Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

In the infield

The Indianapolis 500 was like "Hee Haw" on crank. It was a frenzied drunken sprint from beer to beer, port-a-potty to port-a-potty, boob show to boob show.\nThe scene was set the Thursday before Memorial Day, when sweaty, red plow pushers began entrenching themselves, their trucks and their light beer in the otherwise modest and pleasant brick and mortar suburb of Speedway, Ind. Then, as the sun set, the flag went up on the drunkest driving spectacle in racing.\nThe drinking started much like the race would. There were a couple of warm-up laps and rain delays until Saturday night, when the scarred-liver veterans, college kids and race hooligans opened up full bore into the final turns of guzzling, urinating and barfing. This is when corn dogs, turkey legs and pork-on-a-stick were selling faster than hotcakes.\nBy Saturday night, the leaders of the foaming beverage freak- show formed and marched the length of the Speedway down 25th Street belching "Show your tits" in the faces of whatever embossomed lifeforms crossed their paths. By midnight, it didn't matter if the women were 15 or 50 -- all were asked for a peek at their wares. This is when the tapered-legged "No Fear" and Oakley guys tucked their home town honies under their arms to keep their boobs out of the public eye.\nThe drunken marathon was refereed by shave-headed, straight-backed phalanxes of state police that waded through the diffuse crowd telling wobblers to shape up and comparing drunken girls in daisy dukes to their high school sweethearts. When they weren't staring down high schoolers' blouses, they were busily shining club-sized Maglites on the slow moving drunks taking high-speed leaks in bushes, yards and parking lots.\nThe slowest people in the midnight marathon were the religious fanatics who took turns hefting a wooden cross down the street. They ran out of wind carrying it down a flat, paved avenue. Try as they might, none of them had the stamina Jesus did.\nBut the beer guzzlers had more than enough constitution to stay drunk until the green flag flew. By 10:30 a.m. Sunday, the entire horde was loping through the Speedway gates like cattle into the corral. The religious fanatics must've gotten less rest on the Sabbath day than the drunkards. One was screaming, "This is not what God has planned for you" which was a clear contradiction of Joe Bob 35:15 which reads "So sayeth the Lord, go yonder and eat funnel cake and drink Coors Light."\nAnother zealot put a bull horn to his lips and screamed, "You're selling your soul to the devil. Do you think it's a coincidence this race is held on a Sunday?" He had obviously figured out that the whole spectacle was just a conspiracy to keep folks from watching the race on TV. They were probably most upset by the financial impact the race was having on Baptist tent revivals, bingo games and church sponsored hodowns across the midwest. But most of the maurading race crowd wouldn't have been caught dead in church anyway.\nOf course, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, unlike almost any other sports venue, bringing one's own booze is fair play. This is a big deal because not many families have room left in the budget after the twenty five dollar parking and a thirty dollar supply of pork-on-a-stick.\nAbove the poor people, sat the rich people, the press and anybody else who was either making a buck off the whole deal or just didn't want to sit with the other half. VIPs were sitting in the top floors of the glass pagoda, shelling out $30 a plate for dinner and keeping an eye on the race while keeping away from the other half. A crowd still watched from the infield, but there were none of the epic Snake Pit orgies of old, thanks mainly to cops and STDs.\nThe race itself was the ending footnote to the whole drunken debacle. The cars made a lot of noise. People cheered for the wrecks. People cheered for the injured. People cheered for the uninjured. This one fat guy was bouncing around the stands by Gasoline Alley and was cheering for everyone until he bumped into some lanky bumpkin's pie-faced wife and was told to cut it out.\nEven Sarah Fisher acted like she was drunk, wiping out in the eighth lap and injuring the spine of Scott Goodyear. It was announced that she was OK and folks clapped. It was announced that Goodyear was injured and folks clapped.\nAfter unknown thousands of beer runs and 13 lead changes, Helio Castroneves took home first place for Team Penske. But in my book, Purdue University carried the day when an encampment of Boilermakers successfully downed more than 30 cases and two kegs.

Get stories like this in your inbox
Subscribe