We’re chronicling 100 days of Indy 500 history on #SpeedRead leading up to the historic 100th Running. With 37 days to go, we look back with Simon Pagenaud to his first Indy 500 experience.
I moved to Indianapolis at the end of 2005, so I went to see the race as a fan in 2006 and 2007. I don’t remember much of 2006 – I was with a friend and I had no idea what I was getting into, I didn’t know how big the place was, I knew nobody. I was just impressed with the place.
My first memory of being there and seeing the race was 2007, when Dario won in the rain. I remember because we were sitting right in front of the start-finish line in the grandstand, drinking beer with the casual fans. Those are really cool times with my buddy. We saw the clouds coming, and that was it. There were two red flags, it took the whole day.
I wasn’t under cover (in the grandstands), and that was serious rain. We were right out in the middle of it. It was awesome, to look back, with me wanting to be in the race so bad and just sitting in the stands, drinking beer. Then, last year, to be leading a lot of the race … wow, what an incredible story.