My 1999 Indy 500 Journal

  • March 10 - Getting an Early Start!
  • April 23 - Snapped some pictures of the construction
  • May 1st - Prettier day to take pictures.
  • May 16 - Opening Weekend

  • May 21 - Last Practice B4 Quals

  • May 27 - Carburation Day

  • May 30 - Race Day! - Sunday


Sunday, May 16th - Opening Weekend

I took my sister and my 5 & 7 y/o nieces to practice today. This was my first experience taking children there. (They did fine and had a good time even though we walked a lot and it was hot. They liked the Indy FanFest the best.) I also went with some other friends and their kids. Parking inside the infield was very limited and we just parked across Georgetown Road for $5. It cost $5 per person to get into the track on practice days (under 6 free), but we found free tickets on the bottom of a case of Pepsi.

I didn't bring a cooler and here is what I spent on refreshments:
Frozen mararitas ($5 for 16 oz)
Jack Daniels Lemonade ($3 for 12 oz)
Lemonade ($3 for 16 oz)
Icecream ($3)
Big messy Philly Beef and Cheese ($5)
(Yes, I am a health food fanatic)

We headed over to Tower Terrace where most everyone was seated. They had 37 driver/car combinations practicing yesterday and we had a similar number today. I saw Greg Ray running laps at 225 mph today. I suspect that 227-228 will be about as fast as they'll get going this year. Cheever only got 216 out of his new Infinity. Scott Goodyear got up to 222 today, but ran 224 yesterday. I got up close to Scott when he was signing autographs.

Scott Goodyear signing autographs
After watching cars for awhile, we all headed over to the Indy FanFest. As we walked be the garages, I noticed they built a new refueling station for the Indy Cars to gas up.
filler up!
As we got over behind the museum, we could see they've already put down some blacktop for the curvy section of the new F1 track.
new track
As you enter FanFest, they make you put your coolers down and discard smokes. But they sell food and drinks in there. They even have a stage, music, a giant TV, tents and shows. Its a carnival atmosphere, minus cigarette smoke, or minus as much as you can get away from in the great smoking state of INDIANA! We first went into a tent where they were having pedal car races for groups of children who were about 4-5 years old. We of course waited while two of our charges did battle.
future Indy racers
Afterward, the women and girls headed to the Indy Car simulation ride while us guys headed to the adult go-karts (16 and up).
go cart track
This was really fun, those little carts can corner! They make you wear drivers pants, jacket, helmet, neck brace and gloves. They assign heats and carts to you and when you race, they have a complete computer printout of the race stats! How cool.

Oh! And its all free!

We bought some drinks, did some shopping and watched some BMX'ers doing tricks.

In the above picture, there is a kid on a bike upside down in the air, after having gone off a ramp.

After some hours in FanFest, we make the trek back across the infield to the front straight to watch some more practicing.

Well, I'll be back for Qualifications next week. If not sooner.

The End

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