First to First
Hanging out in Turn 4 you get to meet all sorts of individuals. I met a couple of folks that I will not readily forget. Reggie was at IMS for the inaugural Brickyard in August of 1994. Chase’s daughter was here today for HER inaugural Brickyard. Today was a day of firsts to firsts!
Reggie came from Nashville, TN and while he was here for the inaugural Brickyard 400, today he was here for Bubba Wallace, who had his best finish at Indianapolis. As we got to the last 10 laps of the race, you could FEEL Reggie pulling for Bubba to finish well. He kept say, “If he finishes top 5, that will be good”, but you could feel that he wanted better for Bubba. And Bubba pulled it out! Bubba Wallace ended up with a 3rd place finish. I know that Reggie’s trip to Nashville will go fast!!
I also met Chase and his daughter. Chase is a NASCAR fan, but his daughte, has never been to a NASCAR race, until today. She is a die-hard Chase Elliot fan and it was great to see the next generation of NASCAR fans in the crowd today.
I think the thing that struck me today was that I met someone who had been here for the inaugural Brickyard in 1994 and I also met someone who had not even been alive for that inaugural Brickyard. NASCAR and IMS brings folks of all ages together.
Post Covid at the Brickyard…AKA The Wild Wild West
Spent the weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with our Social Media Director, Melissa Shoffner. She had some interesting thoughts on the days.
We spent all of 2020 with no in person racing. We even spent the first part of this year with limited access to racing. This past weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there were no limits to the number of fans that were allowed into the track at 16th and Georgetown in Indianapolis. There were also no mask mandates. True, there some people who were wearing masks, but the majority of people weren’t wearing masks, unless you went into the Media Center ?, however I spent most of my time with the fans on the viewing mounds that were open once again.
People were having a BLAST! It felt much like it did pre-Covid. Doug Boles, President of IMS was wandering around, talking to all fans and keeping in touch with the fan base, of all ages. I saw him stop and talk with a very young child and then took a pic with mom and the child. He then was kind enough to stop and talk with us and we even got a pic with him as well! On Sunday, during the Verizon 200, he was even out on the track helping with clean up during one of the red flags. I know that we have another variant out there, but this weekend felt like we were heading back into normalcy.
In other news, it was the Shootout at the OK Corral. We will get to that in one moment. It was an historic weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For the first time in history, IndyCar and NASCAR were at IMS at the same time for the weekend. We had an exciting weekend on the road course as compared to other Brickyards. For the first time, the Brickyard was held on the road course which is another great idea from new track owner Roger Penske. Let me just say quickly, what great improvements were made. Roger, can I thank you for paving the media lot…that was one of my favorite changes! ?
In all seriousness, what an exciting weekend it was to see IndyCar, Xfinity and Nascar on the road course. That being said, it took some beating. We saw that come to fruition in the final laps of the Verizon 200 when we saw total mayhem.
I think for the first time, that I can remember for the ‘Brickyard” we have seen “the big one”. The road course produced one of the biggest wrecks we have seen at Indy in Nascar. The curb came up, the spikes came up, multiple cars were everywhere. This is insane and unacceptable. This is a learning experience. A caution should have called the lap prior. Maybe Nascar has some explaining to do. At the end of the day, because of the errors of others that pushed Denny Hamlin out of the way, A.J. Allmendinger wins at Indianapolis. Put on your conspiracy hat people, it’s about to get good!
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