Pandemonium Reigns At Carb Day
After two weekends of mostly hard-core race fans on the grounds of IMS, it has now become the playground of…um…the more casual fan. On the way up, I received a text from a friend of mine already at the track saying “…this place is PACKED!!! Biggest Carb Day crowd I’ve ever seen”. He did not exaggerate. Unfortunately.
I’ll admit, my age and my personality combine to determine that Carb Day is probably my least favorite day of the Month of May. In fact, I should delete the word probably, because there really is no doubt about it.
But as a supporter of IMS, the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar – I recognize the importance of this day. Many fans I’ve talked to over the years say they developed their love for the sport by coming to Carb Day in their early twenties.
We were barely in sight of the track when traffic stopped. Of course, it appeared that the presence of traffic cops were causing more backups than they were preventing. But my friend was right – this place was packed. We arrived just as the Freedom 100 was wrapping up. Those that were interested in racing were leaving. Those interested in the party were just starting to pour in – by droves.
I’ve only become a recent Carb Day attendee. This is my fourth Carb Day. Of all the privileges I cherish through my media credentials – probably the ability to hang out in the air-conditioned fourth-floor of the media center on Carb Day may be the one I cherish the most. To be able to stand on a terrace and look out over the mass of humanity instead of actually being in it, cannot be underestimated.
In a couple of hours, we leave for the Carb Night Burger Bash. It has relocated from the north side of town to downtown. It’s a lot closer to the track than the old location. I’m not sure where Pan Am Plaza is, but I guess we can find it through the magic of the iPhone.
By the way, there was the final IndyCar practice today. Pippa Mann crashed her car coming out of Turn Four. She lost control and the car came around and she backed it into the wall. Tony Kanaan was the quickest this morning, with a speed of 226.280 mph. Carlos Muñoz was second quick and the quickest Honda, with a speed of 224.772 mph.
As I type, Helio Castroneves just won the pit-stop competition down below us. Fan of his retro Rick Mears livery will be glad to know that today, he’s sporting the red driving suit with yellow accents that Mears wore in his Pennzoil days.
Now that the pit-stop competition has wrapped up, I guess the drinking will begin in earnest as fans are now headed towards the north end for the Journey concert. Without Steve Perry – I’ll pass.
I see some ominous clouds moving in from the southwest. It’s 3:30 local time as I type. From the various forecasts I’ve seen, I think the next three days are going to be carbon-copes of each other. Clear and sunny in the morning and early afternoon, with clouds gathering throughout the day and the developing into thunderstorms in the late afternoon is probably going to be the norm. So long as the rain holds off until late afternoon on Sunday – I can live with that.
That’s a wrap for the day. Tomorrow morning, I’ll post here for Legend’s Day and will have some photos from tonight’s Burger Bash. Or you can see them tonight by following me (@Oilpressureblog) and Susan (@MrsOilpressure) on Twitter. Check back tomorrow.