|BRICKYARD GRAND PRIX RACE DAY
July 27, 2012
Johnny got us tickets to the track today including parking
in the Chevy Corral and passes to the Chevy Hospitality
Chalet. He had a long ride getting to my house in the
morning. We took our time and go to the track just after
We drove in on 30th Street to enter the north entrance.
Cars were being parked in the north 40, but our pass got us
into the infield. We saw a Porsche corral at the north end.
I would have liked to get back there and look the cars
over, but I never did.
To get to the Chevy Corral, I turned into the golf course at
the southern end of the track. I followed the paved golf
cart path that was just barely wide enough for my car,
winding through the hilly golf course, until popping out along
the back straight away. That was interesting.
Another black Vette was following us. After we
parked, we met its owner. Marc was driving his
new 2013 Grand Sport. He came by himself and
would end up hanging out with us today.
Apparently he's loaded and has some great cars.
He spoke of an event in September where you get
to drive your supercar all along Alligator Alley in
the Everglades as fast as you want for. That
would be great... as long as you did not end up in
the drink fighting alligators!
It was hot and mostly sunny.
We walked over to the nearby viewing hills in
time to catch the beginning of the Grand-Am
Continental Tire race at 1 p.m. Johnny and I set
up lawn chairs there.
I parked next to this blue '63 Vette. It was very
popular and people gathered around it all day.
I talked to its owner, Michael, and found out he
lived on the next block from me!
We were parked along the path race fans took to
go from the infield viewing hills to the bridge.
We had a beer and Marc and Johnny both needed
to go talk to some GM guys at the Chevy tent over
in the Pagoda Plaza.
So we headed over there.
I took this photo from the top of the bridge
Over at the Chevy tent, I was happy to find it air
conditioned. They had TVs all around showing the
action on the track. There was free food and drink
and we all ate lunch. Jeff Gordon was in the next
chalet signing autographs.
Suddenly they were showing a big fire on the TV.
I ran out the door with my camera and captured this
photo of the smoke from back behind the stands.
I thought it was from a race car on fire, but found
out later it was from a camper on fire.
I went back inside and ate some more.
Then, an alert came on the TV saying a
thunderstorm was heading our way.
I had left my top down on my car! Johnny and I
hustled out of there and into sprinkles.
I made it back to my car and put the top up. We sat
inside and watch hundreds of people walk from the
viewing hills toward the bridge.
Serious rain began falling and we had to roll up the
windows and turn on the air conditioner. I pondered
how I had just spent the last 2 months without a
drop of rain, with Indiana experiencing its worst
drought since the dust bowl years of the '30's, and
how I show up at the track and THEN it rains!
Anyway, the Continental Tire race was red flagged.
After a while, the rain stopped and the race
I set up my lawn chairs in front of my car and
watched all the people stream back by. It reminded
me of the old party days in the infield at the 500
when people would be sitting in front of their cars
watching the crowds go by.
Big thunderstorms looked to be moving back to the area and we
decided to get out while the getting was good. This was around
3:30pm and the Rolex race was to start at 4. I was disappointed
that we didn't get to see it live. On the way home, the deluge of
water fell and we stopped at a bar where we got to watch it on TV.
Later we met my friend Tony at Hal's Fabulous Vegas for dinner.
Then we went back to my house until 10:30, when those guys went
Johnny called me from Lapel Indiana. He had stopped for gas and
discovered he'd left his credit card at Vegas. He called them and
also found out that I had left my card there too! He turned
around and drove all the way back to Greenwood to retrieve the
cards. He made it just at closing time - midnight.
He dropped my card off and then started his long trek home to
Atlanta IN. Poor guy had to work the next day too.
There were photographers working taking photos of fans, then
offering to sell them prints off of IMS's web site. Here is the
photo they took of Johnny and I.