20 May 2009

Raceday Activities (besides the 500, of course)

The gates for the 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500 open at 6 a.m., so people need plenty to do before the 1 p.m. (ET) start of the race. With that in mind, here are a few ideas for those of you heading to the track:
  1. Visit the IMS Hall of Fame Museum. Yes, it's open race day. Check it out, especially in the Centennial Era, to get a feel for what has happened at IMS over the last 100 years. Adults cost $3, while kids 6-15 are $1. Anyone else is free.
  2. Get there early and watch the sunrise over the Pagoda. Sunrise is scheduled for 6:23 a.m. on Sunday. So if you can get a good view, just take in the sun rising over the track and snap a few good photos.
  3. Start a pool. Find some folks sitting around you. The Indianapolis Star will sell a special 500 section on Sunday - tear out the drivers into 33 boxes, put them in a hat and draw. For a bit of money (say $5 a driver), let everyone pick out a name or two. Last place (or whomever draws Nelson Philippe) gets their money back, while the winner gets the pot. It'll still conversation throughout the race and help you cheer for drivers you otherwise wouldn't. In my block of 4 tickets, we have one seat cushion that we found after the 2007 race. The winner of our pool gets the seat cushion the following year.
  4. In the event of rain (and it's rained in two of the last six years: 2004, 2007), have a deck of cards (well, if you're covered) and break out a game of euchre. The card game is easy to pick up for someone who's never played and just like the Indianapolis 500, is an Indiana tradition.
  5. Play the "I am Indy" game. Much of the activities on race day revolve around the consumption of alcohol. With this in mind, we have invented "I am Indy," which plays off of one the IndyCar Series' slogans. Anyone with a cooler can play, young or old. Find a demographic who fits the "I am Indy" model - it could be the man with jorts and a mullet, or it could be the preppy couple with checkered flag shorts and popped colors. Either way, once a member of your group spots "Indy," they must call out "I am Indy." Everyone else in the group must take a sip of their beverage to acknowledge the find.
If you have any other pre-race activities, just post them in the comments.

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