Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The 92nd Running of the Indy 500: Sights, Loud Sounds, Drunken Debauchery, and Debating Why The Tallest Building in Indianapolis is "Stupid"
Whether or not you believe the Indianapolis 500 is still the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" is not what this post is about. It's not about Scott Dixon, or the merger of the IRL and Champ Car. It will be a little bit about Danica, but nothing to do with the events of the race. What this post IS about is the experience of the race, and why it's so special. As I have said before, I would never watch or care about the 500 if I had never been there. It's just something you have to be apart to understand why it's so special and great.
With that said, I took all these pictures to give you an idea of my experience was like:
Downtown Indianapolis as we drive towards the speedway. Departure time from the hotel we stay at every year: 6am. Amount of sleep before the race: 0 minutes thanks to Noce snoring louder then a fucking freight train. Scale of drunkenness/hungover: 7.5 thanks also to Noce who decided one more double Jack and Coke for Dr. C before leaving the bar was a good idea after we watched B.J. Penn destroy that pussy Sean Sherk.
This is the grass parking lot outside of turns 3 and 4 where we usually park. The field is about 5 or 6 football fields long, and fills up pretty damn fast. As you drive along you'll see the dedicated few already doing beer bongs at this hour in the houses along street to the entrance. These people will never watch the race in its entirety.
It's around 10:15 at the time of this picture. We cracked open our first beer around 8-8:30 after breakfast. One of the great things about the race is the people around you serving as your new little community for a few hours. Almost everyone is really friendly, and more then willing give you food, beer, etc. It makes for a great atmosphere as you get ready to head to the gates.
At around 11:30 is when we decided to head in for the race. Since we got there pretty early, and ahead of a bunch of other people thanks in part to the secret passage way which will remain a secret, we were pretty close to the gates. When you get to the gates, there's about 4 or 5 security people there to check your stuff and your ticket. As I forgot, there is a limit to the size of the cooler you can bring (no longer or wider then 14 inches on either side. They don't have rulers out there, so if it's close you'll be fine, but don't get too crazy with what you think can bring in). So I bought a cheap Styrofoam container and filled it up for the walk:
I used to be pretty good about working out a few years ago. Now, outside of 12oz curls, I don't really lift anymore. So carrying this fucking cooler to our seats and walking up the stands was not too far off from Prometheus pushing the rock up a hill continuously for his punishment of giving man fire. The fucking thing weighed at least 50-60 pounds. But, I did what I had to to make it work (only took one break, promise).
While we were taking this break, my friend's brother ran into some people he knew. While he talked them, his girlfriend stood with us as she didn't know them. This girl is smoking fucking hot (lucky bastard), and while we were waiting, the social experiment of how many guys would turn to look at her while passing by was easily the funniest moment of the day. Her ability to turn 99% of male heads made a 20 car pile-up look like a joke.
Turn 3 looking into Turn 4
Monitor, overlooking the infield in turns 3 and 4
First lap..I think
I put this picture up to give you an idea of how tight of an area you get. You're sitting on a metal bench with a small number on it, and as you can see to the bottom left, alot of people purch seatback rentals for the race. What does this mean? A fucking balancing act and a half as you try to get past people on your way to the bathrooms. As the race went on, I had a hell of a time trying to weave in and out of people thanks to drinking oh say 7 or 8 Miller Lites, a couple jello shots and quite a few Vodka-Red Bulls before lap 100 (200 laps in all). Needless to say, I was stumbling anywhere I went past people in the rows, and I'm sure I kicked over drinks and stepped on many toe. Shit happens, people. Deal with it.
One of the ladies working the event. She was hot.
Not sure at what part of the race this is, but it's my best getting all the cars in there.
Around lap 150 I was pretty hammered. I decided to see if anyone else was considering a break over on the golf course which is next to the track, and has a few holes inside of it. Low and behold, I was right. I think sat down for like 20 laps enjoying a cigarette before heading in for the finish.
LET STUPIDITY RING: So the race ends, Dixon wins, blah blah blah. We went back to our cars, and we had a designated driver for us, which was my friends dad's frat buddy from back in the day. As he drives me, Noce, and our other buddy, I look over at the Chase Tower in downtown Indianapolis and declare, "That building sucks. It's not that tall. Why the fuck does it need the two prongs at the top of it? Sears Tower is way bigger and hence needs it. Noce: probably because it's the biggest building in the area for planes. Dr. C: Well, its still fucking stupid. Someone should get rid of it." That was pretty much the entire debate, yet it must have last the whole 20 minute car ride back to the hotel and it got pretty intense. That's what Chicago Bull is all about. Debating the stupidest fucking thing you could possibly imagine, but yet taking it seriously. I look back on now thinking if I was my friend's old frat buddy, I would have told us to shut the fuck up or be dropped off in the ghetto.
DANICA IS REALLY NICE TO HER FANS: Alright, I happen to have met someone who is associated with one of the teams that were in the pits quite a few times in going to the 500, and when we started talking about the race, here's the conversation:
Person: Do you like Danica?
Dr. C: I don't have anything against her.
Person: Well, I can tell you that she's the biggest diva bitch I've ever met.
Dr. C: Really? I could see that.
Person: Having been here for this week with all the qualifying and events, everything I've seen from her and heard from everyone else is nothing but bad. I haven't heard one good thing from her. When she was doing an autograph session, a nice older woman came up to her table with her daughter and something for Danica to sign. When she finally got up to Danica, she handed the item to her, and said something to the extent of my daughter is a begin fan of yours. Before she even got done saying that, Danica immediately said, where's your pen in a pissy tone. The woman apologized saying she thought there would be one up here that Danica was already using. In the middle of her explaining that, Danica got up, grabbed a pen from another person in line, signed it quickly while saying "maybe next time you'll remember to BRING it".
I'm sorry, but what a fucking bitch. I understand that people have bad days and everything, and if it was just the lady by herself who didn't know any better, I could give her a pass. But not when you have her and the daughter who wants nothing more then to meet her "idol" and get an autograph. Grow up you fucking bitch and act like you actually care about your fans. Maybe Midol can sponsor her next autograph session.