Brickyard 400

NASCAR1 Comment

Through some great coincidence, NASCAR changed their schedule for races this year and moved the famous Brickyard 400 into our Indiana summer vacation week. I haven’t hit any races so far this year so this was perfect. And amazingly I haven’t ever experienced NASCAR at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They didn’t race there until the mid-1990s and I had moved away by then.

As yet another matter of convenience, my sister lives in Indianapolis and orchestrated the whole, tailgating, etc. So after driving 20+ hours from Colorado to Fort Wayne, IN via Indianapolis, I got back in the car and drove back to Indy for the event at 6 AM.

We got to the race nice and early because we had to get our Cornhole tournament started! This is the latest Indiana-based tailgating pastime. You take bags of corn and throw them. Like a bean bag toss but scored like horseshoes…but its called Cornhole and everybody enjoys saying that. A lot. Here goes Natalee with her semi-pro form.


As our tailgating continued, our little city came to life. Food, cards, and lots of Cornholing! See you just can’t stop saying it. My sister and I were on a team and we tried to Cornhole other teams but they reamed us. I am no Cornholing expoert. Need more practice.


Chef Dohn prepared brats and hamburgers at first. Later he followed with steak kabobs. I would not have to eat at the track. Supposidly the smoke is mark of a great chef.


Time to roll out! It was a good walk from our lot to turn 4 then to turn 1 where our seats ultimately are. Dohn wheeled the beer to the stands. One cooler per person but you can take a dolly cart to make your drunk-ass life easier. My favorite drunk guy story when some redneck came up to Dohn and nicely insisted that Dohn was Marshall Faulk. Nope. Yes, you are! Dohn shared other great stories with me like one prior year when a gentleman decided to take a moment to inform Dohn that he was glad that “people of his kind were enjoying the sport”. Dohn was still trying to figure out what kind that was.


Here come the 4 yellow pace/parade cars. Peyton Manning in the first one. 2 B1s just flew over. Cool. Let’s go!


Here they come. Green, green, green! Our seats were in turn 1 in the shade under the deck. Not bad. Stayed nice and cool with a breeze.


The first 60 laps had about 30 laps of yellow. Tire issues and some wrecks. It was starting to drag so drinking games began. Some random guy in front of us was very into Denny Hamlin. Hamlin is OK but he isn’t that great. Everytime Hamlin drove by this guy had to stand up and point his figure towards the turn as if Hamlin kept looking into the stands for directions from this guy. So everytime Hamlin was pointed to, take a drink. I proceeded downhill to heckling that Hamlin sucked or Hamlin ruled. The action isn’t always on the track! Here is the whole group of guys minus Natalee, the photographer.


Number 8 blowed up near the end and I took a moment to ask Dohn if it was time to leave now. I have been at enough races where the 24 blew up. It was my turn for vengeance! But its clear that this is Jr’s country and we all just live in it. And at the end of the race, it was a real shootout with 15 to go. Indiana homeboy Tony Stewart stood on that thing and got it done. The crowd loved it and they love Tony.


More pictures of the race.

So in the spring, there is a 1/2 marathon in Indy where you get to run a lap on the track during the race. I just may have to fly in for that one.

Indianapolis isn’t the best track to view a race. No matter where your seats are, you can’t ever see more than about 2/3 of the track. But you always get the sense that it is the racing capital of the world and that is always a great place to experience a race!