While old Flash typically hates the study of sociology (as well as speaking of oneself in the 3rd person), he’s electing to do both today in the first-ever study of the different groups in each seating area of the track.
Main Straightaway: These people have had their seats for decades. The bulk of them have no idea what is going on with the race, but all of them know the names of the top drivers. They claim that they enjoy the seats for the action in the pits as a way of hiding their pride over the cache of the start/finish line. The white wine in their matching cooler sets is chilled to perfection, while their French cheeses seem to soften ever so nicely in the May heat. The women are usually good for the 25 laps before heading back to their parking spot at Hedge Row only to come back to find their husbands inappropriately drunk discussing what Parnelli Jones or Gordy Johncock would do to a field like this. After being the recipients of ominous glares, the husbands quickly hang their heads and enjoy some Pellegrino. The wives in this case are either wealthy locals or started as the “What am I doing here lady?” Quiet dignity on race day, folks.
Turn 1: Welcome to the world of matching shirts! During the days of Pennzoil’s involvement in the race, one couldn’t look into Turn 1 without being blinded by the glare of yellow shirts with red arm rings. Today, Turn 1 still stands as a bastion to corporate sponsorship seating where each group has a matching shirt and all can be seen with the dreaded plastic lanyard holding their tickets safely around their necks. If one ever wants to meet a life-sized Dwight Shrute or Michael Scott, look no further. While the corporate groups can avert anyone’s gaze, don’t fool yourself — there are innumerable true diehards that are willing to sift through the seas of matching shirts to catch the drives screaming down the straight and into the turn “flat.” These diehards have been going to Indy for years and understand the intricacies of a troubled car as if it’s going into Turn 1 loose.
Turn 2: Oh Turn 2. Where are the words for you? You bridge the gap of the corporate diehard Turn 1 and the pirate’s outpost that is Turn 3 with a mix of bloodlust, borderline prostitution and slovenly drunkenness. You see, Turn 2 offers a little bit of everything. It’s mostly populated by the diehards that infest Turn 1, but these guys are different. While the Turn-1ers see the majesty of the cars coming into the turn, the Turn-2ers are witness to the carnage of a failed Turn 1. These people seethe for the excitement of wrecks or the death-defying pass. There is little wonder why Thomas Scheckter is just a crowd favorite to these people after his numerous attempts at going 7 wide through turn 3. The rest of Turn 2 is littered with skanky women that need to wait until the guys in the Tower Suites are a little drunk enough to think they’re hot, as well as guys who got too drunk before the race and couldn’t walk to their seats in Turns 3 and 4 after parking at the Galleria.
Turn 3: Giver of life, Segue to the Stars, Pickpocket of Old Ladies, Mustache to Mount Rushmore, and ass-holder to yours truly. Turn 3, you give so much, and ask so little in return. Turn 3 is like the old American frontier of the grand dame that is IMS. It is dangerous and thrilling, yet has a native beauty that cannot be captured by the hands of man. Sure, the lower rows of Turn 3 are populated by Eagledalians that simply hopped the fence and snuck in, and lovers of golf will cringe at the sight of moon-face mouth-breathers passed out on perfect greens and pristine bunkers, but that is just the chocolate covering to the rich creamy nougat that is Turn 3. The rest of Turn 3 is typically locals and long time alums of the race that crave to escape the throngs on 16th and Georgetown, all the while reveling at the cars coming down the back stretch full speed into the most underappreciated of the four corners. While statistics are not readily given, some say that Turn 3 consumes the most tenderloins per capita, which is a distinction similar to having the most Nobel Laureates at your University.
Turn 4: Not applicable. I have no interest in learning anything more about Turn 4. One can safely assume that these people are the crazy mutants from the Hills Have Eyes, and the main purchasers of John Basedow’s exercise films. Advice to Turn 4: Get off Turn 3’s jock.
Infield: Do you ever wonder how society would behave if we had advanced warning that the apocalypse was imminent? Look no further than the infield. The last time I ventured into this den of depravity, I had a flashback to a really bad acid trip at a Sharon, Lois & Bram concert (with the special being Korn!!!!!!!!!!!). There is an eerie haze clinging three feet from the ground that makes one feel like he is traipsing through a fresh battle field two clicks from Denang. F–k Vegas and it’s “what happens in Vegas” tripe. The infield at the Indy 500 makes Vegas look like Kindercare. The Roman bacchanalia feasts and orgies with their purging rooms can’t hold a candle to the infield. Hell, Sodom and Gomorrah pale in comparison. I promise you one f–king thing: the wife of Lot never would have looked back when leaving the infield, and the term “pillar of salt” would never have entered the Western lexicon. Yes, Virginia, it’s true — there is an infield, and it is all that is unholy and amazing. There is no description that adequately captures the people, for the bulk of those that partake in the chorus of the infield walk among us everyday as normal member of society. Yet one day a year, they embody all seven deadly sins while wallowing in their most carnal instincts. It is almost simian like, and, had it been around earlier, would have quickly proven Darwin’s Origin of the Species.