How to do the #Indy500 in Style
Welcome Race Fans! We're gearing up for the 102nd running of the #Indy500! The month of May in Indy is quite the spectacle I have learned. As an Indy native, I somehow missed all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the race season. I should have known better though, as this is the “Racing Capital of the World” (it even says it on the track, so I know it’s legit). All of that changed for me this year. No more living in the dark. The racing scene was thrust upon me and I’m all in now! The cars, the drivers, the food, the suites….did I say the cars? It all revs up my engine! It definitely didn’t hurt that for my first year getting involved I partnered with Verizon and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to get the VIP experience. It was everything I didn’t know I was missing…and then some. Spending a few days out on the track learning about racing in general, I also took in the entire experience. Believe it or not, there’s much more than racing going on at the track, and I’ve got a few tips to help you do the racing scene in style.
Go Multiple Days Before The Race
First, there’s more than just the actual #Indy500 to get involved in. I went during Bump Day and Pole Day, but there had already been so many events earlier in the month. Take a look at the schedule on the IMS website to see what’s going on during the month. Events like Carb Day and Legends Day are sure to give you that festival feeling, while allowing you to experience the racing scene before the actual race.
Taking Full Advantage of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
If you can swing it, go to the garages and visit the pit on days leading up to the big race. Drivers and their teams are out and about more, making final decisions on their cars and strategy. The IMS is anything but quiet the week leading up to the race, as I found out for myself last week. During Pole Day , which is the day qualified drivers compete for placement during the #Indy500, I toured the garages and watched Danica Patrick’s team work on her car, while Simon Pagenaud was out and about taking photos and signing autographs. After that we went over to the “pit” , which is where all the magic happens during race day. Seeing all the drivers walk by and wave after completing their qualifying laps was super cool. I even got a wave from Zach Veach (pictured below in orange)! Point being, these are luxuries not afforded to you during actual race day due to less crowds so go for it!
Grab Tickets Early or splurge for the vip experience
You’ll definitely want to be under a covered platform for this race. Thinking about sitting out in the hot sun for 500 laps is a lot to take in. Grab your tickets early to ensure you have the best possible seating. Can’t find great seating on the day of? Go to the practice days and to actually get a better view of the drivers and their teams. We did just that and had a blast! On Pole Day we were in the Pagoda 10 suite sipping on cocktails and having the best race day foods! Once we stepped out onto the terrace for views you can only dream about, we still could feel the rumbling of the cars as they zoomed by. While down in the pit, we listened in as the teams discussed changes and supported each other. The hustle and bustle of it all is electric! Special THANK YOU to Verizon for hosting us and showing us the VIP experience!
Park it Like it's Hot
Parking at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway parking lots are already SOLD OUT for Race Day. Going along with the theme of #2: Planning is key. If you were lucky enough to grab IMS parking without this post reminding you, remember to pack efficiently; all cars are subject to being searched. Think you can head on in and maybe find a spot day of? No such luck- no vehicles will even be permitted within the oval without a parking ticket. Don’t want to deal with all this parking ciaos (and you shouldn’t, because race day traffic is the worst)? Take an Uber or Lyft and get dropped off at Main Street or Gilman Street, just a short walk to the track. Be mindful of all of the already drunk people tailgating in other lots though…sometimes it feels like you’re walking through a battlefield. If you’ve been to any outdoor concert at Klipsh you know what I mean, and you’re a trooper.
What To Wear
Obviously as a fashion maven, I want to tell you to get all dolled up for this event. I mean, it is the biggest spectacle in racing. Truth is, you need to come prepared to walk (and sweat) your ass off. Leave the sequins and fringe begrudgingly at home and come prepared for heat battle. Here’s a list of items you need to have on you to survive this day:
- Earplugs: the only fashion accessory that matters because DAMMIT it is loud!
- Just kidding....you need sunglasses to survive this mega heat too.
- Cotton or other lightweight clothing: Did I mention sweat?
- Sunscreen: whether or not you grabbed #suitelife seats or not, you will get plenty of sun. I was only out of our suite for a few moments and I got a sunburn on Day 1; this brown sugar girl doesn’t burn easily.
I kept it cool in a sundress and sneakers. Peep the earplugs...I'm an official racing fan!
If you're headed to the race this weekend, hopefully these tips will help you! Maybe you'll just turn out to be as geeked about racing as I am now! #ThisIsMay