We’re in mid-May and local media is feeling a tug between 16th Street and 125. South Pennsylvania Street. The Indiana Pacers are one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2004. IndyCars are turning laps at the 2.5-mile oval, gearing up for Pole Day this Saturday.
It’s a busy, yet welcome strain between the two events. When the Pacers are on the road, as they are right now in New York, it puts the local television stations down one of their three reporters. For fans, however, it’s a win-win.
To Hoosiers, there’s something truly special about this time. It reminds me of my younger years when Pacers playoffs and festivities at the track went hand in hand. Cars reaching speeds of 230 MPH by day, to Reggie Miller swishing in 3-pointers from 24-feet at night. Fans have to be careful to wear sunscreen and not get too burnt out in the day to stay awake and excited come game time. They will get that opportunity on Thursday, as the Pacers play the Knicks in New York, tipping after 8 PM.
To outsiders, it’s an attraction that is on every sports fans’ bucket list.
On Wednesday, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Matt Hasselbeck and Chandler Harnish made an appearance, their first at the Speedway, to watch practice. (Harnish is from Bluffton, Indiana so it is surprising that it’s his first time inside the track.) They visited with Charlie Kimball, who applied to Stanford University but was deferred. The guys clearly had a ball roaming the garages, putting on the headsets and setting the cars speed on by at 222 MPH.
With my Pacers responsibilities, Wednesday was also the first time I had been able to make it out to the track. The weather was absolutely beautiful – 82 degrees and clear skies. Take a day off of work and check out all this place has to offer. While in Indy, a handful of drivers and teams have attended one of the Pacers’ recent
Practice days will set you back just $10, qualifying $15 and Carb day $20. [Click here for more info.]