MORNING COMES EARLY

Race Day Sun RiseAt Indianapolis Motor Speedway a cannon/fireworks bomb goes the morning of the Indianapolis 500 race day – not at 6am, not at 5:30am, but at 5:33am. The change of time this year was to honor the three-three race drives. ┬áThis was the first time I got to hear the cannon.

The boom alerts all gate guards that the gates can now be open. Certain key people were given a special Race Day egress pass to come via another network, no doubt frustrating all the fans lined up/parked for blocks awaiting their turn to enter the facility.

It’s an eerie feeling being in the Media Center at oh dark thirty, hearing the cannon from inside for the first time. The track is quiet, with only a few people moving around. The garages are a beehive of activity, but no drivers are in sight. As of 8am the place is buzzing. The Media Center is filling up and any are watching the Monaco Grand Prix Formula One race live on many of the monitors.

Sunday’s activities are many and varied. The new but infamous Snake Pit opens, and then a Parade of Bands at 8:30am EDT. At 9:30am the 500 Festival Princesses Laps start, followed by The Vintage Car Lap, and Military Tribute Lap.

Driver Introductions start at 11am EDT, as part of the hour-long Pre-Race Festivities.

DW GlassesAll the fans entering the track were given white cardboard sun glasses, which are to be worn on then first Parade Lap, Lap 26 and Lap 98. The two Lap numbers mark the numbers of the two Indianapolis 500-winning race cars he drove.

Several Indy 500drivers were wearing white sun glasses at Saturday’s Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis. The drivers were all riding high on the rear deck of Corvette and Camaro convertibles replicating the 2012 Corvette VR1 Indianapolis 500, many joined in the car by family and/or friends. An estimated 50,000 fans turned out in 90+ hear to watch and applaud. My favorite marching band was the Dancing Falcons. Amazing marching band which added dance steps and moves to their routes. All while carrying heavy instrument and wearing very warm band uniforms.

TV Set photo

The Media Center was half full, many watching the Monaco F1 race. Outside on the various balconies, local TV stations were setting up their broadcast sets.

Greg Gruning & Randy Bernard & Mauricio Borges & Jeff Belkuis
Greg Gruning & Randy Bernard & Mauricio Borges & Jeff Belkuis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apex-Brasil and IndyCar had a media conference in the MC to announce an extension for Apex-Brasil to remain an official partner of the IZOD IndyCar and Firestone Lights Series through 2014. Those at the announcement were GREG GRUNING, EVP, Business Development, INDYCAR; RANDY BERNARD, Chief Executive Officer, INDYCAR; MAURICIO BORGES, President, APEX-Brasil; and JEFF BELKIUS, Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.