Sunday, September 26, 2010

IMS Fan Appreciation Day Recap: Scheck, Pippa, Donald, and More!

I loaded up my oldest daughter (six years old, going on eighteen) yesterday and headed down to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Fan Appreciation Day. 

Here's a few of the highlights:

-Tomas Scheckter, one of my favorite drivers, signed an autograph for me and my daughter.  I wished him the best of luck, and said I hope he has a full-tine ride this year.  That's the first time I've been able to meet Tomas, but

-Steve Chassey, Paul Goldsmith, Eldon Rasmussen, and Bob Harkey were all on hand as Indy 500 Legends.  I ended up with all their autographs on a single page, which is going to hang in some prime real estate in my corner of the dwelling.

-Indy Lights drivers Pippa Mann and Philip Major from Sam Schmidt Motorsports were both on hand, also signing autographs.  Pippa was especially nice to my daughter, which I really appreciated.  She's charming, talented, and fun--I hope we see her in an IndyCar at some point next year.

-Perhaps the coolest moment was getting to meet one of the people I admire most, track historian Donald Davidson! I got to talk with him for a minute, and tell him how much I love The Talk of Gasoline Alley.  I also joked about how every year, he gets the caller with the Jim Hurtubise Beer Under The Engine Cover Story.  Absolutely a priceless moment.

-In addition to this, we wandered around the museum and the Louis Chevrolet monument, checked out the gift store and grill (both had some great discounts; the daughter snagged a Sarah Fisher t-shirt), and watched people do the IndyCar simulator and talk about IndyCar and the 500.  It's a great day any time you're at the Speedway, but this one was truly special.

I hope next year sees another great Fan Appreciation Day, because we truly enjoyed it.  Thanks to IMS and IZOD IndyCar for putting this on.  I'm already a die-hard fan, but I think this is the sort of event that's great for making a whole new generation of die-hards fans.  I think my daughter would agree.

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