Another hot day here in Birmingham, but for the INDYCAR Nation Champion members, it was Race Day! A group of hardcore fans from all over the country converged on Barber Motorsports Park to get the ultimate fan experience. Of course, there are autograph sessions and special parties around town all weekend for members of this club, but race day offers a whole list of special benefits that no other fan club (of any sport) offers.
I started the day getting to the pre-race party located in the IZOD IndyCar Series Fan Village. Members of the club were already standing under a tent trying to stay cool. Martin Plowman was also doing a surprise meet-n-greet with club members as he waited to take the stage for a short interview (see the group shot above with "Plowey" and special guest Mark Robinson from Firestone). Once the meeting began, the gathered Champion members were pointed out to all of the Fan Village and a friendly trivia challenge broke out. Danny, the announcer, would pose a question and the Champion members would answer. The correct answer received a nice bag of INDYCAR swag. Gerry Fults from South Bend, IN was able to answer every insanely difficult question without hesitation!
We were then set to head down for driver introductions. But during the short wait before the group headed to the starting grid, I was able to talk with a number of the members. All of them had great stories and all shared a deep love and passion for INDYCAR. It was like a family honestly, all traveling from around the country to share one thing that links them all together. Once our tram picked us up, we went down to the grid for driver introductions and a blast was had by all.
Overall, my experience with the INDYCAR Nation fans this weekend will be unforgettable. They were very kind people who brought you in and just love to talk INDYCAR (or any form of motorsport, to be honest). It was a great weekend with them, and the backdrop that was Barber Motorsport Park proved to make it a perfect experience.
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