May is a wonderful month just about anywhere, but it’s absolutely amazing if – like me – you’re a Hoosier who loves racing.
As a kid growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I thrilled to the thunder of loud engines as cars flung themselves around Baer Field Speedway. I even toyed with the idea of being a race car driver when I grew up.
The big racing action, though, was a couple of hours south, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Every Sunday before Memorial Day, my dad and I would tune in to the live radio broadcast of the Indianapolis 500, which the announcer always dramatically referred to as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
While I didn’t make a career of racing, the IMS has played a continuing part in my work life. Angie’s List has sponsored cars in the 500 Mile Race, which also inspired a company tradition called Derby Day, in which employees run time trials of team-made soapbox-style carts the Friday before Memorial Day. I cherish the memory of racing legend Johnny Rutherford taking me on a spin around the Brickyard, the nickname for the IMS track, which dates to 1905.
This year, Angie’s List accelerated our relationship with racing in Indianapolis by becoming title sponsor of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the IMS’ big event in early May. This year and next, the race will formally be known as the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Race day, May 9, was a fantastic experience for me and thousands of other people, including top-rated service providers from around the country, whom we invited to enjoy the speed and the spectacle.
I won’t deny that a day at the beach is a great thing. But in May in Indy, it finishes second, behind a day at a track.
Photo: At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Gabby Chaves, driver of an Angie’s List-sponsored car in the May 9, 2015, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. (By Steve C. Mitchell)