600 Miles to Indy

This post is a little different from my usual. I wanted to share how my brilliant idea to try to squeeze a near 10-hour, 600-mile trip to Indianapolis for IndyCar testing into a day (yes, ONE day) went. You can formulate your own idea of the outcome, and/or continue reading. (Choose your adventure!)

It started with a startling alarm at 3:45 a.m. Saturday morning and I was on the road by 4:30 a.m. to spend the next five hours driving for Chevrolet’s IndyCar testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It was actually a smooth (relative) and scenic ride. The several albums I had recently downloaded on Amazon Music kept me well entertained (and jamming). And I had, for time and curiosity, taken a different route than I had for my last few trips to Indy for NHRA Nationals and the 500 last year. Interesting sights to note: Huggy Bear Hotel, the large windfarm on the Ohio/Indiana border and Nesquik plant.

I arrived at the Speedway shortly after 9:00 a.m.

Short note: I had difficulty finding where I needed to go and managed to block “traffic” on the Speedway road for a minute. The “traffic” was Josef Newgarden. (If you read this, my bad.) It was nice to see his friendly face, but I was a bit embarrassed I managed to keep him from getting to the garage.

The weather was unexpectedly freezing chilly. I had only registered the high 50s number when I looked at the weather forecast (at four in the morning) and hadn’t dressed accordingly for the earlier part of the day. Lesson learned. I managed to warm myself in the car between laps. Others also hanging out nobly at Turn 2 did the same if they hadn’t come prepared with blankets/hot cocoa/alcohol for warmth.

I was informed J.R. Hildebrand had managed an install lap just minutes before my arrival. While I was there, I would have the chance to see Conor Daly make three install laps, at very sparse intervals in his #4 ABC car.

The morning concluded with an announcement that testing was cancelled for the remainder of the day. It was just too cold. But the frozen diehard fans were rewarded with a visit from Newgarden, Daly and Will Power.

I somehow, unfortunately missed them.

So, was the entire 600-mile journey a bust? I would say: Far from it. I would have loved to see the cars going full tilt around IMS with all of the Chevy drivers, as well as have had some time to interact with them all.

Which, as so is my luck, the weather cooperated and all I missed yesterday happened today. Great for the drivers and fans–lousy for me.

I did manage to get a video of Daly during his first install lap on Instagram
(Conor may have commented on it too.)

And I snagged a few photos on the second lap, including this one:

April IMS Testing-6671

I really did enjoy experiencing IMS without thousands of people trying to maneuver to their seats/beer/food/merchandise/etc.

But while you’re at the track experiencing its serene moments, you miss that electrifying energy those thousands of people bring on race day. It’s just an absolutely beautiful place, and to note there are some wonderful, kind, amazing people running it.

Anyways, now to patiently wait for May to arrive so I can make the pilgrimage again, this time for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Ironically those tickets arrived in my mailbox in their blue envelope while I was on my way home from the Speedway.


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