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I got my hands on 4 South Vista Deck tickets
for face value ($150 each) and sold our 2
Stand E tickets ($90 each.)  This was cool
because my friend Ron wanted to go with us.  
I sold the extra deck ticket through this web
site to a guy from Wisconsin.  I was excited
to get a deck ticket as I've only had one once
before.  Also, I had never sat in the South
Vista before.  (The deck are two rows of seats
that are high above the top of the stand.)

It was kind of cold, in the 50s, and overcast.  
I opted for just shorts and a t-shirt and no hat.  
Most people today were dressed much

We departed my house about 8:50 a.m.  We
had not left early in many years and I was
dreading massive traffic jams.  

I took 465 around to the west side.  10th street
was backed up onto the interstate.  So we
passed it and took the next exit -
Crawfordsville Rd.  This traffic was moving, at
least the right hand lane was flowing pretty
quick.  I have no idea why everyone was
sticking to the left lane.  Eventually we came to
a place where the cops had Crawfordsville
Rd shut down and were making everyone
turn left.  So I turned right and went to 16th
Street where I went left toward the Speedway.  
We got pretty darn close, turned into Auburn
Street and parked on the corner in someone's
yard for $25.  (I backed up too far at first and
hit the guys satellite dish which put a small
scrape and dent in my trunk lid.)

At first, we were going to enter toward the
middle of Georgetown Rd by the Pagoda and
check out Gasoline Alley and then head to the
3rd Turn infield.  We were all carrying heavy
coolers and decided to go to our seats first
to drop off our gear.  

There was a crowd to get in to the gate at the
Ticket Office area in Turn 1.  It went quickly
even though everyone had to open their
coolers and bags for inspection.  They had a
line to the right for people with no coolers or

We were inside the speedway at 9:40 a.m.!  
We had done it and with no depressing traffic

After dropping off our coolers and seat
cushions up on the deck, we headed into the
track with a beer in our hand.  Surprisingly,
we ran into our friend Tim and his son Daniel
over by the museum.  Daniel goes to
Indiana University and this was his first trip
to the 500 with his dad.

The three of us walked over to the nearest
people-shuttle stop, passing one of the police
stations, which featured fire trucks, State
Police, Local police and the FBI.  I think
security was up more this year due to the recent
terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon finish
line.  In fact, some of the runners who were
unable to finish that race showed up at the
speedway today and ran from the 4th turn to
the finish line during pre-race ceremonies.

As we rode up Hulman Blvd, I saw a VIP
entrance where a lot of guys were playing

The people-mover quickly got us to the center
of Turn 3.
There is a large party zone setup with a fence
around it.
You have to wait in a fast line to go in, write
down your name and email address and
receive a rubber wrist band, where upon you
enter at no cost.

There was a large inflatable slide.  There was
various games and refreshment stands set up
around the perimeter.  There was also a
regular style bar set up.  
We stopped for a drink.  Ron and I wanted rum
and coke but the only drinks available were
beer and Jaeger.  Ron and I opted for a
Leinenkugel Summer Ale.

In the center was a stage with DJs pumping
out some heavy beats as a dense crowd of
people danced.
There was a VIP lounge set up on a pedestal.  
We made our way behind it as we had no VIP
pass.  I got one of their bartenders to sell us
Makers Mark and Coke. Yea!

There were hot chicks dancing on the stage.  
We hung out there and watched them  until it
was time to head to our seats.

We hopped on the people tram just before it
took off.  It took us first to the outside of the
track north of the track.
I hopped off and ran back to the tram car
behind us to sit with Ron.  I yelled at E.T. to
join us.  So he did likewise, however some
real old guy attendant started yelling at E.T.
about sitting down.  It was funny.

Back at the South Vista, we walked up all the
stairs again to the deck.  Now the place was
full of people as the race was nearing.  This is
when we discovered a major mistake.  We
had sat our gear down in the wrong section!!  
I had to wade into these fans who were all
packed in and get all of our stuff out.  
Yikes, what a dummy mistake.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
After last year's super late arrival to the track on race day,
E.T. and I vowed not to party the night before the 500 this
year.  We ordered Chinese food and settled in to watch
some TV.  Two girls stopped by and begged us to go
downtown to party, but we held fast to our vows.  None the
less, we stayed up until 3 or 4 a.m. watching Game of
Thrones.  Sigh.

