I totally follow @NormanPagenaud 🐶 lol
    we’ve attended birthday parties on Sunday but the host has always known that we will be there later because of the 500
    I have absolutely started conversations with people if I notice them wearing some sort of gear from an IndyCar team
    I totally talk along with the podcasts I listen to.
    I can’t imagine any one NOT knowing who Mario Andretti is… lol
    and… Merry Christmas!! 😉

    that is a fun list… thanks for sharing 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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