My traditional night before the 500 usually consists of girl time with my best friend, Casie. We would cozy up on the couch of our hotel room, split a bottle of Oliver soft-red wine and snack on sundry shop goodies. Since this is usually the first time we get to see each other since the last race of the season, we have a ton to catch up on.
This year Casie won’t be in attendance and I’m not staying in Indy. Instead I’ll be at my house, cooking ahi tuna steaks (say a prayer), baking cupcakes for our friends in the Bell Helmet garage and enjoying a quite evening. I’ve tried my hand at attempting to replicate H’s favorite olive spread (using this recipe), which I’m hoping to surprise him with.
I won’t go to the traditional race day breakfast with my mom, but instead enjoy Clabber Girl biscuits and gravy with Drama, a tradition we started with each other last year.
I’ll make sure to try to remember every single pre race moment from H’s first Indy 500. I’ll say a prayer with my brother and dad before they go up to the spotters stand, a tradition we follow at USC games, but will just be implementing as a family here this year. My arm will be full with bracelets I wear to remember my friend. I’ll have the best bloody mary in the world.
Some things will stay the same. Like the balloons floating into the air just before the command to fire engines. And thirty-three cars lining up, hoping to find their way to the yard of bricks first and become an instant legend. A wreath adorned with lilly’s and red, white and blue ribbon waiting to be worn. And milk being drank so sweetly on a hot spring day after another 500 miles are in the books.
Not every year is going to be a great as the year before, but every year will provide us with the thrills and pains only the greatest spectacle in racing can. Enjoy your day. Cherish every special moment. We have to wait 365 more before we get another one, so we better make the most of what we get on this magical day.
Happy Indy 500.