First … an apology for yesterday’s post (36 SuperCars, 36 Hours – Day 1) … it was a little long. I promise I will do better once the 2012 INDYCAR season starts up in earnest. However, I hope I didn’t scare you from Day 2!
Saturday, February 4th, 2011 – 7am Eastern
Ever try to sleep on one side of a double-bed with a 9-yr-old, whom seems to figure out a way to sleep perpendicular to you? Yeah, it didn’t go so well for me, but the nephew? That kid was OUT COLD! Anyway a warm shower and a cup … of … wait? No coffee in the lobby? *sigh* Thankfully, my 6+ years living in Lafayette helped my mentality. There was good coffee in my future.
- Hotel to Veterans Parkway
- Veterans Parkway to SR-38 West
- SR-38 to to Creasy Lane to Ivy Tech
Car #18: Seattle Seahawks – Ivy Tech Community College, Lafayette, IN
(TimeStamp: 8:05AM Eastern)
A great way to start the morning off, because this IndyCar was a true looker (INDYCAR teams – take note!). That lime-green stripe was, let’s be honest, TRON-esque! Over the last year or so, I have thought this … wouldn’t a flat black / gloss black car with TRON-inspired stripes and matching rims look outstanding? I mean, if kids (ages 8-21 or so) can latch onto that color scheme, they would probably think that’s a cool-looking car. IndyCars have always look futuristic, because you can’t buy them off the rack at Dealership X … so capitalize on it! A futuristic-looking car could have a futuristic-looking paint scheme, and TRON > Owned by Disney > Which also owns ABC/ESPN > Which broadcasts the Indy 500 and other selected races … put 2+2 together, folks!
Anyway, my sisters saw my desperation for coffee – Panera Bread for breakfast was requested! (Did I mention I love my family and how my addictions have rubbed off onto them?) Two good reasons: (a) we had an hour to kill before our next car, and (b) we had about an hour before the next cars back in Indianapolis opened anyway. A good cup of dark roast and a sweet-onion poppyseed bagel entered my system, and I was on cloud nine – low-carb diet be danged! Our foursome was ready for the rest of the morning.
- Ivy Tech to US-52 South
- US-52 South to IN-28 East
- IN-28 East to I-65 South
- I-65 South to I-865 West
- I-865 West to I-465 South
- I-465 South to 86th Street West
- 86th to Moore Road North
Car #19: Washington Redskins – Traders Point Creamery, Zionsville, IN
(TimeStamp: 9:19AM Eastern)
We spent a little time here. It was a nice car in Traders Point’s “Big Red Barn” (literally). But, it was also Sister #1′s father-in-law’s favorite team, so a few additional pictures with the grandson in front of the Redskins car – OK, I’ll let it slide.
We started taking looking at the next three cars, all in Carmel, knowing we wanted to stop to look for potential SuperBowl gear for the nephew at a Meijer. We also started thinking about possibly Dick’s Sporting Goods, which would help lead us on our next directions.
- Back to I-465 North – then East to Meridian Street North
- Brief stop at Carmel Meijer store (*sad trombones for SuperBowl gear*)
- Meridian Street North to Clay Terrace Mall
Car #20: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Clay Terrace Mall, Carmel, IN
(TimeStamp: 10:17AM Eastern)
OK, for many INDYCAR fans on Twitter, this car needs no introduction. This was HVM Racing’s one-and-only “PorkChop”, driven by Simona de Silvestro. Over 2011, we got to know him well, along with his driver and his very-own PR representative. While he was decked out as a friendly swash-buckler, we fans can only hope he enjoys a grandiose retirement. And, BTW, he looked good (*fist bump*). I felt it necessary to inform the volunteers at the car, whom were also in charge of the shuttle buses to downtown, about PorkChop, including my proof – the ever-famous “PorkChop Tattoo” in the cockpit. They were giddy with excitement, and my nephew even gave him a little nose rub. He can now say he’s touched an Indy 500 legend.
