Over Memorial Day weekend I had the opportunity to travel with 2 of my siblings to the Indy 500.
It’s a dream we have had for a long time: the experience of sharing time together, as well as attending one of the most historical racing events in the world.
Both my siblings like myself are entrepreneurs, and even though this is a busy time of the year for all of us, we made it work.
And What An Experience It Was!
We had great tickets, right on the first curve of the oval track, as high up as possible (Penthouse seats) so we could see the cars coming and going.
Plus we were able to attend the drivers meeting the day before, and go to the Indy museum. There is so much history around this race. (See photos below.)
Walking “The Pit”
When buying the tickets I inquired, “Do you sell pit passes?”.
He said, “We sure do”.
So I got a couple of those, too.
Wow, that made all the difference:
- Walking the track Sunday morning of the race, as they wheeled out the cars and set them up in a grid format.
- Watching them transport the huge(!) Indy trophy.
- Seeing the famous veteran drivers set up for the parade, sitting atop their Camaro convertibles.
We also got to visit the garages where they do their pre race inspections. And of course we saw the drivers scooting around doing their thing.
The Energy Was Palpable!
Before the race the blue angles made a grand entrance, twice. They were so close we could almost touch them.
One thing for sure, nothing prepares you for how loud the Indy cars are. Even with ear plugs, sitting high up in our box seats, the sound was deafening.
They roared like angry hornets chased by the devil.
Records Were Broken
Scott Dixon (from New Zealand) started in the pole position, and broke the speed record in the time trials (average of 233+MPH) and also broke a long standing record for most laps leading the pack. He beat Al Unser Sr, the champion I used to follow when I was just a kid.
All that, and he still he didn’t win the race. He made a rookie mistake of driving too fast in the pit, and got penalized.
The winner was Marcus Ericsson (Sweden), beating out fan favorites, like third generation Marco Andretti and Jimmie Johnson (7-time NASCAR champion), who crashed late in the race.
You never know who is going to win until the end. “On any given Sunday” applies to racing as well as football.
I Learned Some Surprising Lessons This Weekend:
- Constant innovation is everything, if you want to be in contention in any given year, let alone lead the pack.
- Team work is what makes a winner: not just the driver, but the mechanic and even the tire changers. We know this intuitively, but it’s front and center at the race.
- Making personal connections (as we did to the drivers, the cars, the history) ramps up any event from “good” to “great”.
- Bucket-list trips aren’t as special as the memories you make with the people who go with you.
With The Checkered Flag, I Leave You With This Thought
Follow your dreams, but take people with you for the memories!
Here are some photos, and a video I took to help you feel the experience we had.
A short video of the experience!