Growing up in Austria, Chef Martin became a huge Formula 1 racing fan. In fact, his first Indianapolis Motor Speedway experience was attending the United States Grand Prix in 2004. Since then he has made it to 13 Indy 500's. Memorial Day weekend at Indy is even more special now that he shares the experience with his son Christian. Hailing back to his F1 roots, Martin's favorite driver is Fernando Alonso, however he'll need to find someone else to root for until next year. As you may guess, the Chef looks forward most to the Annual Post-Race Tailgate Party which is sponsored and supplied by "Chef Martin's Old World Butcher Shop Sausage". Look for it at a retailer near you!
Larry's Granddaughter, Jeff & Catie's Daughter, Nate's Wife, Mitch & Cam's Sister, Tim, Parker, Lauren, Nick, & Martin's Niece, TJ, Sam, Sophie, Christian, Carter, & Harrison's Cousin, Mike & Karla's Daughter-in-Law, Austin & Claire's Sister-in-Law, Soon to be Mom…..due date, 5/26/2019, go figure??
Growing up, Mandy never showed much interest in racing, let alone the Indy 500. She reluctantly attended her first race in 2007 only because she was told "McDreamy" would be there and after that experience asked, "Why did you not make me come to this sooner?".....and so it began. Mandy has attended the race every year since (this year will be 12) and now plans her vacation time around the month of May which includes weekend camping for Grand Prix, Qualifying and of course the race. She also attends the Indy race at Road America every year and is planning trips to both Mid-Ohio and Gateway this summer. Mandy can't seem to make up her mind on one favorite driver, so she roots for Marco, Hinch, Rahal & Rossi, in no particular order. Take note it will be a lot easier to find Mandy this May as she will be VERY pregnant. Due date? Race Day! Her goal is to have the first baby born in the Infield Medical Center on race day and name the baby after the winner…….wish her luck>
Mitch has attended eleven Indy 500's with his first being in 2007. He has also been to three Indy Grand Prix's and several Qualifying weekends. His favorite memory is when he showed up in the background of an ESPN Sportscenter story showing Mario giving a two-seater ride to then Colt's coach (Now BEARS Defensive Cooridnator) Chuck Pagano. Mitch says the best part of race weekend is Sunday morning when the bombs go off to let everyone know the track is open......that's when you know it's race day. Rumors are he has an adverse reaction to dust, but the gang thinks that a cover-up. Being a Purdue grad, his Big 10 roots run deep, so you know who his favorite driver is.....Graham Rahal. Go Buckeyes?
As the gang found out after the fact, Carter attended his first race six year's ago with a case of pneumonia and didn't really pay much attention to the race........since then he has been a big fan and looks forward to race weekend not only for the race, but to spend time with his family in Indiana (especially his Grandpa Larry). Carter will be cheering for Scott Dixon, however, he will tell you his favorite race memory was Alexander Rossi crossing the finish line out of gas in the 100th running of the 500.
Sam has been going to the Indy 500 off and on for a number of years. Best we can tell, this will be his 8th race. Sam recently received his driver’s license and now that he can officially drive a car, he really wants to jump in an IndyCar and take it for a spin……his Dad thinks it’s a good thing he isn’t having any luck finding sponsorship. Sam enjoys camping prior to the race and especially likes the “Legends Day” concerts. His favorite driver is Alex Tagliani, so Sam hasn’t had anyone to cheer for recently. Sam is hoping Alex can come back and drive just for him!
Honorary Member - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Co-Owner
Why not? Dave was born and raised in Indianapolis only 12 miles north of the Speedway. As a young boy he collected cars and was a big fan of the Indy 500. He attended many races throughout his youth and college days at Ball State University. If fact, he was a pit reporter at the 1971 race for ABC and conducted a rather infamous interview with Mario. As a late night TV host, he would often have the Indy 500 winner on his show promoting his hometown. In 1996 he purchased a small share of Team Rahal and in 2004 the team changed it's name to Rahal Letterman Racing....the same year they would win the Indy 500 with Buddy Rice driving.
Hats off to Dave - Native Hoosier, Ball State Alum (like Larry), Late Night TV Host, Race Team Owner, and BIG Indy fan. No need to ask who Dave will be cheering for on race day.
