Indy 500 Festival Parade 2016 Photos #1: The 33 Drivers in Your Starting Lineup

13 Scott Dixon!

Inside Row 5, car #9, 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon. (“Quick, while Mommy and Daddy are busy, see if you can find any twenties!”)

This year marked the sixth time my wife and I attended the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis. It’s an annual date-day tradition for us —- partly to see the floats and high school marching bands, partly for the famous names (even if the rest of the audience loves them more than we do), and partly because I love the sight of a bustling downtown Indianapolis (which needs to happen every single weekend ever).

The next six entries (to be posted over the next few days as quickly as time and health permit) represent a fraction of the pics my wife and I snapped. In many cases, encores and additional takes of specific subjects may be available if anyone out there is interested in seeing more, or is looking for a loved one who was in one of the many marching bands that day. For first-time MCC visitors, please note my wife and I are relative amateurs, absolutely not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because fun and joy.

First up: your qualifying drivers in the milestone 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, to be held Sunday, May 29, 2016 — i.e., the next day after I’m writing this. This may be the first time we’ve ever captured all thirty-three drivers in a given Indy 500 to at least some degree, as there’s usually a driver or two that totally dodge our cameras and we don’t get so much as a stray hand or a blurry Sasquatch image. A few drivers regrettably suffer here from interfering limbs, long distances, or other barriers, but the overall results for this year’s gallery were more encouraging than ever.

Other than Scott Dixon pictured above (our favorite pic of the bunch), the following drivers are presented in actual Indy 500 starting order from Row 11 to Row 1, barring any last-minute lineup adjustments in the morning. As always, photos are clickable for enlargement and resolution where desirable, or you can print out a copy of this entry and use it as your handy reference guide while you’re watching, listening to, or dreaming about the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Enjoy!

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Indy 500 Festival Parade 2015 Photos, Part 1 of 6: Drivers!

Graham Rahal!

Graham Rahal welcomes you to the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500, where he’ll be starting in the middle of Row 6 and probably not taking photos while he drives.

This year marked the fifth time my wife and I attended the Indy 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis. It’s an annual date-day tradition for us — partly to see the floats and high school marching bands, partly for the famous names (even if the rest of the audience loves them more than we do), and partly because I love the sight of a bustling downtown Indianapolis (which needs to happen every single weekend ever).

The next six entries (to be posted over the next few days as quickly as time and attention span permit) represent a fraction of the pics my wife and I snapped. In many cases, encores and additional takes of specific subjects may be available if anyone out there is interested in seeing more, or is looking for a loved one who was in one of the many marching bands that day. For first-time MCC visitors, please note my wife and I are relative amateurs, absolutely not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because fun and joy.

First up: some of your qualifying drivers in the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, to be held Sunday, May 24th — i.e., the next day after I’m writing this. All thirty-three drivers showed up in this year’s parade, though a last-minute dropout caused some reshuffling of contestants in the last eight rows. We captured thirty of those folks on camera (thirty-one if you count a near-invisible Easter-egg appearance — see below), which I think is an all-time best for us. Other than Graham Rahal pictured above (my favorite pic of the bunch), the following drivers are presented in actual Indy 500 starting order from Row 11 to Row 1, barring any last-minute lineup adjustments in the morning.

(As always, photos are clickable for enlargement and resolution and such.)

Right this way for drivers and more drivers!

Memories of Sunny Days and the Indy 500

Indy 500 Flags 2015!

Indy 500 flag display from a local business this week. Included for thematic purposes, with a kind of technical nod to Memorial Day weekend.

Dateline: May 15, 2009. My employers had a suite at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and rewarded several employees across multiple departments with a few hours of free time at Indianapolis 500 practice. Recipients got to hang out with each other, enjoy the suite amenities, walk around the pits, and watch occasional cars drive in a speedy circle without crashing. Fun times a few days before the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

That’s where the following photos were taken. The race’s connection to my Hoosier upbringing goes back a bit further.

Right this way for some never-before-shared pics of racing and racing accessories!

Indy 500 Festival Parade 2014 Photos, Part 5 of 5: the Blooper Reel

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This year marked the fourth time my wife and I attended the Indy 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis. The next five entries (to be posted over the next three days as quickly as time and endurance permit) represent a fraction of the pics my wife and I snapped. In many cases, encores and additional takes of specific subjects may be available if anyone out there is interested in seeing more, or is looking for a loved one who was in one of the many marching bands that day. For first-time MCC visitors, please note my wife and I are relative amateurs, obviously not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because fun and joy.

What we’ve seen so far:

Part 1: The Special Guests
Part 2: Marching Bands and Other Groups
Part 3: Some of Your Qualifying Drivers
Part 4: Floats and Balloons!

Here in Part 5, the grand finale: pics of parade participants in peculiar positions. Exhibit A: the mysteriously patriotic float known as “Michael the Eagle” ran into trouble on Monument Circle when a tree caught his Uncle Sam hat and threatened to bowl him over like a tenpin. Oh, the humanity!

Michael the Eagle Has Landed!

Right this way for the float that nearly sunk, tourists in the parade, and a fond farewell!

Indy 500 Festival Parade 2014 Photos, Part 3 of 5: Some of Your Qualifying Drivers

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This year marked the fourth time my wife and I attended the Indy 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis. The next five entries (to be posted over the next three days as quickly as time and endurance permit) represent a fraction of the pics my wife and I snapped. In many cases, encores and additional takes of specific subjects may be available if anyone out there is interested in seeing more, or is looking for a loved one who was in one of the many marching bands that day. For first-time MCC visitors, please note my wife and I are relative amateurs, obviously not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because fun and joy.

Part One featured the singers, actors, and other celebrities who joined this year’s parade. Part Two featured glimpses of all the marching bands who rocked the streets. Here in Part Three, some of the thirty-three drivers in this year’s Indy 500. Since today was too busy for me to complete this entry before the race finished, the following is our collection of driver photos that came out least-worst, organized in the order in which they finished the 2014 Indianapolis 500.

This year’s winner: Ryan Hunter-Reay! This was his first Indy 500 victory.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Click here for more drivers, their families, their hats and their sunglasses!

How I’ve Spent Too Much of This Winter

old man selfie

(In our family my wife’s usually in charge of selfies, but since WordPress asked nicely, I figured one indulgence couldn’t hurt.)

Of all the fruits of the spirit, patience has been more of a struggle for me in recent weeks than any other.

Yey winter driving…

Indy 500 Festival Parade 2013 Photos, Part 2 of 5: Some of Your Qualifying Drivers

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

The next five entries (to be posted over Memorial Day Weekend as quickly as time and endurance permit) represent a fraction of the pics my wife and I snapped. In many cases, encores and additional takes of specific subjects may be available if anyone out there is interested in seeing more, or is looking for a loved one who was in one of the many marching bands that day. For first-time MCC visitors, please note my wife and I are relative amateurs, obviously not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because of fun Internet joyfulness.

Per parade tradition, the thirty-three drivers who qualified to race in that year’s Indy 500 also participate in the 500 Festival Parade. One driver, Charlie Kimball, bowed out due to illness. We captured over one-third of the other thirty-two.

Last year’s winner, Dario Franchitti, starts this year in the middle of Row 6.

Dario Franchitti, Indianapolis, 500, 500 Festival Parade, Indianapolis, 2013

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