May 19, 2015
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
There are all sorts of interesting ancillary events leading
up to the Indianapolis 500. In my many years of attending, I have tried to do
as many of them as possible which has led to my attendance at events as diverse
as the great tortoise race at the Indianapolis Zoo, to the Indianapolis 500
This year there were a couple of events that I had planned
to attend, one that I had been to before and another the first time grand
opening of a new venture by the family of the legendary 4-time Indy 500 winner
A.J. Foyt. I also managed some time to squeeze in a visit to the wonderful
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis so that I could check out the Hot Wheels
racing exhibit that they have up this year.
A.J. IV & A. J.
The first event that I went to was the grand opening of the
new Wine Bar owned and operated by A.J. Foyt’s son Larry and grandson A.J. Foyt
IV. The Foyt’s have owned a winery for many years and the new wine bar, called
the Foyt Wine Vault- in part because the location is a former bank and the huge
vault is still in place.
Located on Main Street across from the Dallara Indy Car
Factory and next to the Foyt Racing offices, the Foyt Wine Vault is a beautiful
wine bar that is decorated in a classy racing décor featuring memorabilia from
A.J. Foyt’s long Indy Car career. These include the final car that A.J. drove
when he retired and many of A.J.’s various helmets that he wore through the
The highlight is of course the wine and it is pretty good. I
was able to hang out with A.J. who was on hand to celebrate the opening along
with Larry and AJIV and his wife. It was a wonderful evening and I was thrilled
to be included. Hope to return soon. My next stop was at the nearby Speedway
where the annual Last Row Party was being held.
James Davison & Bryan Clauson
The Last Row party was being held in the historic Pagoda at
the Start/ Finish line at the track and featured a catered dinner, drinks and a
sort of roast of the last row starters for the Indy 500 where they received
checks for 31 cents, 32 cents and 33 cents for the final three positions in the
field. The last three drivers in the
field included Ryan Briscoe (subbing for James Hinchcliffe), James Davison and
It was really enjoyable and fun with great food and drink
and best of all access to the incredible Pagoda which I had never been in. It
offers commanding views of the entire track and surrounding areas all the way
to a fantastic view of downtown Indianapolis.
I also had the chance to visit another of the top
attractions in Indianapolis, the Children’s Museum which had a couple of
exhibits that I really wanted to check out. The museum is consistently rated as
the best museum of its kind in the Nation and going there you easily see why it
has achieved the accolades.
There were two exhibits that I wanted to see, the Hot Wheels
racing exhibit and another exhibit about TV and film that featured props from
famous television and film features including the likes of Fonzie’s jacket, the
Ghostbuster’s uniforms and weapons from the Men in Black films and many, many
others. It is a magical museum that also had a wonderful exhibit on underwater
archaeology that made me feel right at home.