It was the hottest race ever at Indy and it was memorable. Last year was the 100th Anniversary of the first running of the 500 so we are now on the second Century of racing at Indy and did so with a brand new race car. Katrina and I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the race track taking in all we could cram into those three days.
We have attended several 500s but none quite like this one. I am not sure what the difference was but the crowds seemed larger than last year, the new race car is fantastic and the people seemed to be well behaved with the exception of a bunch of young folks camped next to us. They were there for the party, not the race. They did not even attend the race. They were absolute pigs; urinating in public, breaking and then burning their camp chairs. They never put one beer can, water bottle or piece of paper into a garbage can. Even though they were not race fans they are the kind of young people that give real race fans a black eye. Their parents must be proud; NOT!
The race festivities leading up to the start of the Indy 500 are, arguably, the best of any racing event. The pageantry, the celebrities and the ceremonies all appropriately bring the race fans’ spirits to a crescendo. This year the Memorial Day tribute to our soldiers was particularly moving and in addition their was a weekend long tribute to last year’s Indy 500 winner, Dan Weldon. There were even white sunglasses (kind of a Weldon trademark) handed out to every one in attendance as they passed through the gates. Dan was a two time winner of the 500 but lost his life in a tragic and spectacular race accident at the Las Vegas race last year. There were a lot of tears shed for Dan this year at Indy from fans and drivers alike. His beautiful wife and young son filled in for him when ever last year’s Indy 500 race winner was honored. It was difficult for many of us Weldon fans; it had to be an unbelievably difficult weekend for her.
Below is but a brief overview of a few of the highlights for us of the weekend. If the Indy 500 is on your bucket list, it should be on every race fan’s list, don’t wait buy your tickets now for next years event.