It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It’s May and practice is underway at IMS!  I won’t arrive at the track for another 9 1/2 days but my brain has been there for a few days already.  The Indy 500 was the race that introduced me to IndyCar but I was never fortunate enough to attend the race until last year.  My boss, who is primarily a NASCAR fan, won an auction that gave us silver badges, tours, pace car rides, and race day tickets, garage, and pit passes.  All we had to do was get there and find a place to stay.  I had years of race experience to draw upon from my former college roommate, so to say I was excited for my first Indy 500 would be an understatement.  And the weekend did not disappoint.  From the time we arrived at IMS on Thursday until we left the Museum on Monday, every moment was amazing.  The only thing that could have made it better would have been for Marco to win the race.

Immediately upon returning from Indy last year, I made hotel reservations for this year and I applied for tickets.  I didn’t think it was possible, but I am even MORE excited to go to Indy this year!  I was away visiting my family last weekend, so I was only able to follow a little bit of the action at IMS.  But today I was back home and back at work and able to follow most of the action via my IndyCar 13 app.  (See above statement re my boss… she was following along for a while today too.)

Is there anything more beautiful than the sound of an IndyCar going around the track?

I absolutely cannot wait to get to IMS!  I can’t wait to meet some of my Twitter friends in the Social Media Garage.

I can’t wait to walk around the garages and watch the teams work on the cars.  Advice for the newbie in  the garage–ALWAYS have your camera at the ready.  I lost count of the photo opportunities I missed last year because my camera was in my pocket or bag.  As my boss and I walked around, we repeatedly pointed and said, “Oh look, there are RHR and Hinch,” “Hey look, it’s Ryan Briscoe,” “There goes Helio…”  “Hey, that’s Michael Andretti in that golf cart.” Did we get a single picture on any of these occasions?  Of course not.  This year, we will be ready!

ESPN has a new Indy 500 promo out.  Watch it, and then share it with someone who isn’t yet an IndyCar fan.

Someone asked me recently how we can bring new fans to IndyCar.  We could show them highlights, share our excitement over the first four races with them, or let them see how cool these cars look on track.  All great starts, but I think the number one way to make someone an IndyCar fan is to get them to a race.  I know it’s not possible for everyone, but if you can, bring a newbie to the track with you this season.  I can’t imagine someone experiencing all of race weekend–the practices and walking through the garage, and autograph sessions, qualifying and the race–and not coming away a fan.  The driver interaction alone is enough to make someone a fan.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited by the times turned in by my Andretti boys during the opening practices at IMS.  I know it’s early, and so much will change before qualifying and even more will change before race day, but it’s great to see them getting out there and trying different things.  And I won a prize from Paddock Insider for predicting Marco would be today’s fastest driver.  I’m looking forward to great things later this week, and hoping for another awesome Pole Day.  The nightmare that was 2011 at Indy for Andretti Autosport seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?

Speaking of Pole Day, yours truly will be covering all the action for IndyCarUK over at http://indycaruk.weebly.com/.  Thanks to Adrian for having me on the team.  I’ve cleared my schedule and I’m looking forward to bringing you all the action!  Once he posts the article over there, I’ll link to it here.

If you have a chance, be sure to tune in to Trackside on 1070 The Fan.  Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee bring you everything you need to know about IndyCar, and they’re on every weeknight (unless basketball preempts them) until race day!  They’re always great to listen to, and if you tweet them they may very well read and respond to your tweet on air.  They read mine tonight. :)  Tune in.  You won’t be sorry!

Well I’ve rambled enough for one night.  Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more later this week!

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