Enough reminiscing! Gotta fly! Too many minutes, not enough cars! Wait … scratch that – reverse that.
- Clay Terrace to Rangeline Road South
- Wow – that was quick!
Car #21: San Francisco 49ers – Indiana Design Center, Carmel, IN
(TimeStamp: 10:41AM Eastern)
Purty, ain’t she? Yeah, we thought so, too. This was one of the cars I wish was in a better lit area, because the gold on this car was just pristine. Next up was just down the road, too.
- Rangeline Road South to City Center Drive West
Car #22: Jacksonville Jaguars – The Palladium, Carmel, IN
(TimeStamp: 10:53AM Eastern)
This was my first time in the Palladium, and the combination of arts/theater with the combination of the Jaguars colors/cars – it worked well. It really did – almost like it was wearing a prom night tuxedo to a ritzy black-tie affair. Adjacent, I had to poke my head into the auditorium, and HOLY SIMOLEONS! As God as my witness, I hope it’s not my last visit there. It has immediately gone into the memory banks for a date night … someday. Sisters #1 & #2 were also impressed and had visions of sending my parents there for a date night (even though they’d have to make a weekend of it). Nephew – nah – he was ready for the next car, because it was another one of HIS teams!
- City Center Drive East to Rangeline Road South
- Rangeline Road South to 116th St. East
- 116th St. East to Allisonville Road North … Hello, Conner Prairie!
Car #23: Chicago Bears – Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Fishers, IN
(TimeStamp: 11:22AM Eastern)
Believe it or not, on our entire trip, this was the car we saw most fans with corresponding jerseys getting pictures taken. Of course, it was DA BEARS. The nephew was all-gaga, though even he admitted, it wasn’t at the level of the Eagles car, but still was right up there. Back to the road!
- Allisonville Road South to 116th St. East
- 116th St. East to Municipal Drive Circle
Car #24: Cincinnati Bengals – Fishers Train Station, Fishers, IN
(TimeStamp: 11:45AM Eastern)
Wait a minute – STOP THE PRESSES. What’s that?!? Whoa, whoa, whoa! Whoa! Whoa! We may have a new leader in the clubhouse for car designs! This one – geebus! Oh, Cincinnati … you have your Reds, your Bearcats, your Musketeers, your Cyclones, but … OH … how I love thee Bengals on an IndyCar! (*swoon*). Something tells me the City of Fishers had some say in getting this car to their city, because their new high school is, after all, the Fishers Tigers.
Dear IndyCar teams … you want to turn some heads with a livery that’ll have people talking? There you go!
- 116th Street to I-69 North
- I-69 North to Southeastern Parkway (Exit 10) to Hamilton Town Center
Sister #2 found out that the next car was stored in the former Borders of Hamilton Town Center, so we went looking … and found it! Cool! Parked the car, walked up to the building, and … locked. Went around to the other side – locked. Looked for people inside the room – none. No volunteers. We asked a security guard, and found out no one had shown since it was to be opened at 11am. ARGH – here we were in Noblesville and 50 yards from the car, yet, no dice. We can see the car, too! It’s right-freaking-in-front-of-us!! Frustrated, we decided to try a few more places around the area for SuperBowl gear (man, that stuff is/was HARD to find when you weren’t downtown), and we returned to Hamilton Town Center for another shot.
Thankfully, I think the security guards got the message with visitors asking. While there were no volunteers present, mall security went ahead and opened the room up. All’s well that ends well, too!
Car #25: Buffalo Bills – Hamilton Town Center Mall, Noblesville, IN
(TimeStamp: 1:16PM Eastern)
We spent a little time here too. Sister #1 is the Vikings fan. Nephew is a Colts & Bears fan. My brother-in-law? A Buffalo Bills fan. And they live in Southern Illinois??!!?? What happened?!? Where’d I go wrong?!? So some extra pictures for “dad” were in order.
OK, we’re now running a little bit behind, but we were still in decent shape. However, the hunger pangs were starting to creep up on all four of us. Perfect! We were on our way to one of my favorite places in Indianapolis … Broad Ripple!
