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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Don’t Need Nothin’ but a Good Time

May 24, 2013

 photo 069_zps2cb5fa56.jpg Kevin, Gerard, Pat & Mark

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Don’t Need Nothin’ but a Good Time

The kick-off of the actual Indy 500 weekend is the annual final practice session/ crazy party scene known as “Carb Day”. It is a tradition for the past 10 or so years that I meet a group of friends at the speedway where we hang out and enjoy a few beers and the crab day ambiance. It has been an Indianapolis tradition for years and many skip work and head to the track, drawn much more by the start of summer, party atmosphere and the annual Carb Day concert than by any love of racing.

 photo 010_zps201955d6.jpg Dakota & Ed Carpenter

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 photo 179_zps7974bf2a.jpg Mark

In fact racing is only a small portion of the day, the track is open for the Indy Cars for only one hour in the morning, followed by the Indy Lights race- a sort of minor league for the Indy Cars and then the Pit Stop competition. Later in the afternoon, the Carb Day concert attracts a huge, huge mob of mostly drunken revelers. This year the concert featured 80s hair band Poison.

 photo 111_zps12f267f3.jpg Alex Zanardi

 photo 180_zpse8d5eabd.jpg Kirsten & James

Typically by the time the concert starts, I am long gone- the crowd is just too large, drunk and frankly redneckish for my tastes. The crowd this year was easily as large as it has been in years with over 80,000 people estimated to have attended the concert, making it one of the biggest crowds in years.

 photo 048_zps3a9457d4.jpg Pippa Mann & Gerard

 photo 073_zps6ee490d4.jpg Kevin & Mark

 photo 043_zps90a73186.jpg Dakota

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For our part, Dakota and I arrived early and avoided most of the traffic. We were meeting my friends Pat, who drove up from Evansville, Gerard , who drove down from Chicago and my Indy friends Kevin and Mark.  They were caught in a little traffic, so while waiting, we checked out the garage area and then sat to watch the Indy Car practice. They finally made it in time for the Indy Lights race.

 photo 009_zpsb60d1e81.jpg Dakota & Superfan

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 photo 258_zps699ff4bc.jpg Kevin

The Indy Lights race, which is generally sort of a minor diversion ended up being one of the most exciting races in the luminous history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as three cars battled it out over the final laps and then to the amazement of everyone, 4th place driver Peter Dempsey made a spectacular 4 wide pass coming to the checkered flag in one of the best races ever anywhere. You can watch the incredible final laps via the video below.

Freedom 100 Finish!!

Pat had scored passes to the coveted Miller Lite Beer pavilion where they had catered food and lots of free beer (thankfully including a number of additional breweries in addition to Miller). We were having such a good time that we stayed through the entire pit stop competition, hanging out with a group of friends from high school who were also hanging at the track including our friends Sarah, Stephanie, Michelle and Rosie.

 photo 105_zps2887fa9d.jpg Helio wins Pit Stop compettition

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It was a great start to the weekend that was capped off that evening by a special dedication of the newly renovated and created Elliott Room at Brugge Brasserie. The incredible renovation of the office spaces at Brugge to honor our friend Matt Elliott who passed away suddenly in that very location is a thing of beauty and deference. It honors not only Matt, but our group of friends known as the ODC (Old Dog Crew) and the many, many years that we have all been able to maintain a close bond.

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The space features a private bar and lounge area as well as additional rooms all decorated with an amazing array of photos that document the special relationship that we all share. It is truly a special and remarkable testament to all of us and the enduring power of friendship. Thanks so much to Ted and Shannon for honoring us all and creating this magical and wonderful space and transforming a place filled with sadness in to a place of honor and celebration and love.

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 photo 053_zps094843ec.jpg Eli, Megan & Tracy

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I hope to be able to spend many more hours in the Elliott room, honoring our friend, remembering all the many great times we have shared and creating new memories along the way. It was so cool to have so many friends present to christen the space and truly have a moment to celebrate.

 photo 083_zps86534ca8.jpg Kevin & Tracy

 photo 055_zps5faaff59.jpg Shannon & Amanda

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