Dan's 2000 Indy 500 Journal


Carburation Day
Thursday May 25, 2000

Carburation Day proved to be the biggest party day of the month!

Chug that Budweiser!
Chug that beer!

Carb Day Crowd The weather was nice and sunny. I showed up with Brian and Tim. We sat in the Tower Terrace. We watched the race cars carefully practice from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This was the Indy 500 drivers' last chance to get on the track and test things before the race. But they sure didn't want to screw up and wreck now!

In the afternoon we watched the Pit Stop Competition from tower terrace. By now we were feeling pretty good and was just looking around and talking to our neighbors about racing and politics. It was hard to tell what was going on down in the pits, there were so many people in the way.

At one point, the Speedway sent out a bunch of race cars from different era's of the century. They went zipping by for about 5 laps. It was really something to see a car from the 1900's running past cars from the 30's and 50's.

old race cars doing laps

Brian called me the night before to tell me that Andy Hillenburg, whom had qualified in the 33rd position, was sponsoring a contest with the prizes being racing school at Fast Track Racing in Charlotte.
Dan and Tim with Bill Simpson for President sign He was grateful for the financial help from Bill Simpson, owner of Simpson Racing Equipment. His contest was for people to make signs saying "Bill Simpson for President". Here I am holding the sign I made the night before. I wanted to walk down to his pits, which were toward the beginning of the pit lane. However a yellowshirt blocked it. That section was all blocked off for the Tower Suties owners. Well la tee da. Unfortunately, none of his spotters spotted me although I carried this sign around all day. 20,000 other people sure saw it. One guy asked "Who is Bill Simpson? A cross between Bill Clinton and Homer Simpson?" Hey! That is an ugly thought! As luck would have it, Hillenburg did call me later and invite me to his race school. Photos from my weekend at Fasttrack Racing.

Carb Day Concert - Smashmouth

After the on-track festivities, about 4 p.m., there was a rock concert in the plaza behind the tower featuring Smashmouth. This was an excellent idea!! The partiers have lost the 4th turn and this was a perfect way for people to release their party energy. Everyone had much fun.

Photo of crowd gathered for concert behind the tower.

Carb Day Crowd I also got to see some female nudity throughout the day; something that was sadly lacking during last year's Carb Day. I failed to capture most on film, but I once again have a Carb Day Girls Webpage featuring 28 pictures of pretty girls. I was especially surprised this day when a girl took off her top for a moment up in the middle of the stands infront of the tower. Woo Hoo!

Carb Day Crowd

Cops roamed through the huge crowd checking ID's of young drinkers, but really everything was cool. I only saw them haul off one drunk girl. As they marched her through the crowd right towards me, She was unable to hide her exposed boob as her hands were handcuffed behind her. I know a Kodak moment when I see one, but I wasn't quick enough.

We drifted out to the edges to meet some girls. These girls had been in Tony Georges's suite at the top of the tower all day! They were partying and happy and having a good time. This one girl gave me a Pit/Garage pass. I walked over to the garage area and found Andy's garage; but he was gone.

Towards the middle of the concert, I got interviewed by a Chicago TV show. They asked me about partying at the track. I'll be on the show, "Wild Chicago" for their Indy special.

This day was great!!! Thanks Tony!!


Race Day
Sunday May 28, 2000

Friday & Saturday RACE WEEKEND
Normally Buddha comes down from Detroit in time to go to Carb Day with me. This year he waited on E.T. and they didn't arrive until that night. They went off caving in B'ton while I caught up on some work around the crib. They got pretty beat up and tired in the cave. E.T. went to bed, but Buddha was up for some titties, so we headed to Brad's Gold Club.

Saturday we went to one of the best golf courses in the city - Fort Benjamin Harrison. E.T. shot a 72! I refuse to say what I hit. That evening, we headed to Whiteland for some go-karting. It started pouring down right before we got there. We found that they run rain or shine, so we laid down our money and went out and had a blast. It was easy to slide out and hit the tires or do a 180. It was a fun, but you couldn't go as fast as when it was dry.

We began raceday by rising at 6 a.m. This year, Johnny was joining Buddha, E.T. and I. We took I-465 around and bypassed the 10th Street and Crawfordsville Road exits which were already backed up on the interstate. We went up to 38th Street and took that to Moller Road and then down to 30th Street and into the Coke Lot where we parked for free! We all bought some cheap $10 t-shirts off some guy in the field. Lots of campers had huge poles with flags and lights in the huge field.