- I-69 South to I-465 West
- I-465 West to Keystone Blvd South
- (A quick stop at Walmart near 75th for another shot for stuff – a little success here!)
- Keystone South to Broad Ripple Avenue
- Broad Ripple Ave through “The Strip” to College Ave.
- College Ave. North to 67th St. East
Car #26: New York Jets – Indianapolis Arts Center, Indianapolis, IN
(TimeStamp: 2:07PM Eastern)
Well, whaddya know! This is one of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s (@SFHRIndy) cars. Now, I don’t know Sarah personally, though I’ve briefly met her once. This car was nicknamed “Old Faithful”, as shown on the cockpit dash, so I’m guessing this was their backup car for most of last year. However, you never know … “Old Faithful” could’ve been the car that won the Kentucky 300 in October 2011. Perhaps that’s a question I can ask Sarah or her team one day. Sharp car, by the way.
Hear that whistle? That’s lunch! And not only have I hooked both sisters on my passion for IndyCar, I’ve also hooked them on another Indy staple … Bazbeaux Pizza! A couple 10″ twin pies showed their way onto our table, and we ate like kings!
It was during lunch we received the best news possible … one of my followers (Jason – @larsoni27) sent me a tweet. He found the missing Giants/Patriots/XLVI cars, and wouldn’t you know, they were in Speedway and available for pictures! We were going to do it! #36Cars36Hours sounds so much better than #33Cars36Hours, and with 36 cars possible and with a stout lunch, we were gonna finish strong! Lock-and-load’em up!
- College Ave South to Kessler Blvd West
- Kessler Blvd to Michigan Road South (with a stop for Gas-up #3 at that corner – the Hyundai thanked us)
- Michigan Road South to …
Car #27: Carolina Panthers – Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
(TimeStamp: 3:38PM Eastern)
Again, similar to the 49ers SuperCar, I really wish this car would have been put in more open lighting. The Carolina blue on this car just SCREAMED AND OOZED awesomeness when combined with the black & silver. The Carolina Panthers font just looks mean, smooth, and perfect for an IndyCar. Again, another livery that looks 230 MPH standing still.
As we were walking out of the IMA:
Nephew: “Uncle D.J. That’s a cool place. I’d like to come back to visit again.”
Nevertheless, Sister #1 just glanced at me. It was his first time mentioning he’d like to truly visit an art museum. Perhaps this kid has a little more on the brain than sports. I mentioned to him that he’d have to take a picture of the basketball hoops outside as we go to the next SuperCar. As we left on 38th Street, I slowed down to have him take a look at “Free Basket”, which is the exhibit with basketball hoops and arches all over. He was so excited to take a picture of it. He’s ready for more art … and we all were ready for more SuperCars as we entered the homestretch!
- Michigan Road South to 38th St West
- 38th St West through I-65 to Lafayette Road North
Car #28: Detroit Lions – International Marketplace: Service Center for Contemporary Culture & Community, Indianapolis, IN
(TimeStamp: 4:02PM Eastern)
A couple things about the Lions car. First, I’m happy for an organization like this to have a SuperCar. This area has been known for many years to be a little rough-around-the-edges, but there is a growing hope for Lafayette Square and this intersection. However, I also know how rough the area is, so I understood why the SuperCar wasn’t in the glass-enclosed entry room, especially during the overnights. The car was in a secondary room, which is where the former Firestone Tire Shop had their actual shop. However, the car was put in one of the bays of the shop, rather than in the middle of the shop, which made the lighting around the car rather adventurous. If the organizers had moved the car into the center of the room, even if for a few hours during the day, I think this car would have really shined.
