With the resurgent popularity of the Indy 500, and the influx of new fans that the VERSUS television contract has brought to the race, I thought it appropriate to introduce to the first-time 500 visitors the types of degenerates, heathens, and track rats they will surely come across at the Speedway.
Of course, I could just as easily discuss the morally upstanding, well-to-do, kind-hearted-and-sober folk who make up the vast, vast majority of race-goers … but that would be boring and un-patriotic. And this is no time to be un-patriotic. It is time to mock and disparage. It just feels like the right thing to do.
“Dustin Stubb”- This moniker was given to a select group of young male fans who display not only supreme drunkenness, but also a penchant for meth-smoking and making outrageous wagers on race outcomes. Dustin will usually be shirtless, wearing a bandana, and may or may not have a nipple pierced. Dustin lives in a forgotten neighborhood near Indianapolis Airport Expressway, and after knocking down a 12 pack of Bud Dry, has been known to bet his entire house (which is most likely heavily mortgaged on a subprime note) that Rahal will win the 500. Dustin “aints afraid to gamble.” (Or so he confidently bellows to his entire section.)
Neglectful Mother and Pantless Child - This pair of individuals comes to the race together, but is often reunited in some administrative lost-and-found afterwards. The Pantless Child is often seen running around grifting suckers and swiping sips off of warm, half-full beers; all the while his neglectful mother is necking with strangers outside the trough style urinals.
Old School Bitter Race Fan - This guy will usually be seen at the track every single day it is open. He’ll moan and cry about how the race isn’t like the good ol’ days — when women knew their place and fatalities were often. He longs for the days of drivers staying in Eagledale homes and working on their own cars. He is unaware that Eagledale has been a cesspool for the last 40 years. He’ll only root for offspring of old drivers, and openly question the sexual-orientation of foreign drivers.
The Informed Guy – This attention-whore is the easiest to spot. He is the one wearing the massive headphones with the radio scanner, has a stop watch and a decades worth of race tickets and pit road access badges in lanyards around his neck. He’ll pretend to write lap times down as cars circle, because “the score board is always a lap or two behind” in his estimation. For blind patrons, just listen for the guy that is yelling to nobody in particular that Justin Wilson is having problems in the pits. He wants to be your reference point for what’s really going on. He’s got his finger on the pulse and was probably your high school baseball statistician.
Two-Seat Radius Guy- While most of us are packed in the grandstands likes sardines being forced to suffocate in each other’s stench for hours in the hot sun, each section has the reflection of empty bleachers around Two-Seat Radius Guy. This is the fellow who’s so morbidly obese, drunken, foul smelling, and generally offensive that the rest of the section affords his neighboring patrons to encroach on their seats to get away from him. He’s typically in ”jorts” with a cut-off tee shirt of some Eastern Ohio dirt track and will start drunkenly screaming about somebody blowing it around mile 75. Mustard stains on his shirt are his favorite fashion accessory.
“I’ve Made It!” Lady- This Decatur Central graduate, now from some non-descript suburb on the west side, remembers sorority girls’ parents throwing upscale, lavish tailgates with jealousy, and decides that the Indy 500 is as good of a time as ever to try out her new cocktail napkins and to practice her tailgating proficiency for when her kids are at the University of Phoenix. She and the husband get there early with the other couples setting up the tailgate and trying to look prim and proper. Unfortunately, the call of her chest-flashing youth at Carb Day quickly gets the better of her and feelings of inadequacy over her tailgate result in her getting entirely too drunk too quickly. She can be seen passed out in her SUV while you are walking into the track. For those that show up midway through the race, she’ll be cleaning up her parking area and screaming at her husband on the phone to hurry up leave.
“What am I doing here?” Lady – This woman met a nice young man with a good career, married him, and has started a family. They are on their second house, and the kids are getting into the right schools. She has seen her husband watch football with his friends, so how bad could it be to have the wives go to Indianapolis this year? Twenty laps in, the elation has worn off and she is seen in tears walking down to hide in the shade under the grandstands.
Racially Sensitive Guy -Simply put, this guy notices that he is sitting close to a black guy in the stands, so he starts talking very loudly about how under-appreciated Willy T. Ribbs was. Which he was.
Folder Arms Yellow Shirt - This guy is out of work and gets no respect at home. This is his one time a year to have a sense of self worth, so he gets drunk with the power of the yellow shirt. Avoid him at all costs, as he is looking for a reason to yell at you to the point where fierce spittle drips from his lower lip. He watches “Ellen” during the other 11 months of the year.
Mr. Point- This goon is the worst of them all, and you’ll notice him on lap 2. When everybody sits down after the first lap, this guy will stand up for each of the next 199 laps and starting pointing when the cars come into view. He will follow the cars around the track with the full arm point until they are out of site, at which point he will pump his fist in an Arsenio Hall-type fashion and try to get a high five from one of his uninterested friends. At no time before, during, or after the race will you have any idea which car or driver this retarded asshole is cheering for, but you will start throwing your empty tall boys at him early. Perfectly acceptable. Even Folded Arms Yellow Shirt will let this slide, if not participate.
Broke the Seal too Early Guys - You know who he is. Unless you want him tripping over you all race, just bite the bullet and give him the aisle. His friends don’t want to be near him either.
The Sneva Fan -One will never recognize the Sneva fan outside of race-related activities. While their numbers are dwindling, any onlooker to the 500 parade will immediately recognize the true Tom Sneva fan. When the cavalcade of former race winners goes by, this guy is chanting SNE-VA!! SNE-VA!! SNE-VA!! over the entire rest of the audience’s clapping. During the actual race, Sneva Fan will drunkenly cheer for whichever driver Sneva is spotting for. He will repeatedly and loudly mention that Tom Sneva broke the 200mph barrier at Indy with lesser equipment, and he will fight anybody for trying to place the blame on Sneva’s spotting for Sneva’s driver getting in a wreck. While never admitting to being a sophisticate, Sneva Fan will chortle with delight by changing the title of the famous Eugene O’Neill play to “The Gasman Cometh.” Celebrity Sneva Fan: ESPN’s Jason Whitlock.