Late To The Party

SScruggs
By Susan Phillips

As many of you know, my son graduated from High School on Saturday afternoon, Pole Day, Mr. Oilpressure and my first Anniversary. Many compromises were made and it was agreed that I would leave the graduation festivities to my son and his friends (Thank you to the find my iPhone app—where I could pretty much track his whereabouts throughout the evening—yes, I’m one of THOSE moms) and fly to Indy Saturday evening—we did manage to be together for 20 minutes of our Anniversary, Mr. Oilpressure being a stickler for dates and times, but you know that about him.

Grad Anniversary

I’m sorry to say, that I was pretty much insulated from the events going on at the track on Saturday. With the exception of a few texts, tweets, and the brief moments I was flying through the house, while my older son had turned qualifying on TV, I had very little idea of what was going on. I look forward to watching the DVR’d version today. For the first time in forever, both George and I have the day off.

After I landed, we caught brief news stories of Pole Day in the hotel room, but none tells the story as well as the starting grid in the Media Center. The usual suspects are not in the first few rows. As race fans, we pretty much learn to expect to see some of the same names in the first few rows, but if there is anything I can say about this season, it is one of change, as we see some new faces on the podium.

I like to spend Pole Day photographing the unusual, lets say it the weirdness. I must have missed it all—or some of it. The wierdos were not out much this year on Bump Day. This year, I felt pretty disconnected, but it did give me a chance to see some of the things IMS is really doing well. Forgive me if these things have been going on for a couple years and I just never noticed them. Since there was not much weirdness, I just looked at what was being done well this year.

I did take some pleasure in texting my son Tony Kanaan sightings, to get him psyched up for the race next weekend — he doesn’t need much to get him excited for the race, but I do enjoy the torture. He rarely responds to my texts, but these got responses every time.

First of all, it seems like the track is more user-friendly to newcomers. The people walking around with the “Ask Me” banners strapped to their backs, make it really easy to figure out where you are going. For first-timers, IMS can be an overwhelming place to be. I have been lucky, I have always come with George and he definitely knows his way around the track, but if I were new, it would be very intimidating. I am extremely directionally challenged and who knows where I would end up had I parked in the vast infield on my own.

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Also picking up steam, is the Social Media Garage. I didn’t spend much time there this trip, but last weekend we were there quite a bit meeting other bloggers and different drivers. It really addresses the more plugged in fan. I continue to be more impressed with their efforts.

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IMS continues to run like a well-oiled machine. Our only problem next weekend is going to be which street can you make a left turn toward the track. Apparently the traffic patterns around The Speedway seem to be a mystery right up until race morning. We are actually staying close to the track this year and hopefully we will not have to get up at 4 a.m. to make sure we get into the infield to park.

I am going to put some photos of my slant on the unusual and my experience on Bump Day. Look forward to seeing you next week at the race. I can’t believe it is only a week away.

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3 Responses to “Late To The Party”

  1. Bent Wickerbill Says:

    Nice job of capturing the flavor of the track on bump day Susan, thanks… Looking forward to more flavor and racing next week from you folks…

  2. Love the urban answer to the Gordon Pipers. A fun post Susan and I enjoyed reading it. I am in INDY mode!

  3. Erik Stevens Says:

    The dog thing has something to do with the Indiana State Police. I saw a guy with the remote controller sitting in a golf cart driven by a trooper. On the side of the remote controlled car and golf cart were ISP (Indiana State Police) logos. I too scratched my head and I am from Indiana. Always excited around the month of May and looking forward to this race!

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