He's got the power. Mike attended his first Indy 500 in the mid-nineties. His next raceday trip was in 2014 and included camping in the infamous Coke Lot. He has now been to five Indy 500's and now attends Grand Prix and Qualifying weekends as well. Last summer also included a trip to the Indycar race at Road America in June. If you don't see Mike in the stands, you can find him in the Crown Royal Tent pulling for Will Power
Much like Mike, Karla attended her first Indy 500 in the mid-nineties. After that race, it would be twenty years until her next one...the 100th in 2016. Since then, she has been hooked. Karla has now been to four Indy 500’s and spends all three Indy weekends camping with the gang. She enjoys watching the races on TV and attends Road America every summer in June. When you see Karla, she'll be rooting for James Hinchcliffe.
Christian started his Indy career right by making the 100th Indianapolis 500 his first. This will be Christian's fourth race and this year he gets to bring along a friend. He enjoys all of the weekend activities, especially spending time with his Dad and walking through Gasoline Alley on Saturday before the race. Christian especially likes to hang around the garage of his favorite driver Will Power.
Nick's Brother, Carter & Harrison's Uncle
This will be Luke's 8th time to make the annual trip from Texas to spend Memorial Day weekend in Indianapolis at the race. He enjoys spending race day with 300,000 of his closest friends and just really looks forward to spectacle that goes with the Indy 500. Luke cheers for his favorite driver Tony Kanaan (GO TK!!) and was thrilled when he won the race in 2013. However, his favorite memory of the Indy 500 is when TK's buddy Helio climbed the fence after his 3rd victory in 2009.
Harrison likes to watch the IndyCar races on TV and cheer for Ryan Hunter-Ray….after his first trip to the Indy 500 last year at the ripe old age of 4, he will be back for his second race. Harrison still holds the distinction of being the youngest gang member ever to attend the Indy 500. Here's to many more!!
Parker attended the Indy 500 for many years going for the first time when he was seven years old. Prior to his first race was in 1975, he would go to practice and qualifying with his family. He made it to 20 or so races before moving to sunny Southern California. Parker now calls Long Beach his home and attends the Toyota Grand Prix every year.
Mike & Karla's Son, Nate's Brother, Mandy's Brother-in-Law
Austin has been to two Indy 500's with the last being the 100th running. He recently moved to sunny southern California and now calls the Long Beach Grand Prix his hometown race. we're hoping Austin is able to make it back one of these years to the Greatest Spectacle in racing.
Mike's Fraternity Brother, Hall Family Friend
Eric is the guy in the red hat. He currently lives in Speedway, IN and of course, from living so close to the race track, has become a big fan of all events that take place at the Speedway.....especially during the Month of May. His first race was in 1981 and he has attended 24 races (more or less?) through the years. Eric's favorite driver is James Hinchcliffe and the 500 memory he is most fond of is taking his oldest son to the race when he was 9 years old and Eric had to wake him up to see the last 5 laps of the race, which was won by Little Al. Eric usually rides his bike over to Lot 2 race weekend and hangs out with the gang. If you don't see Eric high in the 3rd turn stands during the race, he'll be at home listening and watching in his man cave.
Barb's Husband, Claire's Dad, Mitch's Father-in-Law, Jeff & Catie's In-Laws
This will be Matt’s second Indy 500. He has always been a “Car Guy” and is looking forward to seeing the technology and speed of the cars. We’re sure he won’t be disappointed and will be back for years to come.
Matt's Wife, Claire's Mom, Mitch's Mother-in-Law, Jeff & Catie's In-Laws
This will also be Barb’s second Indy 500. We are hoping she has a good time and will be back for many more.
Ken has been to 3 Indy 500’s. Although he enjoys the race, he is not much of a camper……….and would probably rather be playing golf. Nothing wrong with that!
Honorary Member, Hall and Pedue Family Friend
Barry is the ultimate “Gang” member. He is the original Energizer Bunny…….he just keeps going and going, even when he should have stopped, well before losing his credit card. The Purdue Band started playing on race day in 1927 and we’re guessing Barry was the first person to ask them for autographs…..90 years later. No one can sing “Back Home Again In Indiana” like Jim Neighbors, but Barry is a close second. Look for him performing with his band “Three Cities” in the “Coke lot” this May.
Hall Family Friend
David has been a friend of the “Gang” for many years. His first Indy 500 race was the same year the “Gang” stayed in the Coke Lot for it’s first camping experience. Dave made it to 4 races and we look forward to seeing back in Indy for Memorial day weekend.
Hall Family Friend
Michael attended his first and only Indy 500 in 2015. We look forward to hanging out with Michael again!!!