It’s Race Day! This past Sunday was the 104th running of the Indy Car Indianapolis 500. Typically, the race is run over Memorial weekend; but due to the events of this year, the race was postponed. For my family, the race is an annual trip that for my Dad he has not missed in over 35 years. Well, except the two years for me and my sister’s high school graduations. I have so many life memories with my parents, my husband going with us for the first time, watching my kids meet their heroes and get to actually talk with them. There was one time my son got to race remote control cars with his favorite driver. Every year brought fun stories just the same. There really is no feeling like when they call, “Gentlemen, start your engines”, and the roar of all the cars.
Well, this year was different as the race was run without fans. Without Saturday Driver’s meet and greet and without spending Sunday with 300,000 of my best friends. Ok, so this was not the first thing that has been different this year or changed. We got to sit at home (in the air conditioning) and watch the race and catch all the excitement that happened on the track. There was no line at the restroom or when I wanted to grab a snack. It was a good race. Pit stops were exciting and had a couple frenzied moments. There were several thrilling accidents, but all drivers were safe and sound. I am so amazed at the safety technology that goes into the cars and the track that protects the drivers. One of those is the flag system. This system communicates to the drivers when there is an accident on the track and for them to slow down and not pass the other drivers.
There were several yellow flags during the race. This still keeps the race exciting as the teams will use the “yellow flag” laps to refuel and make adjustments on the car. It adds to the pit strategy excitement. As the race headed into the last 15 laps of the race, things got intriguing. The top 4 were starting to battle it out for the lead and one of my drivers was in 3rd. But then it happens… a car behind them wrecks! The yellow comes out and everyone has to slow down. The wreck was a hard one that took out a protective barrier at the entrance to pit row. It was going to take the crew some time to fix the barrier before racing could safely go green again, so the race finished under yellow. For the leader this was awesome. He won the Indianapolis 500 for the 2nd time and my guy got 3rd (which is still good).
One of my other favorite parts is to watch the winner circles awards and traditions that go on. They interview all the top drivers and ask them how the race was for them. I was disappointed that they did not get to race to the end, but I was humbled by how all the drivers were so grateful for the opportunity to race and talked about what a great race they had. They gave credit to their pit crew, teammates, owners, and of course their sponsors. They talked about missing the fans and the anticipation of having them back to future races.
This got me thinking…we are in a yellow flag lap right now. Life is still going, but we are living under caution. We are having to take extra precautions and many things we enjoy and look forward to have been cancelled or are limiting spectators. This is meant to protect us and others in the “race”. The one thing about being under a yellow flag is that the race does not stop. You can still come up with strategies, stay connected with your team, and even make adjustments. All of this knowing that the green flag is coming. I will be definitely looking forward to the 105th running of the Indy 500 next May, but I’m focused on staying present in today and enjoy the caution.