100 days

Despite the ever-increasing depth of snow outside my window today, chassis-related events coupled with our first planning meeting last week have stirred the spirit to more firmly focus on ‘the trip’. 

100 days sounds like a big number but, in truth, isn’t. It’s just barely enough time to coordinate the elements necessary for a proper trip. This being the 7th trip with this group, the planning has become a bit easier, but each year poses its own obstacles which must be overcome. The primary needs, however, are firmly trenched into the budget: location (Speedway camp lots), lodging (campers), beverages (water – for when the beer runs out), and of course food (primo grilled meats to be exact).

Everyone has their favorite camp food, but ours is not simple fare.  Burgers, brats, dogs and potato salad are generally eschewed for a more civilized palate.  The menu is annually given extra attention and love with a grilling phenom and our very own 4-star chef. It’s not uncommon to find this on our plates at Indy (less the expensive linens and flatware, of course)… 

Budget variables such as ‘entertainment’, ‘sundries’, and ‘hospitality’ can often be the death of our budget, but also have historically provided some of the more priceless (albeit confidential) moments of the Indy trip.  I’ve found that the more organic and spontaneous those spirited events are, the better, so planning and budgeting for those is right out.
Now with mind distracted by furthering the details of the upcoming trip, I must put away this blog. 100 days is seeming like about 50 too few, but 50 days ago would’ve had me making lists, calling friends, and discussing budgets… on Christmas.
Ah, well, so it goes every year, time to grab another gear…

For just a dollar a day…

…you too could be going to the Race of all races – THE Greatest Spectacle in Racing – the one and only 2010 Indianapolis 500 , if you start today!

Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to, at least once, go to this esteemed American sporting event?

I do.

With only 175 or so days left until that glorious weekend, don’t put off until spring what you can begin today.  There can never be sufficient time to fully plan your traffic/parking/tailgating/debauchery strategies so I implore you to start right now, you won’t be sorry!

If you cannot attend, please consider finding and sponsoring a unfunded young race fan the ability to see it in person – it is a truly life-changing event for many.

Here’s my Dollar A Day plan if you start today…
– Raceday ticket – $80 (Pit Road terrace – the best value in all of sporting events),
– Fuel to travel from within a 500-mile radius of Speedway, Indiana – $50 (in a reasonable vehicle – assumes no Abrams M1 battle-tanks or ’74 Cadillacs although I have seen the latter abandoned and in flames on the infield in my time),
– Parking in some Speedway entrepreneur’s resident’s yard – $20,
– Food on the grounds – $12 (that’s if you stuff yourself),
– Souvenir program and starting grid – $10 (must have).
– One adult admission to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum – $3 (again, a ridiculously low price for what you get).

If your funds permit, I highly suggest the following upgrade options to the above plan…
– Fuel to return home – $50 although the afterglow of the race itself will have you considering a permanent move to Indy.
– One 12-pack of aluminum-canned American-brewed lager, preferably one of the ‘Light’ variations. – $7. (caveat: Under NO circumstances shall you purchase or attempt to purchase a styrofoam cooler for an additional $.99 for carrying said beverages – you will be better off carving 3 pounds of ice space from your 5-pound ice bag).  Even if you don’t drink, you’ll have the ability to easily befriend those ill-prepared imbibers seated around you with your generous sharing of adult beverages – truly a value which cannot be underestimated.
– Sunblock – $4 (always be prepared),
– Folding plastic rain poncho – $5 (doubles as seat cushion),
– Goodwill and high spirits – free,
– Singing ‘Back Home Again’ with Jim Nabors and 250,000 of your newest friends and racefans,

Absolutely Priceless.