The Indianapolis 500 is a party that starts long before anyone gets to the actual race.
Today is the 100th running of the greatest spectacle in motorsports: the Indianapolis 500 and we’re right smack in the middle of it. Actually, we’re not in the middle of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we’re just outside. If you’re familiar with IMS, you know there’s a 40-acre parking lot on the North side of the track: the North 40. Half-way up that lot, on the East side, is a gate. We are across the street from that gate.
Parking cars on the lawns in our neighborhood is a long-standing tradition. People who have been attending the Indianapolis 500 for years have strong relationships with homeowners around here and like to park in the same places each year. They have our phone numbers and call sometimes several weeks in advance to make sure that they can secure their favorite spot on our lawn. This year, demand has been especially high. It is just after 9:00 AM as I’m typing this and already every available space on our lawn is either full or reserved. The same holds true for most our neighbors.
Of course, when people get here this far ahead of the race, which isn’t scheduled to start this year until 12:19 PM, one looks for ways to pass the time. Many tailgate. Some reserve extra space so they can sit and chat with friends and family. Some play games. There is always plenty of activity outside the gates right up until roughly 30 minutes before the Indianapolis 500 gets underway.
All that activity makes for great people watching any year, but this year it is especially entertaining. So, we’re taking a few pictures during the day and posting them a few at a time. Understand, we don’t actually know any of these people. If you see someone you recognize and they were supposed to be somewhere else today, that’s not our fault.
The Indianapolis 500 is a unique race simply because of its size and spectacle. We can’t go in but we can show you all the fun happening outside.
Before The Race:
AFTER THE RACE
Once the race is over, the rush is on to get to the car and get out as quickly as possible. Of course, “quickly” is a subjective term. Some do best to take their time and let the alcohol burn off a bit. Some have difficulty finding their party while others are pretty sure they are the party. Any way you look at it, though, the effects of being out in the sun are evident on everyone who passed. As you’re looking through the photos, be sure to check the faces in the background as well. Sometimes those we didn’t focus on were more entertaining. We avoided the worst, though. There were a few who, while they would have been easy prey for the camera, were so drunk and/or dehydrated that taking their picture would have been a bit cruel. I’m sure they’re suffering enough this morning without waking up and finding their drunken selves on the Internet. We also tossed in a few pictures of some of the mess people leave behind. The Coke lot always gets trashed the worse, but I didn’t want to walk all the way down there.
Again, if you see someone you know, tag them and let them know you found them being silly, or angry, or shoving a whole water bottle in their mouth (not kidding, it’s in there). It was an exciting race with a lot of interesting people.