The second note about this car. This is one of Panther Racing‘s show cars, as you could tell the vinyl skin of the Lions livery was placed over the top of the National Guard livery & decals. However, this car had another facet that made me take a step back. Along with “National Guard” & “Panther Racing” logos, it also had a driver name … Dan Wheldon … visible through the overlay. Dan was a 2x Indianapolis 500 champion whom tragically lost his life in an accident at Las Vegas. He was also one of IndyCar’s most vocal advocates of the sport. He was a champion, he was a racer’s racer, and he was a husband & father. He is also missed by IndyCar fans worldwide – including this one. My nephew called this car “The Ghost Car”, and while that might have been a little cruel to call it such, something tells me Dan might’ve gotten a quick chuckle over my nephew’s naiveté. Be there little doubt I will one day introduce him to who Dan was.
A quick moment for remembrance … and we were off … to the happiest place in Indianapolis year-around (with or without the Superbowl in town)
- Lafayette Road to 38th St. West
- 38th St. West to Georgetown Rd South
Sister #1: “OK, keep your eyes for some grandstands that look like baseball bleachers.”
Nephew: “OK, I’m looking.”
Sister #2: “I think you’re looking the wrong direction. Look to your left.”
Nephew: “Is that the whole track? That’s pretty small.”
Me: “That’s only one turn. Look WAAAY down there. That’s the next turn – Turn 1.”
Nephew: “This place is HUGE!”
I think he gets it.
Car #29: New Orleans Saints – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Administration Building, Speedway, IN
(TimeStamp: 4:23PM Eastern)
You know … if this car were to have been painted black/gold with a white stripe, it would have probably given the Eagles car a run for its money. Still, it was very sharp to look at. Although … hindsight being 20/20 … I think this car should have been a Dallara IR03 (the most recent version before the upcoming DW12′s). It would have been more appropriate. On the side note, Sister #1 picked up a pamphlet for the IMS Kids Club for the nephew – I have this feeling there’s going to be a new member soon. Time to head around the corner – it’s starting to get dark outside, gotta scoot!
- 16th St. East through the Georgetown Rd/Crawfordsville Rd intersection (i.e. 16th & Georgetown) to Main St.
Well, that was a quick trip. After showing the carload where Sarah Fisher’s new facilities were going to be located, and the sheer brilliance of what Charlie Brown’s Steak & Pancakes was all about (too bad we couldn’t stop), it was time to enter Speedway’s newest resident and four (4) current occupants!
Car #30: Houston Texans – Dallara IndyCar Factory, Speedway, IN
(TimeStamp: 4:38PM Eastern)
This was sharp. I mean – SHARP. The right amount of navy blue, red, and white. Thoughts of how this livery would look on a DW12 car went through my mind, along with the statements “Please?” and “Thank You!” Whoever designed this livery should be congratulated.
However, as mentioned earlier – we found out duplicate cars here, too!! Woo-Hoodle!!
Cars #31, #32, & #33: New York Giants, New England Patriots, & SuperBowl XLVI Cars – Dallara IndyCar Factory, Speedway, IN
(TimeStamp: 4:38PM Eastern)
We had found our duplicates! They were beauties, too! The Giants was an older G-Force (obvious), but I couldn’t put my finger on the Patriots. Come to find out this car is used by the Indy Racing Experience group as one of the single-seat cars fans can drive themselves in! I am now EXTREMELY intrigued!
I now have a goal, which I am making public to you all: I want to lose 35 lbs. in 2012. If I can do so, I am going to not only do a 2-seater ride for the first time, but I’m also going to drive a single-seater and express my inner-Arie Luyendyk to the Speedway! Thank you.
After taking a quick walkthrough of the visitor’s area at Dallara, it was time to leave. Three cars remain!
- Main St. South to 10th St. West
- 10th St. West to I-465 South
- I-465 South to US-40 (Washington St.) West for a few miles
Car #34: Baltimore Ravens – Metropolis Mall, Plainfield, IN
(TimeStamp: 5:36PM Eastern)
A couple of funny stories with this one. First, we couldn’t find the car to save our lives. We drove all around Metropolis for it, and just had no luck. We saw the signs for it, but it wasn’t anywhere. Out of sheer luck, nephew caught it out if his eyes, and we were saved! We parked, entered the room, and had 5 visitors greet us. We told them about our #36Cars36Hours adventure, and they went bonkers! We were the first people they had met that were trying to do all the cars, and this was late Saturday! They couldn’t get enough of our individual stories about how we found every car so far, and where we were heading next. Nephew walked out of that room with all sorts of swag (as did all of us).
