Day One at IMS is a Rainout

To some people, today was a bust. Those people would tell me I was an idiot to burn a vacation day and spend money on a hotel room to come up here and watch service trucks run around the track in a feeble attempt to dry it. To me, it was worth it.

Would I have preferred to watch a whole day of IndyCar practice for the Indianapolis 500? Of course I would. But I was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so I still had a good time.

My initial plan was to leave Nashville around 5:30 this morning. That would put me up here by around 11:00 am, after losing an hour to the time change. With practice starting at 9:00 for the veteran drivers, I would miss that but I wasn’t getting up any earlier. But when the alarm went off, I checked the radar and it didn’t look good. I went back to sleep. By the time I left Nashville, it was around 7:00 am. I hit rain at Louisville and it poured most of the time I was in Indiana.

I was checking with friends to see what was going on at the track, and it was the same there. As I got closer to Indianapolis, I was getting hungry. With nothing to rush to at the track, I thought I’d stop at one of my favorite spots – the Edinburgh Diner – and eat one of their famous tenderloins. It did not disappoint.



I finally arrived at IMS at 1:30 pm. It had stopped raining, but there were still puddles of water everywhere. I could hear track-dryers in operation as I got out of my car.



I was thinking I had timed things perfectly. As I was getting situated in the media center, they announced that the track would go green at 2:15. This was too good to be true! I had slept in, had a leisurely lunch and got there just before the first wheel was to turn.

At 2:10, I headed downstairs where I ran into fellow IndyCar bloggers Patti Nolen (Ikissedthebricks) and Mike Silver (The Pit Window). As we were headed toward the pits, we felt raindrops. Then we heard track announcer Dave Calabro say things were on hold. As we chatted under some shelter, longtime reader and commenter, Phil Kaiser came up and joined our conversation. He asked Patti to take our picture together for posterity.


We finally parted ways as the rain fell harder and it was obvious cars were not running for a while. No matter how many trucks drove around it, the track was still showing reflections that we should not have been seeing. Watching the trucks drive around and around conjured up many memories from my childhood as we sat for hours waiting for the track to dry. Sometimes it did, and sometimes it didn’t.



Today, it did not. Shortly after 4:00 pm, the announcement was made that the day had been scrapped completely. Within five minutes of the announcement, the sun came out. It is now 4:45 as I type, and the track is still wet; so at best – they may have gotten in about thirty minutes of running.

The forecast for tomorrow looks much better. In fact, Wednesday and Thursday look almost perfect. Fast Friday looks iffy right now, but both qualifying days look perfect. But as we know, the weather in central Indiana can change quickly in May.

The one silver lining is that I can leave early this afternoon to go check into my hotel – my home until Thursday, when I pack up and change hotels for when Susan flies in on Thursday night. After that massive tenderloin I had for lunch, I may forego the planned trip to Dawson’s for the night. I’m still stuffed.

Check back in the morning for another Month of May-related post, then I will have wrap-ups at the end of each day at the track. And just remember…a rainy day at IMS is better than a sunny day anywhere else.

George Phillips

4 Responses to “Day One at IMS is a Rainout”

  1. That tenderloin is incredible.

    Will be up there both days of qualifications. Can’t wait. As you mentioned, right now the weather forecast is almost perfect. Right now. Because of past experience, I bring a heavy jacket even if they predict temperatures in the 70’s or 80’s.

  2. Just curious how did you come upon the Edinburgh Diner , I’m a native Hoosier and never heard of Edinburgh much less the diner. It’s off I65 a few miles and just wonder how you found this gem

    • I saw people posting pictures of their tenderloins on Facebook, for years. We finally tried it out in 2019, the Sunday after the Grand Prix. It’s about 3-4 miles off of I-65. As big as it is, the seasoning in the breading is incredible!

  3. billytheskink Says:

    Good to see the famous Phil Kaiser in the flesh!

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