Today has two words to sum it all up. Great day. It all started at 6:30am central time, that is when I started my 40 minute drive from my house to the Wisconsin State Fair Park. It was about 8:00 by the time I got into the State Fairgrounds. Once I got checked in I went straight to the Fan Village located in the infield. Once I made the walk down there I had about an hour to kill before the autograph session at 9:15am.
The first station was the Verizon station, it had a Will Power car by it got a picture by it. Then I was challenged to change his tires on an I-Pad. My mom beat me, but I did win a Will Power backpack. Next up was the National Guard station, it had an IndyCar painted in J.R. Hildebrand’s scheme. You just had to answer to questions and you got a key-ring and a lip balm stick. After that was the Fuzzy’s Vodka station, once you checked in there you putted two times to try to win merchandise, I didn’t win.
My fourth station was Honda, where I got a picture of myself in the Honda two-seater. Lastly was the Firestone station, where I had to spin a wheel to make it turn by using my feet.
At the time I had about 15 minutes before my interview with a driver. I met up with Tony DiZinno from RACER, Tony and I talked for a few minutes, we’ve been friends for a while and he’s from Wisconsin so we have a connection. Then he helped me find Ed Carpenter Racing’s PR guy, Tom.
Tony introduced Tom and I, then I went over by Ed Carpenter during the autograph session, I got to sneak my way through there and I talked to Helio, Briscoe, Marco, Graham and Legge before I sat down with Ed. Here is the interview with Ed.
Q: Do you like the Milwaukee Mile?
EC: Yes, because of the history and I’ve always ran good here.
Q: What’s your favorite oval, and road or street course?
EC: Indy, and probably Sonoma and Toronto because we’ve had good runs there in the past.
Q: Thoughts on where IndyCar should go to replace China?
EC: Kentucky, but like they would listen to my opinion, haha.
Q: What are some challenges of being a driver/owner?
EC: I don’t think there are many challenges, I have great management and with Derrick Walker’s help its going great.
Q: Favorite driver growing up?
EC: Al Unser, Jr
Q: Favorite racing memory?
EC: My first win at Kentucky last year.
I would like to thank Ed Carpenter for taking some time out of the autograph session to sit down with me, he is one of the nicest drivers out there.
After the interview with Ed Carpenter, I went to Bryan Herta Autosport’s tweet up event. It was very interesting, then I left to make my way on the outside of the track. Before I left the track, I got some pretty good pictures of the motor scooters that drivers rode in.
Iwas trying to line-up an interview with Charlie Kimball, then I went to the security guards and asked if I could get down there fast enough. They were kind of upset, but I got to ride down in a go-kart back down the track’s infield.
I tried getting to Kimball andI had no luck. Then, Tony DiZinno and I met up again , and we went over and talked to some of Penske Racing’s top management, it was cool.
I went to the store, that is where I got a Marco Andretti shirt and hat. I stopped by Charlie Kimball’s Novo Nordisk tent, I signed the pledge and I won a Charlie Kimball backpack and got to sign his car.
After that, I worked my way up to the stands to get my seat, it was about 11am. I ran into the Firestone Firehawk mascot! Itstarted raining. I over heard a conversation and they said it would take two hours to dry the track.
I ran over to a tent, for shelter for about a half-hour. I was getting impatient because it was raining and I didn’t want the race to get cancelled. I started texting friends and went up to the top of the steps in the tent to look at the track it was pooring. It was about 1pm by the time I got back to my seat. Track workers were drying the track, they said green flag by 2pm. I got excited then.
Then came pre-race picture fest, I saw cars coming out of the garages onto the pit-lane. I started snapping pictures like crazy. I was sitting right across from Charlie Kimball, Helio Castroneves, EJ Viso, Ryan Hunter Reay and Rubens Barrichello’s pits so most of the pictures were of them.
When the race started, it was great. Dario took control and there was a ton of passing. Caution came out for a crash involving Simona de Silvestro in Turn 4 on lap 67 in the middle of green flag stops. Then Justin Wilson’s engine caught on fire on lap 96. After that, Takuma Sato and James Jakes crashed in turn 2 on lap 125 or so, and J.R. Hildebrand blew up on the same lap. Then, Dario crashed and the crowd just roared! Ryan Hunter-Reay took the victory in the #28 DHL-Sun Drop Chevrolet/Dallara.
- Ryan Hunter-Reay
- Tony Kanaan
- James Hinchcliffe
- Oriol Servia
- Helio Castroneves
- E.J. Viso
- Alex Tagliani
- Ed Carpenter
- Graham Rahal
- Rubens Barrichello
- Scott Dixon
- Will Power
- Simon Pagenaud
- Ryan Briscoe
- Marco Andretti
- Mike Conway
- Charlie Kimball
- Katherine Legge
- Dario Franchitti
- Takuma Sato
- James Jakes
- J.R. Hildebrand
- Justin Wilson
- Simona de Silvestro
- Josef Newgarden
Overall, the Milwaukee Indy Fest was a great event to attend, the racing was great, the promotion was great, everything was great. I’m happy and hope I can go next year.
Thanks to Michael Andretti and his Andretti Sports Marketing for promoting the race. Ed Carpenter and Tony DiZinno who helped me get a lot of things done at the track.