CO-WRITTEN BY AUSTIN WODOCK AND LOUIE SNYDER
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we aren’t talking about Christmas: it’s the Month of May in Indianapolis. The time of year when the weather turns, the flowers bloom and race fans descend upon the city for 3 weeks in May to watch cars turn laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With the Grand Prix of Indianapolis happening this Saturday, here’s a little primer for the highlights of the month.
Grand Prix of Indianapolis (May 11)
The first major on track activity of the month sees the NTT Data Indycar series take to the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in what has been a nice kickoff to a month of racing. Will Power is looking for a three-peat at the event, but drivers like Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi will look to stop the streak.
Indianapolis 500 Practice (May 14-17)
Practice may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world, but watching over 30 cars zip by at speeds reaching 245 MPH is an adrenaline rush unlike any other. Grabbing a cold beer, a driver list and a nice spot in the shade or on one of the observations mounds throughout the track is a great way to spend an afternoon with friends.
Indianapolis 500 Qualifying and Bump Day (May 18 and 19)
Qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 can be nearly as exciting as the race. With 37 drivers vying for 33 spots emotions run as high as the speeds. The culmination of qualifying is Bump Day. Bump Day is when the drivers from 30thon back will have to run once more to make the final field. This is one of the best days of the month.
Coke Lot, Carb Day and Legends Day (May 23-26)
The Coke Lot is legendary. It’s a land full of beer, grills and general tomfoolery and has become one of our favorite traditions of the month of May. Carb Day is the last day of practice and features the pit stop competition and the Freedom 100, Indylights series race as well as a doubleheader concert featuring Foreigner and Cool and the Gang this year. Legends Day is the day before the race and is all about honoring the history of the race and having a little fun to go along with it. Zac Brown Band is performing at the afternoon concert and should be one of the highlights of race weekend.
The 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500
Ah, race day. There’s something truly special about waking up the morning of the race and being full of excitement for what’s ahead. For race fans, it’s Christmas morning on steroids and for non-race fans who attend the Snake Pit infield concert during the race, it’s one of the highlights of the summer. The pageantry of the pre-race ceremonies from the singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana”, driver introductions, the National Anthem, and the flyover build up to what has traditionally been one of the best races in any racing series in the world. It’s an absolute sports bucket list item.
If you ever have the chance to make it to Indianapolis for some or all of the activities in the Month of May, you certainly won’t regret it. May in Indianapolis is one of the most fun-filled times of year you can ever experience.