Indy 500: The Aftermath
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Politics and Activism

Indy 500: The Aftermath

Indy 500: The Aftermath

It’s taken me a week for my mind and body to recover and let the experience of the 2014 Indianapolis 500 truly sink in. What follows is an unofficial but probably totally true account of what it’s like to do Indy 5 like it was meant to be done. 

If you’ve been, you know what it’s like. To those who are debating a trip to the Speedway in Indiana and parking their car in the sacred Lot 1C for next year’s race, listen up.

The Coke Lot is not for children. The Coke Lot is not for the faint of heart. The Coke Lot is for those who are prepared to go the distance in a party weekend. The Coke Lot is for those who are willing to sacrifice their bodies for the sake of light beer, fast cars and a heavy dose of red, white and blue.  

I got there the day before the race on Saturday morning, parked my car, stowed my keys in a safe place and began imbibing for the day to come. The events that transpired during this day might resemble a war zone closer to a tailgate, but that’s what makes the Indy 500 what it is. Thrill seekers often say, “It’s not fun unless you almost die.” And when it comes to partying, the Coke Lot is for the thrill seekers.   

Police and IMS staff reported this year’s race as the most violent and outrageous in recent history, but don’t let that discourage you. The key is to stick with the college kids and avoid people you don’t know. If you’re an idiot and wander off and pick a fight with some random people, you’re very likely to end up hospitalized. I know the Coke Lot doesn’t give off the “mature” vibe, but you need to be mature and make good decisions if you want to have a fun time instead of a hospital bill.  

To paint you a picture, I'll do my best to describe what I saw while participating in the Coke Lot festivities.

I saw college kids throw furniture into a fire and watch it blaze 30 feet in the air while police helicopters circled above and spot lighted kids jumping up and down on top of cars, screaming obscenities and throwing things.

I saw a small, older Hispanic gentleman walk across a bed of red hot coals while hundreds of college kids cheered him on. The man proceeded to crowd surf while everyone threw empty beer cans through the air like caps at graduation.   

I saw several fights. These fights are usually started by wasted morons trying to make a scene. Don’t be one of these morons.  

The next day, race day, was a different animal entirely. After the previous day’s activities, everyone was feeling a little less lively on Sunday. People woke up in cars, on top of cars, underneath cars, in tents, in the grass -- you name it. If it was mostly horizontal, someone was probably trying to sleep there. 

The first and most crucial step of this day was hydration. Today was going to be yet another long, hot, sweaty, stumbling and slurring day of undignified American beauty. Once some clean water was secured, it was time to kick the hangover with the hair of the dog that bit you. In other words, it was time to start anew. For most, it’s the only way to silence that voice in your head that says, “Go home. You’re sunburnt, your head is throbbing, you smell, and things are only going to get worse.” Sunday is the day for those that are truly prepared to go the distance.   

Unfortunately, I remember virtually none of it. There was a rave happening at a concert venue inside turn three called the Snake Pit. Hardwell, Dillon Francis and Nervo rocked the stage all day long and watched as thousands of college kids’ lives beat on to the thumping bass. The Coke Lot was doing its typical Coke Lot routine, with burning furniture and beer can projectiles. Some crazy fast cars drove in a circle all day and then this guy named Ryan Hunter-Reay drank a bottle of milk afterwards. From what I’m told it and what I can now piece together, it was a fun day for all.   

So if you think you’re tough enough, crazy enough, and have a strong enough liver for a weekend in the Coke Lot at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I encourage you to join me on the field of battle next Memorial Day weekend. It’ll be an unforgettable time, mostly.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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