Memorial Day Weekend is almost here, and I’m so very excited to be living in a city this year from which I can watch the Indy 500 race live on t.v. for the first time in a couple of decades! For a glitter girl, I do love to watch the Indy cars go fast, really REALLY FAST. Too fast to see if they’ve been glittered at all.
When you actually live in Indy, and don’t have friends with a big screen t.v. in the next viewing market over, mere mortals like me have to wait for the taped replay (after listening to the radio broadcast). Actually, I always tape the replay so I can run the wrecks as often as I like. The race itself can run in as little as three hours, if the weather is good and the drivers are safe (where’s the fun??).
Of course, if you’re willing to battle the crowds (larger even than the entire population of the nation of Iceland) and attend in person, it is The. Biggest. RUSH. you will EVER. FEEL. except maybe a space shuttle flight or possibly one of those drop-out-of-a-helo-with-a-parachute-and-ski-to-the-bottom trips. But you don’t need as much gear, just some sodas and sunscreen and a seat cushion and an umbrella and sandwiches and money and a program and a camera and a radio and money and a hat and sunglasses and chapstick and money and band-aids and money and you might want a roll of toilet paper just to be on the safe side if you’re “a delicate flower”.
My first race was 22 years ago, seats in the second turn at the top of the short shute, about 12 rows from the fence. Thank you for the fence.
Dum, de dum, celebrity goes around in the pace car.
Dum, de dum, some wailing music for a number or two by the underfed vocalist of the year.
Dum, de dum, Jim Nabors sings “Back Home Again in Indiana.”
Dum, de dum, “gentlemen, start your engines.”
Dum, de dum, pace laps, cars go weaving by (they warm up their tires that way) and gradually form into rows.
And then, HOLY COW, the green flag!
You’re on your feet for at least the first 10 laps ( no kidding, my heart is speeding up even now just thinking about that first green lap!) as the cars go by in a blur. You don’t know fast until you’ve been 30 feet from a car passing at 200 miles an hour. Whew, what a rush! It’s not quite Mach, but it sure takes a few laps for your eyes to able to see the cars as they speed by. As fast as you can focus on one, it’s gone. Then there are red flags, and yellow flags, and rain delays, and sunburn, and drunks. And then, after 200 laps on the 2.5 mile track, there’s a winner. All this takes about 5 hours.
And then, there is 45 minutes of walking to the car (if you’re lucky), followed by four hours in the parking lot trying to leave the track, followed by an hour and a half on the interstate to get home. That’s when you forget about the rush of that first green flag lap and think to yourself “I’m not coming again until I can helo into the infield!”
Once back on the couch in the air conditioning, though, you’re sitting there, watching it all over again on t.v., heart pounding, wishing it wasn’t a full year until the race is back in town again! Only 11 months and three weeks more until we’re all back “on the bubble” with the next 33 cars and drivers…
~Janet @ The Christmas Place
I’m not tailgating, you’re driving too close to my front bumper.