One of the volunteer stories came out, too, which I found interesting. When “wrapping” the cars up with NFL liveries, the physical cars between the Ravens and Jaguars were accidentally swapped! In other words, this physical car should have been the Jaguars, and the Jaguars car should have been the Ravens. The reason being is that the Metropolis room reserved for the SuperCar was up on the 2nd floor (where we saw the SuperCar signs), but this car seen here was too heavy for the crane, so they had to scramble to find an open room that could have the car slip into. The room the car was in was the only empty storefront room that could handle it.
As for the car itself: It was sharp, though the green LED lights on either side of the car weren’t needed. They looked out of place. Now if that was a blacklight or more spotlight-ish, MAMA!
It was time for the white flag! One destination left!
- US-40 East to Ronald Reagan Parkway South
- Ronald Reagan Parkway to I-70 East to IND Exit
Car #35: Pittsburgh Steelers – Indianapolis International Airport (IND) – Main Rotunda, Indianapolis, IN
(TimeStamp: 6:26PM Eastern)
Car #36: San Diego Chargers – Indianapolis International Airport (IND) – Baggage Claim, Indianapolis, IN
(TimeStamp: 6:56PM Eastern)
We had found them! All 36 SuperCars! The adventure – successful. Pittsburgh’s car, just like the team jersey motif, was just smooth, bold, classy. It was brilliant. I’m sure if we had seen this car during the day, it would have easily been top-3 in my mind, because of the classiness it exuded. The Chargers car – now THAT was sharp. I remember the days of Chip Ganassi’s Target cars with the lightning bolt trim, and this car made me yearn for it once again! I love that bold bolt along the side, although I couldn’t make out what was sticking out of the fuel intake (just looked weird).
We also hit the bonus plan. Sister #1 & nephew were able to get SuperBowl swag they wanted at the airport, though I’m sure they paid through the nose to buy them. We also stopped the clock on our adventure:
Car #1 (Arizona): Seen at 10:22AM Eastern – 03-FEB-2012
Car #36 (San Diego): Seen at 6:56PM Eastern – 04-FEB-2012
Total Elapsed Time (Official): 32 Hours, 34 Minutes
We exited IND, know our challenge was met. The four of us looked tired, but we were also excited! We did it. Were there others that did it as well? Were there others crazy enough to try to do what we did? To be honest, we hoped so, because there would be stories abound. Alas, a quick call back to Southern Illinois to tell the relatives of our success and heading back home.
The trip home was uneventful, since I have driven it countless times
- I-70 West through Terre Haute, IN on to Effingham, IL & I-57 South
- I-57 South to Exit 53 – IL-13 (Marion, IL/Carbondale, IL)
- IL-13 to Carterville, IL – home of Sister #1 & nephew
And wouldn’t you know it … at the 36-hour mark – ON THE NOSE – we were 300 yards from their house. Kinda put a cherry on top of the adventure.
Now that you’ve seen the pictures, know that our foursome took almost 400 pictures. I’ve posted only one picture of each car we saw. I’m sure there are plenty other pictures that you might have wanted to see. If there are others you’d like to see, comments are welcome below, and I’ll toss a few more of requested NFL teams into the Flickr account for perusal.
So, that’ll do it for our #36Cars36Hours adventure blog. Hope you enjoyed the trip as much as we did. Tomorrow, I’m heading to Indianapolis to start looking for rental houses (suggestions?) and to attend the “State Of INDYCAR” presentation. The iPhone will be on full charge entering the presentation, so prepare for some tweets! I’ll also have a review posted sometime next week, too. Until tomorrow!