Being Miss Maumee Valley

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Indy 500!

On Sunday I attended the 90th Indianapolis 500 race with 300,000 of my closest friends in 150 degree weather! It was quite an experience!

A friend of my boyfriend has had start/finish line seats in their family for over 40 years. These incredible tickets were the second and third rows right across from the raceway pagoda! We were less than 50 feet from the pits and brickyard where the racers and visiting celebrities were introduced. They included:

boxer Sugar Ray Leonard
NBA star Carmelo Anthony
model and actress Angie Everhart
Lost actor Jorge Garcia
singer Wynonna Judd
Grey's Anatomy actor Patrick Dempsey
rocker Gene Simmons
several soap stars and others

Ashley Judd was in attendance cheering on her husband, racer Dario Franchetti. David Letterman was also there, as he’s the owner of his son and Danica Patrick’s team.

Florence Henderson sang “God Bless America,” the band Staind played a few of their hits and Lance Armstrong drove the pace car.

I was hoping maybe Miss America would be there, as she was at the Kentucky Derby; she was not, but they did have a queen and “princesses.” I found a news article stating that the queen received an impressive $2,500 in scholarships, but it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the Miss Indiana program. Check out
THIS article about the princesses. It says over 286 women applied for the 33 titles! I can’t help but wonder what draws so many more women to this and why Miss Indiana hasn’t found a way to somehow collaborate.

Also, during my news search for the Indy 500 royalty, I noticed another pageant similarity, there were several articles comparing the TV ratings of the Indy car race to NASCAR, just as Miss America and Miss USA are always compared and contrasted. Interesting…

As for the drivers and the race, I know nothing about auto racing, but of course I wanted Danica to win! It would have been amazing to be there to watch the first woman have ultimate success in this sport. In the last few laps it became clear that she was out of contention, but the Andretti father/son team was first and second, which would have been the exciting continuation of a racing dynasty… In the end it was sweet to watch Sam Hornish Jr. win, as he is from Defiance, Ohio! It was the second closest victory in the races history, though anyone watching on TV saw it better than I did, even though I was right there! Every time the cars went by, they were nothing but a blur.

To be honest, I don’t completely understand attending this event in person. Like any sport or even a pageant, television gives you a better view of the action and better commentary, but there is a certain energy in being there live.

This was my first auto race and I realize I was very lucky to have such great seats at one of the world’s most prestigious races.

Photos coming soon!


  • Hey Abby, just some 6 degrees for you... When Troy and I went to College, we met our friend Gretchen Fitzenrider, who is dating Steve Clark, who is Sam Hornish's cousin, and also taught him to drive! They are all from Defiance. So I know Sam Hornish's cousin. Weird, right?!

    By Blogger jamie, at 7:54 PM  

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