For those unfamiliar with Carb Day, it is an annual event at the Motor Speedway open to the public the Friday before race day. There are multiple events that take place on Carb Day, including:
- Final practice before the Indy 500,
- 40-lap Firestone Freedom 100,
- IZOD Indy 500 Pitstop Challenge
- Miller Lite Carb Day concert.
When I first entered Carb Day, I was greeted by gray skies and an admission price that had doubled from the year prior. I feared that the day would be a disappointment, but I was greatly mistaken. Despite less-than-perfect weather and shameless ticket gouging, Carb Day-goers refused to let the situation get them down.
|Entrance gate to Carb Day|
|Fast cars at the Firestone Freedom 100|
Beyond the beer chugging, a slew of characters made for prime people watching. The array of mullets, Mohawks, tattoos, and jorts pair nicely with greasy food stands and an overriding scent of sweat. Carb Day is a time when people put away their inhibitions and unabashedly ignore style mores that bind them on an everyday basis. The results are oddly fascinating.
|Even Indy Elvis attended Carb Day!|
|These patrons participate in some people watching of their own|
|A string of IMPD motorcycles|
This year, the concert got a bit rowdier than usual. A few concertgoers threw full cans of beer onto the stage while Papa Roach performed. IMPD police officers fired pepper pellets into the audience in order to keep the crowd in check. According to the Indy Star, Papa Roach vocalist “taunted the authorities by requesting that they fire a ‘paintball’ to his chest.”
Luckily I did not encounter this first hand. I opted to remain on the periphery of the concert in order to avoid the numerous flashers. I do not regret this decision at all, and recommend it to anyone who attends the concert.
Carb Day 2011 was definitely a memorable one. For whatever reason, it maintains its magnetic draw for Hoosiers everywhere and has a long future ahead of itself.