I got out of bed as soon as my alarm went off at 7 a.m.
Our plan was to depart at 8 a.m.
We were standing up on our seats in the top
row, with a fence to lean against.  We heard
someone sing America, we saw some old
military airplanes fly over, heard taps, heard the
invocation by the arch bishop of Indianapolis
(who also prayed for the Indiana Pacers to
"ice the Heat" in that evening's NBA game.)  
Jim Nabors was able to attend this year and
he sang "Back Home Again In Indiana."  Finally,
Mari Hulman-George told the drivers to start
their engines at 12:12 pm.

The cars did some warm up laps.  I never saw
them in 3-wide formation, so the start caught
me by surprise.

These seats were AWESOME!  I could
completely see turns 1 and 2.  I could not see
the straights though.  To my shock, I could
see the cars zipping through the north short
chute and I could see them going through turn 4!  

It was kind of breezy and overcast most of the
day and I was a little cold.  The sun tried to
peek out later and the air warmed up some.

My T-shirt said "I hate being Bi-polar.  It's
AWESOME!"  and that became our joke of
the day as we kept saying something sucked,
followed by It's AWESOME!  We got a lot of
laughs out of it amongst our juvenile selves.

Unlike my friends, I was able to stay in my seat
for the day without having to walk way down to
the bathrooms.

There was a crash right after the start.
However, during most of the race, there were
no cautions and the passing into turn 1 was
impressive.  By the end of the race, there
would be 68 passes for first place which
blew away the previous record.

Pole-sitter Ed Carpenter led the most laps.  
I was surprised to find AJ Allmendinger
leading for awhile.  I would have been happy
to see Tony Kanann or Marco Andretti win
and they indeed had a chance as they were
often in the lead, along with Ryan Hunter-Reay.  
Rookie Carlos Munoz was up there too.

The Target Chip Ganassi team was having a
bad day.  I did not notice any of their 3 drivers
(Franchitti, Dixon, Briscoe) ever cracking the
top 10.  I did not notice Will Power having
much luck today either.

After a restart near the end of the race, with
3 laps to go, Dario Franchitti hit the wall and
came to rest in the south chute.  At this
moment, Tony Kanaan had just passed for the
lead and the race finished under caution with
TK winning his first Indy 500!

TK has tried for many years and done well in
the 500, but had never won.  He is such a cool
guy that everyone likes him.  Everyone, fan
and race teams alike, were very happy for him.  
Many people thought this fast race was the
best ever.  I say its too bad it did not finish
under green.

Our travel luck continued.  We left shortly after
the race and joined the throngs leaving the
speedway.  We got our car out onto 16th
Street with no problem, dropped the top,
took Lynhurst to 10th Street to 465 and was
home by 3:30 pm!

This was a most excellent race day for us as
everything (other than the coolers debacle)
went smooth for us.
Riding the shuttle to the Snake Pit
Back home, we had a small cookout, then retired to my living room to watch the F1 Monaco race.  
We fell asleep during it and awoke at 9:30 pm.  
We then finished watching the rest of season two of Game of Thrones.

The next day, E.T. and I went on a long cruise to the country, each of us driving his race-prepped 1993 VW VR6.  

I quickly learned that this car is his baby!  

Here were his rules to me:
1. Lightly shut the door.
2. Do not turn the wheels if the car is not moving
3. Do a 3-point turn around in a court instead of making a circle as he doesn't want to wear the edge of his tires.
4. Do not shift into first gear if the car is rolling - come to a complete stop.
5. Press clutch all the way to the floor
6. Shift very slowly.
7. Do not touch the cruise control.
8. Do not roll down the windows if they were wet from the rain.

After all that, he told me I could drive fast.  

I was not practiced at driving fast on curvy country roads while trying to shift so slow, so I did not drive fast.  
What if I hit a bug with the windshield?  He probably would have lost his mind.  

Next time we go on a cruise, we'll just take my Vette...