Why Stand in Line for a Week?
by Mark H. from St Louis [5/16/2006]
I grew up in Indy, northeast side, and went to Arlington, Class of
'76. In fact, I'm the only guy I know that went to "Senior Cut Day"
three years in a row..... guess I got an early start.
The stuff on your site is amazingly accurate. Really brings back
memories from the good ol' days. Man, those days are gone
and the thing has become nearly sterile. I remember when they
used to easily get 200,000+ on Pole Day, back when USAC ran
the show and you could hear the Goodyear blimp grind through
the Indianapolis sunset most evenings in May.
I remember how some of the bikers and other early birds started
lining up in the North Forty the weekend prior to Race Weekend,
so maybe more than a week early. They were pretty gamey by
Race weekend! Here's how we beat them to our pick of the
Infield on Race Day.
We would drive two vehicles out to the Track on Friday evening
before Race Day, first leaving one as close as possible to the
North Forty across 30th Street, then drive the 2nd vehicle
(usually a pickup truck) over to the North Forty, park it, party for
a bit, and then lock it up and leave. It's Friday night and our
Race Day ride is in position, so we bail and head back to the
Northeast side. Our position in line is less than 50 yards from
the front of the line where the early birds are.
Saturday evening, Race Day Eve, we would head back to the
Track and park a car in the neighborhood across 30th Street
and walk to the parked pickup with our coolers and all the usual
stuff. Party time in the North Forty! Some years, if the weather
was good, this would have been our second Saturday trip,
having been there in the afternoon for brews, Frisbee, and fun in
Anyway, we would party like everybody else Saturday night,
maybe get a couple of hours of shut-eye until the big boom, then
get ready to go in. Here's the kicker... we had a friend who
delivered 7-Up to the infield concession stands starting at
around midnight, so he's already in. Around 2:30 AM, after he
finished his deliveries, he drove his 7-Up truck over to Turn 4
and roped off a 20'x20' piece of paradise against the fence with
those checkered pennants. We were in! All we had to do was
survive the mad dash when the gates opened (a wonder nobody
ever got killed) and head for the 7-Up van over in Turn 4. So
much for arriving a week early!
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