The month of May is always an exciting time in the Hoosier state. As the dogwoods bloom and the ice cream trucks return to make their lazy circuits around local neighborhoods, the luckiest Hoosiers are serenaded by Indiana’s true sounds of summer echoing from the hallowed grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Although many Indiana-natives are probably already familiar with the Indianapolis 500, there are so many other races at the track throughout the month of May. Whether you’re a fan of seeing some of your favorite IndyCar drivers compete in the Angie’s List Grand Prix or enjoy watching riders test their skills in the MotoGP, the track has a ton to offer race fans of every stripe.
There’s more to the motor speedway than just fast cars and pit crews, though. Leading up to each big race are tons of events that Hoosiers can be a part of, whether they’re auto racing fans or not. Even if the sounds of engines revving isn’t quite your speed, you can’t help but be intoxicated by the sound of big musical acts like Frankie Ballard, Florida Georgia Line, O.A.R., 38 Special, and Jane’s Addiction making headlines at the track. Showcasing popular bands from various genres and eras, there’s something for every musical taste. You may even have the chance to spot a few celebrities while you’re there.
While visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week, I had the opportunity to interview Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson. Not only was the former gymnast completely adorable and sweet-as-can-be to fans seeking autographs, but she admitted to being quite the race fan herself. I will admit to having more than a little crush, so needless to say I was stoked to get the chance to speak with her.
I also had a chance to meet up with IMS Senior Director of Marketing, Jarrod Krisiloff. Named one of Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 business and professional leaders for central Indiana, this native son is the direct descendant of racing royalty. Son of 11-time Indianapolis 500 driver Steve Krisiloff and the grandson of Hulman & Co. Chairman Mari Hulman-George, Krisiloff has been called the eldest of the “next generation” of Hulman family leadership at IMS. And in the coming year, he’ll be embarking on his biggest project to date, planning the final centennial season of the Indy 500 in May 2016. Look for a ton of activities honoring the sport’s greatest drivers and the legacies left my many of the great families who have shaped racing traditions through the decades.
In the midst of these historical events, however, some of the biggest moves that drivers are making aren’t even on the track. We spoke with one driver, Pippa Mann, who is taking her street cred to the race against breast cancer. With an Indiegogo campaign paired with a Twitter initiative called #GetInvolved, Mann is raising awareness and $50,000 in funds to support the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Whether you want to sport some sweet Komen swag, or race head-to-head against Pippa Mann herself in a go-kart race at Fastimes, all of it can be yours for the help and support of a good cause. Get your philanthropy engines ready and help her reach the finish line by joining Pippa’s Pink Posse.
So, make sure that the speedway is on your “must-do” list this May, and take advantage of the many special events that make Indianapolis a world-class destination.
If you missed the segment on IN the Loop about my day out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway check out the video below. And don’t forget to watch me, Jon, every Sunday night at 11:30 on WISH-TV 8. Keeping you IN the Loop of everything that is Indianapolis.