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IndyCar Grand Prix
85 Laps of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
Saturday, May 12, 2018
As it happened, we parked on the side of the jumbotron which was
televising coverage.  We could have sat and watched the gigantic
monitor like some digital drive-in theater, but we didn't.

We walked over and crossed the pedestrian bridge that goes over
the track, and walked around the Midway.

We saw some drivers from the lower series being interviewed.

At the end of the interview, one of the drivers asked where they
should eat.  

I yelled out "Taco Bell" and got some laughs.  -  (Last year Scott
Dixon was held up at gunpoint in the Taco Bell drive-thru after
qualifying.  Dixon had just won the $100,000 prize for earning the
pole position too after going 232 mph!  

Freaky good and bad luck.
While Saturday morning started out sunny, the
afternoon brought overcast skies and a nice warm
breeze, which was just fantastic for those of us at
the speedway.

BW called me this week and wanted to go to the
grand prix.

We left the south side at 11 a.m. and drove through
the city to reach North 30th Street.  I had a parking
pass that got us parked in the Turn 3 infield.

I paid $25 for my general admission in advance.  
BW paid $35 at the gate.

We missed all the morning races and had two
hours to wait for the Indy Lights race.

BW brought some of his new cameras today.
Many of the photos on this page were taken by
him.  The rest are from my camcorder.
As we left the stand and got down to the ground, I passed
once-hated race reporter
Robin Miller.

We wandered over to the Chevy display and saw the new
2019 Corvette ZR1 - a convertible no less!  The brakes
were huge!

I found a booth selling
AJ Foyt Racing stuff.  I bought some
die-casts from last season and a new
Tony Kanaan T-shirt.

We walked back through the midway.  There was a F16
fighter jet and a platform people could walk up to and look
into the plane's cockpit.  There was also some type of
simulator ride next to it that bucked and moved.  
The addition of go-karts was a cool new feature.
We walked back to my car to restock the cooler
and grab my new lawn chair - it sits low, but
allows you to adjust it so that you can use it on
a hill!

We walked along the viewing hill along the back
straight.  It was very crowded, but finally found a
good location to sit and watch the IndyCar race.  

My new chair is comfortable.  I had lots of good
food and ice-cold beer.  Life is good.

With no video screens or scoring pylons it was
hard to follow the race from the viewing hill, even
though I know most of the cars. They were strung
out enough that there were only brief moments
where I could hear the P.A. system.  I would
recommend wearing noise-cancelling head-
phones that received race information from the
radio or a scanner with general admission.  

As I predicted, pole-sitter
Will Power won the
BW bought a tenderloin from the speedway grill.  He said it was dry.

We had decided to watch the Indy Light race from the Tower Terrace.  
Only the first sections were open and they were not letting anyone is without a ticket.

I decided to try the back way - BW followed me over to the stairway underneath the
Tower Terrace and up to the top, where we were able to enter the Tower Terrace and sit at
the top.

Although the sky was overcast, there was enough glare that I had to wear sunglasses and
a hat.

Sitting in the Tower Terrace sucks for watching a road course race because you know they
are going through lots of turns, but you cannot see any of them.
BW says no cell phones work at the speedway
except for Verizon.

Some lucky people got to ride in the IndyCar
two-seater, taking laps around the road course!

I saw Indiana govenor
Eric Holcomb walking
around in the pits.
Behind The Scenes...
Trophies and Champagne for the Indy Lights Podium
Up On The Flag Stand...

A man gets congratulated for the honor
of waving the checkered flag
Aaron Telitz finished 2nd
in the Indy LIghts race.  
We ended up over in the Pagoda Plaza.  There were a lot of people
here today.  

We got a free pin during the Firestone Pin Handout.

