The title of this post was going to be "Carb Day Highlights", until I realized that some of the things that I saw were not highlights at all, but were instead either lowlights or just...lights. Something in the middle. With that, and with the thought in mind that I need to wake up in a little under 7 hours if I'm going to make tomorrow's (what? After midnight? Damn. Then it's today's) Planet-IRL.com First Annual Blogger Summit.
- The day started off on an up note for me when I, running late because I failed to realize that the North 40 Lot would be a vortex of parking insanity on Carb Day, ran into a buddy of mine on staff after I'd only gotten about 200 yards inside the north end of the track. He charitably let me catch a ride on his golf cart over to Pagoda Plaza, where I just made it in time for the daily 15 minute live version of the "Cavin and Kevin Show". Nice. Very nice.
- I spent about four minutes gawking at the Delta Wing prototype. I firmly believe that the car should be shown in pictures with a banner hanging behind it that says "Delta Wing: Better In Person".
- Then, it was cars on the track. Actual IndyCars on the actual Indianapolis Motor Speedway track. I think I spent the hour of practice switching between Tweeting strings of unrelated consonants and blacking out. I can't really remember what happened here.
- The Lights race. Too bad for Pippa. Too good by Wade Cunningham (again, yawn). Too weird by JK Vernay, who ground to a halt right in front of me in the pits with an apparent locked rear end after one lap, then whose crew got him going again after six laps (aided by Pippa's and Jeff Simmons' second lap crash and caution), and who then spent the race carving up through the field until he threatened (repeatedly and forcefully) to reclaim one of those six laps from the leaders.
- Spent some nice time meeting and catching up with Allen Wedge from Furious Wedge and his wife Kelly (who my wife would say spells her name wrong). Actually, this time alternated between "nice" and "infuriating", as Allen appears to have far better formed opinions about most things IndyCar than I do. Me? I just like watching cars going fast, I guess. Anyway, it's never exactly fun when you figure out you're not only not the smartest person in the room, but you're also not the second smartest. In a room containing three people.
- I had the brief chance to meet face-to-face with the Incorrigible Roy Hobbson from The Silent Pagoda during the ZZ Top concert. Actually, it wasn't a "meeting" so much as just a "receiving a high five from somebody running past me who is wearing one of those 'beer can helmets' that's been modified to carry two pony kegs of Hamm's". Anyway, I'm certain that was Hobbson, and I'm certain that right now he's either half-buried in one of the infield's sand traps or all-incarcerated in the infield pokey.
- I did actually see a couple of guys on Hulman Blvd. who were being shaken down by the infield cops. It took everything I had not to go over and recite entire sections of the famous Bob and Tom bit, "Sid Gurney: Infield Security", just to rub it in.
- Oh, back to the fifth circle of hell, aka, the North 40 Lot. 800 feet in 40 minutes, you say? While 75% of the day's total crowd is still shotgunning Miller Lite inside Turn 3? Sure. That sounds reasonable.
- From the ridiculous to the sublime: The Carb Night Burger Bash! OK, to be serious for one second, I look forward to the Burger Bash as much or more as any other event that happens during my calendar year that doesn't have the words "Race" and "Day" attached to it. This year did not disappoint. I met up with fully 4/11ths of the rest of my intrepid All Racing Fantasy League team owners (Craig, the aforementioned Allen Wedge, and the brother assassins, Jesse and Ryan; good fellas, all), hammered down a burger, a bushel or so of fries and roughly a gallon of vanilla milkshake (I'm bringing plenty of souvenir cups home, honey!), threw empathetic vibes toward a clearly downcast Pippa Mann, who stopped by to chat with Curt, Kevin and the crowd for a few minutes, basked in the aura of one Tony Kanaan for about a half an hour, spent a good 20 minutes holding my hands to the sky during Randy Bernard's brief Q&A session like those snake-handling churchy people you see in certain movies, and was, of course, thoroughly entertained by Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee. The bar has been raised yet again by those guys. If you did not make it this year, you made a grave mistake. Rectify that next year, for your own sake.
- A lowlight: many, many bloggers and Twitterers in attendance at the Burger Bash. Alas, I and my ARFL chums spent so much time busting on each others' teams and generally busting on whatever happened through our stream of consciousness that I didn't get a chance to make a full set of rounds. That's a bad job by me. So, my work is cut out for me at the Bloginator Conference tomorrow (dang! Today!).
OK, you'll all have to excuse me for no pictures for now, as A) it's nearly 1:00 AM now, and B) I'm dumb, and forgot my download cable in Nebraska. There is more, more, more to come from Indy! We're just getting started!