Growing up in Indiana, the city shut down during the month of May as everyone migrated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch practice and qualifications in preparation for the “greatest spectacle in racing” – aka the Indianapolis 500 Indy Car Race (held yearly on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend).
I attended my first race at age 6 with the whole family. I wore headphones as the noise was deafening (well, awesome and deafening all at the same time). We went to the Race every year and upon entering college, I sold sponsorship packages for an Indy Car team, Bettenhausen Motorsports and was at the track for the entire month hosting clients. It was a fabulous gig and only ended when I moved to Los Angeles in 1996. Such fond memories!
I’ve not had many opportunities to return to the track since leaving Indy, however, Mom and I were fortunate enough over this past Mother’s Day weekend to be guests in Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s suite:
Mom and I get goosebumps every time we hear the roar of the engines! Here’s a quick clip to give you a little taste:
Now imagine 33 cars at full speed roaring around the track! It’s unbelievably awesome!
I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah during the Inaugural Indiana Governor’s Conference in October of last year and we’ve stayed in touch since. She was well known to me long before we met – as the youngest woman to have raced in the Indy 500, she also has the most starts (9) of any woman. Truly a legend, she stepped out from behind the wheel to launch Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing in 2008.
Sarah is a wonderful person and if you happen to catch this year’s Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25th, be sure to root for her two drivers: Josef Newgarden (car 67), starting in the #8 position and Alex Tagliani (#68), starting in the #24 position.
Meanwhile, Mom is introducing her grandchildren to the Indy car racing scene:
Good to see the tradition continue! And good luck Sarah!