24 Hours at the Indianapolis 500

We did it folks…

We survived the biggest single day sporting event in the entire world. Dylan, Jen, and 749,998 of our closest friends taking in the most interesting of all sports, in ninety degree heat. If for some reason, you’re mentally unstable, and feel like 93 degrees is a good time, well, then continue reading, because I’m going to break down the bricks at the Indy 500.

Here’s a few very important things you need to know:

  1. No matter what, you need a beer. The Indy 500 lets you bring in cans to the venue, which basically means it’s always expected to have a beer in your hand. Pre-concert? Beer. Walking to the car? Beer. Portable toilet trip? Beer. If you’ve got a beer, you’re set. (Don’t mess around with the ciders, the porters, etc. Get that soccer dad, watered down, five beers deep and no buzz beer and be happy.)
  2. No matter what you think, this is not a fashion show. I tried so hard to look like a presentable human being, who’s taking her daddy’s yacht out, and it lasted seventeen minutes. My hair went up, the sleeves of my shirt were tied behind my back, and my butt sweat could have filled a children’s pool. Literally, open up your closet, find the grungiest thing you own, wear it as a dress, and walk out the door. You’ll thank me later.
  3. It’s hot. I know you’re currently holding a beer in your left hand, wearing your husband’s t-shirt as a dress, and cursing the fact that you wished away winter, but it could be worse. Take a little time to find the water, shade, and cooling stations and you’ll survive.
  4. Most importantly, you’re never going to see this again. I saw things that I never wanted to, people I never wanted to, outfits I never wanted to, and I’ll have to live with those images burned into my brain for the rest of my life. On the other side of it, you see cars driving 220 mph, celebrities appreciating the same sport and feel the atmosphere of the biggest event ever. Soak. It. In.

Let’s Break It Down…

So, I’ve convinced you to give the Indy 500 a shot? (Probably not, I just made it sound miserable) Here’s how the weekend goes, so you know what to enjoy & what to avoid.

Carb Day– Friday before the race. Imagine thousands of people in cut off jeans shorts (both men and women), who are completely 100% inebriated, yelling and taking all of their clothes off, in a field, while it’s hot, and people are angry, and life is a mess. Got that visual in your head? That’s carb day. Pretty much, if you can imagine a bald eagle, a cheap beer, and a mullet having a baby- it’s carb day. If you’ve got a child, this would be the day to avoid with said spawn.

Legends Day– This is pretty much exactly how it sounds. Racing legends visit the iconic track to go back to their racing roots. There’s seriously so many activities to partake in, and this is probably the most family friendly part of the weekend. Late afternoon is the legends day concert, this year it was Sam Hunt. I’ve spent the better part of five years missing every single Sam Hunt concert, and I was ready for this show. (It lived up to all expectations, thankfully)

Race Day– People arrive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the sun, and start drinking. At 7am something called the Snake Pit starts, which this year was a giant EDM show with Diplo and other people who also sound like Diplo. Basically, it’s a crowd of people who feel like drugs are their key to happiness, and Dylan and I pouted in the back of the crowd because we were sweaty. Dylan also repeatedly said “She needs Jesus” about every questionable outfit, and he said it a lot. There’s also thousands of other things going on, leading up to noon- which is the race. It’s insane.

If you go…

Here’s what you need to see: Twelve minutes of carb day (I skipped it, but Dylan was done after twelve minutes. And by twelve minutes, I mean he was stuck there for ten hours), the legends day concert, and the start of the race. In all, you can see pretty much everything you need in that amount of time. You can’t though, just roll up to the race five minutes before it starts and think you can take it all in. That’s now how it works. It’s an experience.

Our low down…

So, in a quick paragraph, I want to share with you a little less about the actualities of the 500, and how it went for us. Dylan and I were total outsiders. We heard “Carb day is the whores, Legends day is a waste of time, and you need to be at the race 8 hours early on Sunday”… Which, no. I skipped carb day, because #work, and honestly I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. The Legends Day concert was great, with a little pre-show parking lot drinking, and standing in the back of the crowd to dance and sing (away from people). The day of the race, we were nervous because of the traffic, but we blew past every suggested exit on the drive there, and ended up cutting almost ALL of the traffic by using a map and taking back roads. Most people sit in 1-2 hours of traffic and we sat in about 20 minutes. We went in to the snake pit, and much like legends day, we stayed at the back because we’re lame old people who don’t like to sweat and don’t want to be touched. Post snake pit, we retreated to the tent for the radio station, and then we went into the pagoda (I think). Basically, three out of the five of us had full access to the grounds. I did not. I made it inside with Dylan, to the free food, and then sat down in the AC and drank Diet Coke. We went to the media level and I got to watch the national anthem, the start of the race, and the little bit we saw inside and above the track. Honestly, Dylan and I were so lucky. We got the PERFECT experience of the Indy 500, even though it was HOT. We can cross this off the bucket list, and we can be content with getting to be a part of the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. *Thank you to Jess Koetteritz for helping us tremendously through our first experience!*

Happy Memorial Day Weekend Friends!


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