Tossing a TV to the ground We proceeded over to 24th Street and Georgetown where Buddha's Michigan Tech fraternity brothers were partying. They had rented a big U-Haul truck and had parked it Wednesday along this party corridor. There were about 30 dudes and by the looks of things, some serious drinking had been going on the past few days. Three TV sets were lying around smashed to pieces thanks to a drop off of the top of the truck. They told me one made a really good "pop". There were assorted couches scattered about, a mountain of beer cans and a campfire which blazed with weird colors thanks to the various toxic items they would throw into it.

About six of the guys sat on top of the truck which had Tiki Torches duct taped to the top corners. Crowds of people began walking by on their way into the track around 8 or 9. The boys hurled down insults and sex jokes. It was amusing. They also had a "fireman's" pole for sliding back down to earth!

E.T. and I walked around to some of the vendors lined around the outside of the speedway selling racing souvenirs and food. I wanted an Indian Taco, but they were still cooking breakfast. Another batch of streetside party boys set what looked like a live rat with its head caught in a big trap out in the middle of the street for all to see. I walked by and thought it was funny because it was so realistic. A little later, E.T. told me it was real. If it was, then it was the sickest thing I've ever seen anyone do.

We packed up the gear and headed toward the speedway entrance at 10 a.m. I thought I'd try bringing in plenty of supplies this time. I had a cooler full of beer and food, another bag with junk and an umbrella. The one thing I did not take was a camera.

We had not stepped 5 feet into the speedway when it began raining! I pulled out my poncho and umbrella and I was one of the few to keep dry. Hundreds of thousands of people had already made it to their seats, many rushed to seek shelter under the stands and in the tunnels. It was packed and most people just had to sit in the rain.

We eventually made it over to the tower and Gasoline Alley, walking around gawking at stuff. These guys hadn't been to the track yet this year and there was plenty of new stuff to see. I was really tired of carrying my junk around. Next year if I feel the need to take my own food and beer, I am going to get a wagon or a large cooler with wheels!! Many people use wagons and there are spots behind the stands where you can leave them while you watch the race.

After the rain stopped, several fighter jets flew by. Then a Harrier jet slowly flew down the front stretch and came to a stop above turn one. Harriers have adjustable jet engines that let them hover in air. The noise was unbelievable, the loudest thing I have ever heard. It slowly rotated 360 degrees and then slowly took off. I wasn't even in the stands right under it. Its hard to imagine that the noise didn't damage a lot of ears.

E.T. had gotten an extra pair of tickets over in Tower Terrace. He and Buddha planned on watching the start and finish there and the middle portion up in NE Vista with Johnny and I. I was surprised by how fast they got the track dry. We got to our seats right as the parade lap was coming by. Later I heard they had driven the Turbine "whoosh" cars by. I'd have loved to seen those. Anyway it was nice having the extra space provided by E.T. and Buddha's absense. I was tired from carrying my junk around for the last 3 hours.

The race proceeded well enough, no accidents or yellows until after the first 150 miles, when Greg Ray, pole sitter, hit the 2nd turn wall. 2nd place qualifier, Juan Pablo Montoya, from the CART series, had already taken over the lead. He basically led to the end of the race making this one of the most boring 500 races I've ever seen. Little Al had car troubles and bailed out as did my old friend, Andy Hillenburg.

For the first time in history, two women started in the 500. Ironically, they hit each other and then the wall. Neither returned to the race.

Toward the end, Buddy Lazier began gaining on Montoya. This provided some excitement. About lap 175 it began to lightly sprinkle. The race went on and Montoya won, to most people's chagrin.

Team owner owner Chip Ganassi and Juan Montoya, 2000 Indy 500 winner

After the race, Johnny-G and I went back to the U-Haul truck. Seven hours had passed and the frat boys hadn't slowed down. They yelled at the girls with gusto and several were kind enough to lift their tops as they walked by laughing.

Now you see me....Now you don't!

I got the camp fire going again and then some of the guys fired up the grill and cooked some burgers. I played some Euchre in the back of the truck and tried one of their homemade pickled eggs.

By the time it got dark, they were packing up and getting ready to torch 4 sofas. That is when we left for home. They delay televising the race in Indy, so we all started watching it in my living room. Everyone fell asleep with about 30 laps left to go. It had been an exhausting weekend and we can't wait for this September and the U.S. Grand Prix!



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