Alexander Rossi’s Indy 500 win can’t compare to my experience

Sitting in the stands with my mom, dad and brother for the 100th Indianapolis 500 I thought would be the best day of the year.

Turns out it ranks second.

The morning after the race, I sat on a couch in my mother’s home as we chatted before I left to return to North Carolina. The smile that had been with her all day at the race was still there until she paused in our conversation. All she could say was thank you, thank you, thank you for getting the tickets and bringing us all together.

I sat stunned, not knowing what to say.

A few hours later, as I sat awaiting to change planes in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, my dad called and cried as he talked about how wonderful a time he had with all of us.

I sat stunned, not knowing what to say.

While the race celebrated its 100th running, we celebrated a reunion in Stand A at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

IMG_2628As native Hoosiers, the event has special meaning to us. Three generations of my family have attended the race.

My dad has been to the Indianapolis 500 about 55 times, starting in 1954 when his father took his two sons. My dad and his brother each brought dates to the 1964 race.

My parents went to the race through the 1970s and up to 1982 before they divorced. My mom, who has always been a fan, hadn’t been back to the race since. The first year I attended the race was 1983. My brother followed a few years later, but all four of us had never been to the race together.

This year would be different. I bought tickets last year to ensure we’d have good seats for this year’s race. Everybody in the family was expected back for this year’s race. We got together with an aunt, uncle and two cousins, including one who flew in from San Francisco to attend the race, the day before the 500.

I took my mom to the race. My brother took my dad. We met at our seats about 90 minutes before the race.

IMG_2612For as much fun as it was seeing the sights (and people watching) on the way to the track, sharing in the pageantry of the event and enjoying the spectacle of the race down to those final laps on who would win, it didn’t matter that Alexander Rossi won, but that we were together.

While my brother and I have many photos and videos from the day, what will stand out most to me when I think back to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be sitting on a couch in my mom’s house as her voice quivered while expressing what it meant to be at the race together and then sitting in O’Hare Airport listening to my father cry as he said how special it was for all of us to be at the race together.

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2 thoughts on “Alexander Rossi’s Indy 500 win can’t compare to my experience

  1. Kristine Yarwood

    I’m glad you could bring your family together and that, in doing so, you created a treasured memory.

    Like

    Reply

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