One of the biggest highlights of every Memorial Day weekend isn’t the famous baked beans at Uncle John’s BBQ, it’s the Indianapolis "Indy" 500 race. Don’t worry today’s Rundown has all you need to know to carry on a conversation with anyone at said BBQ.
Hot dog or hamburger?
The Last Night’s Game Team
Five Things To Know About The Indy 500
- The Indy 500, called “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway aka the Brickyard. It’s called the Brickyard because the track used to be made of bricks, which are still exposed under the asphalt at the start-finish line. It’s a tradition to kiss these bricks. We can confirm that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention did not come up with that idea.
- Scott Dixon set the pole (see Coaches’ Corner) for this year’s Indy 500. He was going so fast in qualifying, a mere 232 MPH, that he thought his dashboard was broken. Later that same day, Dixon and another driver were robbed at gunpoint at a local Taco Bell. The cherry on top of the day.
- Actor Jake Gyllenhaal and Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman will serve as honorary starters for the race. Gyllenhall is set to play Bauman in an upcoming movie. This is the first time two people will wave the green start flag. The anthem will be sung by singer Bebe Rexha.
- Pippa Mann is the lone female driver in the race. For the fourth straight year, she'll use this spotlight to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research and prevention.
- Not into racing? Don’t worry. Within the race track is the “The Snake Pit,” which hosts EDM (Electronic Dance Music) concerts during the race. It's no Preakness port-a-potty races, but close.
- The Dancing With The Stars finale came down to two athletes, former Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross and NFL (National Football League) player Rashad Jennings. The judges and America voted and the athlete with the best moves is Rashad Jennings. While it’s no Super Bowl ring, the current free agent (he’s looking for a job) took home the famed mirror ball trophy.
- The crowd at this year’s Indy race is expected to be over 300,000 people. That’s slightly behind the 350,000 at last year’s 100th anniversary race. For perspective, the second largest sporting venue in the U.S., behind the Brickyard, is the University of Michigan’s football stadium and that holds 107,601 fans.
- What is pole position in auto racing? The pole position is the number one position to start the race. Drivers have to qualify beforehand by driving the track. Typically, the driver with the fastest time from qualifying is slotted into the pole position. In this case, that's Scott Dixon.