A Smaller View: Hannah meets Danica

IndyCar commentary — By on May 18, 2011 8:37 am

A Smaller View chronicles the adventures of a nine-year-old girl as she takes advantage of the new junior credential program at IMS. Our junior blogger will submit reports on her experiences throughout the Month of May. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to present a view of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway through the eyes of the next generation!


Hi! This is my report after my first walk around Gasoline Alley. My dad picked me up after school, and we got to the track at about 4.

We drove under a tunnel into the track. The guards wear yellow coats and let us in because we had our badges. We parked next to a giant orange Hot Wheels ramp. It was at least 300 feet tall — it was really cool!

We walked past the Pagoda and went to Gasoline Alley. It smells like — guess what — gasoline!  Or WD-40.

I waited at the start of Gasoline Alley for about 10 minutes after the track closed to see Danica Patrick. The people around there said she always stops for little kids. When she finally came by, this great big dude stepped right in front of me and she didn’t see me because people were getting her attention. My dad told me to go catch up to her, and when I did she gave me a hug and let me walk with her. She asked me if I came to the track right after school. I said, “Yeah, my dad brought me,” and she said, “You have a cool dad.” I got her autograph and hugged her, too. My dad took a picture of it.

We saw Scott Dixon’s car in the Target garage. People were working all over it. One man was under it. We walked by everyone’s garage, but some of them were closed and some had no signs.

I met Dan Wheldon outside of his garage. He has hair like Justin Bieber’s. We asked him what he thought of having little kids in the garages, and he said it was cool. He had to go, but he has a bright smile.

Next, we went up the stairs to the stands at the Pit Terrace and watched some cars go past. Then, we walked down to the end of the pits and watched them from down there next to the safety trucks. I saw the track up close. Whenever the bottoms of the cars scrape the ground, they have sparks fly out!

When I first got there, I was thinking about how it might feel to be in a race car. Well, after seeing them, I thought that it would be warm and windy.

I had a cheeseburger, and it tasted like mashed-up veggies. It really didn’t taste that good.  After a long two hours, though, I’d had a lot of fun — and I like to write about it, too.

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