Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Breaking News

Westside

May 12, 2014

Grand Prix great addition to May in Indy

Living far outside the area for five years, I missed a lot of racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during that time, but Saturday was a great “welcome home.”

Regardless of its calamitous start, the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis was an outstanding day for the city, track and IndyCar Series.

My last race at IMS prior to Saturday was the 2008 Brickyard 400, which was one of the worst events ever held locally due to its infamous tire disaster. I won a Hoosier State Press Association award for my description of that craptastic affair, but left not caring if I saw another race in this lifetime.

For my personal taste, Saturday was the ideal IMS experience, from the ease of entrance and exit, to the race itself and surrounding environment.

While I was taught a good race-day route around 2006, I still despise the traffic situation during Indy 500s and Brickyards. Traffic patterns penalize Westside residents, and it's always compounded by moronic pedestrians coming off a liquid breakfast.

Because IMS doesn’t release attendance figures, I have no idea how many people were there on Saturday. IMS hoped for 40,000, and I’m guessing they topped that by at least 25 percent. Whatever the number, it wasn’t enough to jam the grid, and getting in and out was a breeze.

After arrival, I went down to track level for the pre-race festivities, and it was a blast. I saw Colts Andrew Luck and Robert Mathis down there, and it looked like they felt the same way.

When compared to the NFL, NBA or MLB, top-tier IndyCar fan access is in a class of its own. Milling around the vehicles and hot pit girls is cool enough, but I saw multiple big-name drivers taking time to pose for cell-phone photos with patrons, mere moments before getting into their rides.

That up-close experience alone should make locals appreciate what they have at IMS. It doesn’t exist in most of major American sport. Think you’re gonna go down and get a selfie with Luck and Mathis prior to kickoff?

Saturday’s race got off to an unforgettable start, as the stall of pole-sitter Sebastian Saavedra led to an epic crash that even dinged Indy mayor Greg Ballard. After that, it was a mix of crazy restarts and fuel-gambling drama worthy of the city’s famed month of May.

One of the best elements of the day was the absence of imbecilic drunkedness that keeps a lot of folks away from the track. For the first time ever, I didn’t see a single person acting like an absolute idiot, and having often been one in my youth, I know exactly what that looks and sounds like. All in all, it was a great family day at IMS, where parents could bring their kids and not have to worry about giving them earplugs — more for profanity than race car noise.

Honestly, in its first edition, the Grand Prix probably became my favorite event at IMS — all the good things, without all the headaches. I hope attendance grows in subsequent years, because that’s what it deserves, but not enough to add the things that weren’t missed on Saturday.

Indianapolis deserves a good road-course race, and now, it finally has one.

 Brent Glasgow is a sports writer with the Westside Flyer. He can be reached at brent.glasgow@flyergroup.com or 272-5800 ext. 190. Follow him on Twitter @ BGlasgow37.

 

1
Text Only
Westside
  • WSF 7-22 news wife killer Man in custody for murdering his wife At about 8:11 a.m. Sunday, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers were sent to 5702 Laurel Hall Drive after a 911 call of a disturbance with a person injured. When officers arrived they found a female inside the house with head

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • WSF 7-15 news fire training 4 [Duplicate] Firefighter recruits train in condemned buildings The classroom heated up this week for firefighter recruits as they moved into the final states of training: live fire.The Wayne Township Fire Department is hosting the training this week at a set of abandoned buildings on the city’s west side.Mike Pr

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • WSF 7-15 news brewery pic 1 Upland Brewery wins awards at Ind. State Fair Brewers' Cup Upland Brewing Company took home all the big awards in the professional division of the Indiana State Fair Brewers’ Cup competition over the weekend.The Bloomington brewery was named Indiana Brewery of the Year and Grand Champion Brewery of the Year.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • WSF 7-15 news airman burial 1 Fallen airman returns to Indiana after six decades ELWOOD — Unchecked tears rolled down Paul Martin’s lined face as he clutched the hand of a U.S. Air Force servicewoman who handed him a handwritten note at the graveside service for his older brother.The note said simply that it was an honor to atten

    July 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • WSF 7-15 news fire training 3 Firefighter recruits train in condemned buildings The classroom heated up this week for firefighter recruits as they moved into the final states of training: live fire.The Wayne Township Fire Department is hosting the training this week at a set of abandoned buildings on the city’s west side.Mike Pr

    July 14, 2014 4 Photos

  • HCF 7-12 news USO pic 2 USO of Indiana helps active military members INDIANAPOLIS — The United Services Organization (USO) of Indiana helps active military and their families on a daily basis; even on their way through the Indianapolis International Airport.The United Service Organizations was first formed during Worl

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • City's violence continues |Violence throughout Indianapolis continued over the weekend and into the early part of the week. At about 11 a.m. Saturday, officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department were sent to the 1800 block of Heather Court in reference to a

    July 14, 2014

  • Man killed in hit-and-run on Township Line Road |A bicyclist discovered a body in a ditch in the 8800 block of Township Road over the weekend and immediately alerted the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Officers arrived and discovered the unresponsive body of 22-year-old Patrick Hurd o

    July 14, 2014

  • WSF 7-8 ent varekai pic 2 Cirque du Soleil Varekai comes to Indy July 24 INDIANAPOLIS — Cirque du Soleil will be presenting its newest arena show, Varekai, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse from July 24-27 for six performances. Since December 2013, the cast of 50 performers, with 18 different nationalities, began touring the wor

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • WSF 7-8 ent shrek pic 1 'Shrek The Musical' comes to Myers Dinner Theatre Revolution Productions LLC at Myers Dinner Theatre recently announced the next show in their 2014 season, “Shrek The Musical.” It opened July 2. This hilarious, high-energy musical adaptation of the hit film features book and lyrics by David Lindsay-

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Has the rash of shootings in Indianapolis made you reconsider attending an event or patronizing a business there? Yes, it's out of control No, it's no more dangerous than anywhere else

     View Results
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read