Exclusive INDYCAR Nation News

"AMONGST THE FANS" in Birmingham - Day 2

Shaun Pechin
| Apr 11, 2011


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.

OpenPaddock.net provides motorsports commentary for fans, by fans...including coverage of the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Mazda Road to Indy. Follow us on twitter @OpenPaddock and friend us on Facebook.


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  16. 16 open wheeler 11 Apr
    Special parties around town all weekend. I saw no mention of this in the Champions e-mail. I only knew of one limited one. Also, not to take anything away from the people who got to experience the special event's and congrats that they won them but, you failed to mention that these benefits are limited and on a first come first serve basis. Hopefully, this will change in the future and there will be events for all Champion members at every event. I know that current Champions would like to see that as we are all family.
  17. 17 Chaz Hiestand 11 Apr

    To all IndyCar Nation fans,

    I just found out that IZOD will not be making the Team Racing Jackets anymore!!! I don't know about you, but I bought one of Tony Kanaan's last year and it was absolutely gorgeous!!! Once I heard about him leaving Andretti Autosport, I sold it thinking I will buy a new one this year :)  It took me a while to get an answer, but IZOD is not planning on making them again!!! Not that I want to be like Nascar, but we need to be seen!!!

     Does anyone have connections with IZOD? It's not to late for them to make them for this year. If anyone knows someone, I'll be glad to contact them and lead the Charge!!! I hope you all feel the same :)


    Chaz Hiestand

    See you all in Indy!!! It's my 1st time :)


  18. 18 Doug 11 Apr

    I see so many familiar faces in the photo on top.  I wish I could have been there with everyone.  I really had planned on making Barber this year.  Oh well, see everyone in Indianapolis!

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