Thursday, June 9, 2011

indy 500, baby!

all of us at the 100th anniversary of the indianapolis 500

this past memorial day weekend, i had the great, great pleasure of fulfilling a lifelong dream (since i was 7 years old) of going to the indy 500! it was everything i'd hope it would be: LOUD, busy, packed with people, overwhelming. i loved it. rich's dear partner, keith, has had tickets in his family for decades and this year he couldn't make it (as he was repairing eyes in nepal) we were the lucky recipients of four excellent tickets in the paddock penthouse, just up from the finish line. it was unbelievable. and while i entertain no illusions of ever being able to do it again--at least not as well as we did--i am certain i will never forget it.

after this experience i am positive that i am a frustrated race car driver at heart--bring on the speeding tickets!

the day before the race was the parade through downtown indianapolis, and of course it's not a parade without a huge pile of spun sugar!

gus never misses an opportunity for cotton candy, either

motorcycle cops! these guys were definitely cool, and would be definitely intimidating when pulling you over for said speeding tickets

giant race car!

and sophie's favorite: giant panda!

giant, 4-time-indy-winning racing star! (a. j. foyt)

and giant hat guy!

race day!!! gus shot this picture of the three of us just inside the gates--how cool is it that the speedway lets you bring in your own beer? i love this place!

p-p-p-pagoda, peoples.

sweet rich and the kiddos

sophie with her race car--she acquired a danica patrick and a helio castroneves car during the race and ran them around the seats, too

the view, just to my right, from the seats--the cars are lining up and getting ready to go!

this is the starting lap, and as you can see we were just across from the andrettis, danica and helio's pit stops

cars in a line, under a yellow

preview of what's to come: dan wheldon in the william rast car crossing the bricks

and, yes, he won! his second indy win--he actually won it under a yellow, as the guy who was winning crashed into the wall on the LAST turn--he literally drove 499.5 miles just right and was about to win, then crashed and ended up gliding over the finish line into second. it was an amazing end!

dan wheldon, guzzling milk

the kids did great throughout the whole race--sophie completely crashed during the 2-mile walk to the car, but managed to stay awake for the 2 hours of gridlocked traffic back to the hotel. we had such an amazing time!

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