9:27 AM ET (Steph) – Good morning from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where race weekend is officially under way for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500! There’s not a cloud in the sky, the camping lots are jam-packed, and traffic is piling in to the Speedway already as Carb Day festivities get started.
I’ll be providing the majority of the updates this weekend. Paul and John are both in town as well, but Paul typically has family commitments (though he’ll no doubt drop in on the live blog occasionally) and John is spending the next few days focusing on promoting his book, Hard Luck Lloyd. Don’t forget: if you don’t have a copy of the book yet, you can meet John and purchase an autographed copy at the memorabilia show at IMS tomorrow at the Racemaker Press booth at 2 PM.
One perk of being at the GP of Indianapolis weekend is that for the first time ever in my time coming to the 500 I didn’t have to wait in the insane Carb Day morning credential line. That alone is worth the price of GP admission!
I drove down from Toronto all day yesterday, checked into my hotel, quickly got myself ready, and turned right back around to head out to The Crane Bay in downtown Indianapolis to attend The Yellow Party for the first time. I’ll be doing a more detailed write-up on this sometime in the next couple of weeks, but if you haven’t made it to one of these yet then please take my word for it that you have to. It’s amazing. I have a list in my notebook of about 20 drivers who came out and were hobnobbing with fans among a silent auction with dozens of rare items (the vast majority autographed), great food and drinks (from a bar stocked entirely with Snapple Group products, of course, since it’s an Andretti Autosport party), a live auction (including a painting of the front row of this year’s 500, painted live on site by famed motorsport artist Bill Patterson and signed by Ed Carpenter and James Hinchcliffe right there at the party), and a concert by the band Live (which was a bizarre collision of worlds for me because I am a massive fan of theirs — don’t judge me). And it’s all in support of Racing for Cancer and the Little Red Door. I really can’t rave enough about how great an event it is. You must go to at least one to see what it’s all about.
I’m about to run off to be shown some new technology by Verizon centered around IndyCar racing, so that’s pretty exciting. I’ll be back later to tell you about that. But before I do, I want to drop a few more dates and times for you:
- Tonight, don’t miss the Carb Night Burger Bash at 96th Street Steakburger tonight at 6:30 PM. I think this is the seventh one of these, but don’t quote me on that. It’s always a great event. Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee host a live edition of Trackside right there beside the restaurant, and plenty of drivers show up to meet and greet fans. Plus, they hold a live auction to raise money for Indianapolis-area charities. Paul and I will be there a little later on. We hope to see lots of you there!
- I mentioned John’s book signing above, but I’ll do it again because we don’t want you to miss it: 2 PM Saturday at the Racemaker Press booth in the memorabilia show at IMS.
- And on Sunday morning, there’s an Indy Fans Tweet-up! That’s at 9:30 AM in the Pagoda Plaza. If you were here for the GP of Indianapolis, it’ll be in the same spot — when you stand in front of the Pagoda facing it, we congregate around one of the planters sort of to the bottom left. Hope to see you there
I’m off to find out what Verizon has in store for IndyCar fans in the near future. Check back in later for more info!