The month of May is a busy month for the IndyCar teams, employees and fans of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway preparing for the Indianapolis 500. Preparation for a fan is key to having an exciting and unforgettable experience.
Before I was old enough to understand the importance of the Indianapolis 500, I was strutting through Lot 2 on Georgetown Road like it was my backyard. Little did I know, I would become a fan of the atmosphere the month of May presents, and many fans do not experience what I have the past three years working for the speedway.
When I think of experiences that are unforgettable, I immediately think of my first opening day for parking at last year’s Indy 500. I woke up on a Thursday morning at 6 a.m., walked half a block on Georgetown to Lot 2 and noticed something I have never seen before at the speedway. Motorhomes galore is the way to explain it. Hundreds of RVs, campers and trucks were lined down Georgetown as far my 20/20 vision could see.
The lot opened at 7 a.m. as we spent the day parking every lined vehicle waiting for their 20 by 40 spot. As the fans waited patiently to be parked, I talked with familiar faces, but, more importantly, I met younger, first-time campers for the race. Many fans shared their excitement for the upcoming weekend asking me to ‘park them where the party is at.’
The party takes place all weekend and they wanted to be a part of it. Thursday morning it was exciting to see new fans that come to enjoy their first 500, because the weekend was only beginning.
The party starts on the Thursday before the race; however, there are plenty of events to take place before drivers take the track for Sunday’s 500 miles. Thursday may not have any events, but there are events throughout the weekend.
Friday, traditionally known as the Miller Lite Carb Day, includes the final day of practice for the IZOD IndyCar Series, and continues to be one of the many living traditions of the Indianapolis 500. In 2007, Kid Rock held a concert behind the pagoda where thousands of fans crowded around. The day also includes a pit stop challenge and the Firestone Indy Lights race.
Saturday does not have any on-track activity, but it will include driver’s meeting and the annual 500 Festival Parade through downtown Indianapolis.
The month of May has many exciting events for fans, but for fans wanting a true experience, there is more to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” than 500 miles. Fans should plan for an exciting Memorial Day weekend as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrates 100 years of world-wide leadership in motorsports.