Can May Be That Far Off?

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There has been a lot of activity on the IndyCar front, lately. Both aero kits have now been made public and we are now seeing them in familiar looking liveries. One more full-time seat has been filled and a part-time ride we had been hearing about was confirmed at least for the season-opening race at St. Petersburg. Bands have now been confirmed for Legends Day and Carb Day for the Month of May.

But one of the surest signs that the racing season is upon us will possibly be in the hands of some of us by the end of the day. On Wednesday, IMS President Doug Boles tweeted a couple of pictures that showed those simple blue envelopes being loaded into a US Postal truck. Yesterday, ticket-holders received an e-mail confirming that they were on the way.

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It didn’t used to be this way. It was not that long ago that you just opened the mailbox and there was that plain blue envelope. That envelope has become so familiar and so iconic. The fact that it is so plain, makes it that much more special. For security reasons, there are no identifying logos. It’s just a P.O. Box and Speedway, Indiana as a return address. But those of us that have been getting our tickets each and every year have come to love the sight of that plain blue envelope in the mailbox.

So many events have gone to e-tickets. The last Nashville Predators game I went to, my tickets were e-mailed to me and it was up to me to print it out. It was a very non-descript ticket with the date, my seat assignment and a barcode on plain white copy paper. After they scanned it I folded it up, stuffed it in my back pocket and threw it away when I got home. It did not serve as a timeless reminder of the game I had just gone to.

Fortunately, IMS management still makes it quite the event to proudly unveil the design of the ticket every year that has the likeness of the previous year’s winner. Usually, that winner is present at the unveiling ceremony, but Ryan Hunter-Reay had a good excuse to miss the unveiling last week – his second child was being born. My hope is that IMS will continue to reward their ticket holders with a special ticket each year that can be kept as a proud souvenir, rather than something to toss into the trashcan.

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Credit Doug Boles for making the shipping of the tickets an event, as well. Usually, the sight of bins of envelopes being loaded onto a mail truck is about as exciting as a Mark Miles press-conference. But in this case, knowing what the cargo was and the significance of the shipping date – it got my blood pumping.

Contrary to what some have said – I do have my own tickets. Yes, it’s true that I am fortunate enough to get credentials for the month of May through this blog. But I won’t be doing this forever. I had tickets long before I started this site and I would never consider giving up my seniority just because I currently get credentials. Plus, I don’t want to sit inside the Media Center for the race. I enjoy sitting near the area we sat in while I was growing up – Stand A, under the overhang directly across from the second and third pit stalls. Whenever I decide it’s time to stop blogging, I’ll still have my good seats and seating seniority.

Although I paid for them over nine months ago and got my new seats confirmed in September – there is nothing like holding your tickets in your hand to assure you that May is almost here.

Lately, there has been a new tradition that I’ve been guilty of taking part in the last year or two. Whether it’s today, Saturday or early next week – social media will be filled with pictures of the unopened blue envelope, then the tickets inside. Just do yourself a favor and cover your address with your thumb or alter the photo. There are a bunch of nuts out there and you don’t want the entire world to have your address.

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So, if you’re a ticket-holder or even ordering your tickets for the first time – you’ve got a little hint of May coming your way. If you used to be a ticket-holder, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve never ordered tickets to the Indianapolis 500 – what are you waiting for?

George Phillips

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11 Responses to “Can May Be That Far Off?”

  1. Phil Kaiser Says:

    Easy George, I can hear P’dog barking loudly about “it’s always Indy, Indy, Indy!” LOL!

    Posts like these make him pull his hair out of his head, I’ll bet! 🙂

    I have a tidy stack of those wonderful blue envelopes in a drawer, can’t wait to add to it this year!

    On a side note at last year’s Indianapolis 500 my sister took a photo of me holding my favorite tea with the Pagoda in the background and I sent it to the tea folks and I found out yesterday I am a “Patriot of the Month” this month! Check me out at twoifbytea.com, clik on Hall of Patriots and scroll down and you’ll see the Pagoda, me and a blurb about how much I love the Indianapolis 500. FUN!

    See, I’m not quite the curmudgeon I seem here. LOL

  2. I understand you wanting to sit in your seats George, rather than the pressbox. Years of relationships with other families who sit around us is just part of the experience of raceday. I always look forward to seeing our friends from Kansas who sit directly behind us every year. As my family has grown,my kids, now 33 and 31, now more than ever, understand Raceday with dad. Making things even more rewarding, I have purchased 2, 2 seater rides for my sons this year. An experience I have not done, but envy them for the thrill of a lifetime. May will be here soon, just not soon enough.

    • I did the two-seater last year on Carb Day (with Tristan Vautier driving). The g-forces in the turns are unbelievable. How drivers keep cars under control while mixing it up with other cars is something you can’t fully appreciate unless you do the two-seater. What is even more mind-boggling is that the real cars are doing at least 40 mph faster! I recommend everyone do that at least once in their life.

  3. I got my NOLA tickets last week. We are so close to going green!

  4. I will be heading to the mailbox today with a bit of urgency. And, yes, I do like buying my tickets from IMS and getting them sent to me in March.

  5. billytheskink Says:

    Maybe Doug Boles could give World of Outlaws some pointers. I’m still waiting for my tickets to next month’s twin bill at the Devil’s Bowl, and I ordered them two months back.

    For all we do have to grouse about, IMS does do some things very well.

  6. Am so envious! And 2 seater rides to look forward to. Someday I hope for me too

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