Lying in the fields across from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the clock has just turned over past midnight. That means it's officially race day.
I guess I could tell you it's all quiet and expectantly serene, but we all know better, don't we? A discordant melody of firecrackers, distant sirens, motorcycles blasting past, drunken would-be frat boys desperately seeking attention, and the ever-present hum of music from dozens of campsites is tonight's soundtrack of choice.
Looking out of the tent, however, the IMS Pagoda shines, towering over the debauchery and inebriation that always precedes it. It's a good reminder that in just a few hours, we will again be racing at Indianapolis.
In terms of the race itself, it's somewhat of an odd year, but like every year, I find myself hit with a major dose of insomnia. Every potential scenario I can think of for tomorrow is going through my head, from the military flyover to the winner of the race. Will Scott Dixon be as tough as I think he'll be? Will Marco Andretti be able to save his equipment and make this "the year?" Just how bad is that track going to be with the heat? How will those Lotus entries fare? Whose engine will grenade first? How many cars will finish? How will the Dan Wheldon tributes go?
A blast of fireworks nearby jolts me out of my thoughts, but that's ok. It's the night before the 500, and there are hours of unanswered questions ahead of me.
If you're having trouble sleeping, whether you're crashing in your truck just outside Georgetown Road or are enjoying the quiet at home, know that you aren't alone. It's race day, and a night's worth of insomnia is worth getting all those questions answered tomorrow.