Pippa Mann, the female British driver, has competed in six Indy 500s
so far.  I got in line to get her autograph.  She did not have any hero
cards to sign - so she signed the IndyCar shirt I was wearing.  I wished
I had a die-cast for her to sign - she said they hadn't even gotten her
the real car for the race yet, so there were no models yet!
Indy Lights drivers Pato O'Ward, Colton Herta and Victor Franzoni (from left to right)
Ryan Norman racing for Andretti Autosport
There was only seven cars competing in Indy Lights race today.
Victor franzoni racing for Juncos Racing
Pato O'Ward drives for Andretti Autosport
Santiago Urruti races for Belardi.
Colton Herta races for Steinbrenner Racing
with Andretti Autosport
Aaron Telitz races for Belardi Auto Racing
Sebastien Bourdais leads Scott Dixon
Will Power leads Robert Wickens
Robert Wickens leads Will Power
Corvette Grand Sport
Posing with a 500 Festival Car
The IndyCar Grand Prix!
My New Gear for the Track!

I bought a GCI Outdoor Everywhere
Portable Folding Hillside Chair
Dick's Sporting Goods for $25.  

The feet can be adjusted via straps to
adjust for the slope of the ground.  Another
strap adjust how much you lean back.

This chair would be good for some
outdoor music venues which have
sloping lawns too.

I love my Thermos-brand soft-sided
cooler.  It has a velcro lid on top so
that you just reach in and grab stuff
without having to zip/unzip the top's
3-sided zipper.  This cooler has a
handy storage pouch too.

However, I get tired if I have to carry it
all day.  I needed a cooler with wheels
and an extending handle like you find
with modern luggage.
Speaking of models, this Cooper
Tires model looked like a
Russian built job to me.  
Pippa Mann!
I found a 16-quart Coleman at Amazon for $21.
It is small enough to fit under the bleachers at the track, and
large enough to get me through the Indy 500 (I hope!)

I am able to fit 5 or 6 pint-sized cans of beer and some food
on top.

I added the rope handle.  I bought 4 ft. of 5/8" nylon rope at the
hardware store and drilled holes in the cooler's plastic handles
to put the rope through.  Most of the day I can pull it behind me,
but I have the rope handle so I can carry it over gravel or up

I may add a cup holder to it.

You can find many wheeled-coolers that are larger, but you won't
be able to take them into crowded grandstands on race day.
I wear a Australian-style hat in sunny weather.  It has a string so
that you can hang it behind your back when you don't want it on.
If you tighten the string under your neck, it will keep the hat from
flying off your head in a strong wind.  The sides are mesh for
plenty of air flow and the synthetic material can get soaking wet
or crumpled up, and it will be fine.

I now have a cheap pith helmet to wear on hot sunny days.  It is
light-weight and the best thing for keeping cool.  I wear it to the
track sometimes and when I'm riding my lawnmower.

Real pith helmets, made of cloth and cork or pith, can be wetted,
and as the water evaporates, it cools the head.  Mine doesn't do
that - it's made of straw.  It allows some air through and has an
adjustable headband inside.
My old Thermos brand soft-sided cooler
I found this 4-pack of thin, gel ice
packs on Amazon for $14

They're good for when you are
tight on space.
My new chair and cooler. [Dachshund approved.]
Many people take a backpack to the track.  You are allowed to
bring in a backpack and a cooler on race day.

I don't like backpacks and don't need that much storage.

If I have an infield parking pass, I bring a large cooler with
additional food and drink that I keep in the car and can use
to replenish the smaller cooler.

At any rate,  it's easier to carry all my track stuff in this large
fanny pack than to try and cram it in my pockets.

Below is a photo of stuff you might want to take to the track.

I bet I could fit all that stuff in this camo fanny pack.
My Australian-style hat.
It looks like my strap is shredding and I need a new fanny pack.
I think I would like one that has two compartments.
Bigger stuff like umbrellas, seat cushions, or SLR cameras can be hung off your belt if they have straps.
My sun helmet

I have as much fun
slamming on the
brakes in my C6
when I am doing triple
digits as I do punching
the accelerator.
While there have been
kart races in the infield
before, this year is the
first time there has been
rental karts for the fans
to play with.
BW spent a lot of time looking at camera settings.
Some Items You MIght Take...