10 Things You Might Not Know About the Indy 500

1. If you find $20 in a restaurant bathroom before heading to the track in the morning, you get free parking within a 5 minute walk to the Speedway. And if you exit the speedway right after the race, you CAN get back to your car and drive downtown, park, and be eating outside at a restaurant in 45 minutes. Race Day

2. You can walk out onto the track early in the morning, between pit exit and turn 1. Less crowded than going through the tunnel.

3. If you get there early enough, the drivers are usually in street clothes, so most get to walk around with the rest of us and go unnoticed. Ssshhh. But if you finish 2nd in the race and try to walk around Downtown Indy after the race, people WILL notice you, even in plain clothes :-p *Yes, that’s you Carlos Munoz* Race Day

4. Without a spotter guide, it really is almost impossible for new attendees to know which drivers are which. This was the only complaint from the ‘newbie’ I brought with me on race day.

5. If you have never gotten somewhat emotional during the pre-race ceremonies (Taps, the flag, God Bless America, National Anthem, Back Home Again in Indiana) then you might not be human – or you are on too many anti-depressants.

6. You CAN enjoy the race without alcohol. So for those of you who needed to bring in 12 coolers and got stuck in line trying to get in, next time bring a couple of Gatorades in a small backpack and get there early!!

7. There is always SOMEONE totally awesome who shows to the speedway every year. Take Alex Zanardi for example. I’ve been a huge fan of his since 2000. I got to meet him on Carb Day. I literally fan-girled for hours.Carb Day 10

8. She (the speedway) REALLY does choose who wins the race. Sunday was Tony’s day. She chose him… and us fans couldn’t be happier about it!

9. Getting to the track early and walking around the quiet garage area on race morning feels kind of eerie. In the best possible way. Race Day

10. If you spend almost the entire 2 weeks at the track during the Month of May, you really do meet some of the greatest people and make incredible memories. Screen Shot 2013-05-19 at 3.21.37 PM


Newbie Qualifications – Indy 500 Style

Newbie Qualifications – Indy 500 Style

What qualifies someone as a ‘newbie’ for IndyCar qualifications?

I brought a ‘newbie’ to Qualifying weekend at IMS this year. It’s like watching a child at Christmas time. They aren’t sure what they are seeing, might not know the rules of it all, but it’s so cool that they can’t stop smiling.

Katherine is from a small town in Illinois. She had only seen 1 IndyCar race on television, and that was the race at Long Beach. Before meeting me, she didn’t know that there was a difference between IndyCar and NASCAR.

I think it helped that I was involved with the #SMGarage at IMS. This gave me reasons to be way more social, and the two of us weren’t alone at the track. I wasn’t the one needing to have all of the answers for the ‘Question Master’ that I brought along with me. It also helped that I splurged and got her a bronze badge for her first trip out to the speedway. Being able to experience things up close and personal, in my opinion, is the perfect way to reel in new fans. There is only so much a person can get out of seeing IndyCars on TV and from a distance.

Day 4 Day 4 Day 4 IMG_20130519_155938_771

After the weekend was over, I got to be the question master for once and these are the responses I got – I think the questions and the answers are important for IndyCar feedback.

What did you know about IndyCar before this year? Indy 500?

I pretty much only knew that IndyCar was some form of racing. Embarrassingly, I couldn’t even have told you the difference between Nascar and Indycar.

What was your first race on TV?

I have been spoiled with my introduction to IndyCar because my first race to watch on TV was at an IndyCar driver’s house – Long Beach – so I got up to speed pretty quickly on how street course racing works.

Did you follow any other motorsports?

No, but my hometown always has a motocross race at the local fair

First impression seeing Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

I thought it was amazing. I am very into the history of it all. I think it is fascinating to learn how long it has been around and developed through the years. I couldn’t believe how large it actually is. I first thought that you could see from one end to the other but no that is not the case.

Best thing about the qualifying weekend?

The people. I loved meeting the people and learning who everyone was. I quickly learned that it is not just about the car. It is about the people who work on them and the fans who keep it going.

Other cool things you did or saw?

Seeing how close the drivers are with their fans and being able to walk around and talk to them.

Most surprising thing?

How welcoming everyone was. I felt at home instantly and people weren’t judgmental because I was a newbie.

Do you want to come back?

Absolutely! I have quickly been turned to the dark side. I am so upset I have to work during the actual race but I know that I am going to continue learning and watching the Indy500 in the future.

Were the drivers accessible?

Extremely, and they were all so friendly. I loved learning about all of them and picking my favorites.

Favorite drivers?

Takuma Sato, Simona De Silvestro, and Pippa Mann.

Will you watch more races?

I plan on it.

Would you consider buying a product/service from a company who sponsors the series or a driver, over a brand of the same product/service who does not?

Yeah I would. I think it is cool to use a product that sponsors my favorite driver. Almost like you are supporting your favorites all the time.

From the Indy 500 to Glass Hammer Racing || My Story


From the Indy 500 to Glass Hammer Racing

Most people involved with Glass Hammer Racing want to hopefully be involved with the Indianapolis 500 – by racing in it! My journey is a little different, although in another life, or my dreams, I’d love to race in the Greatest Spectacle of Racing too.

I moved to Indianapolis in 2008 to pursue something new and because there was so much to do in the world of IndyCar. Rhode Island is home to…. no racing. The closest track I could go to was a tiny short track called Seekonk Speedway, in Seekonk, Massachusetts.

Because of the Indy 500 and the increase in Social Media use in 2009 until now, I attended gatherings of people who watched races together. Then the Tweetups started and I met even MORE people. I met Greg Gaich at a race watching event at the Brickyard Crossings and I kept in touch with him via Twitter.  In 2011, after he had created Glass Hammer Racing, he asked if I would like to help out with some promotion and social media stuff for him. He couldn’t pay me but I’d be able to help out with the organization and get more experience working in a motorsports environment.

I was a nanny when I lived in Rhode Island (I still Nanny here in Indianapolis – if you know anyone who is interested!! :-p I even do weekends)  so I have a strong interest in working with babies and kids. I understand that a lot of girls would love to be doing things that they don’t feel like they might have an opportunity to do. I wanted to race when I was younger but there were no places I could have gone to learn.

So when I was given the opportunity to work with GHR and help out with the GHR Experience, I was very happy to get the chance to work with young girls who were getting the chance to pursue something that I wish I could have when I was there age. Watching a 10 year old girl go out on track for her first time in a kart is one of the coolest things to see. They are nervous/anxious and so excited.

I’ve taught the class myself – when a Girl Scout Troop came in for their big yearly outing and Jessica Bean had been in an accident on the racetrack the night prior – luckily Pippa Mann was there to take over most of the teaching, since she would eventually be taking the reigns on the class as well.

Now I spend most of the time tweeting about GHR and the GHR Experience, and this week I’ve been handing out tons of pink Glass Hammer Racing stickers to young girls that I see – you can never disappoint a toddler with a giant pink sticker!!!

So while most of the girls and ladies who come through Glass Hammer Racing are on a path towards the Indianapolis 500, I’ve actually gone from the Indy 500 to Glass Hammer Racing and now back to the Indy 500, working in the Social Media Garage here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Full circle, so to speak. And hopefully this experience leads to more things that I can get involved with in the future. I’ve been enjoying the ride.

Photos: 2011 and 2013

Screen Shot 2013-05-19 at 3.24.23 PM  Screen Shot 2013-05-19 at 3.21.37 PM


For more information about Glass Hammer Racing go to beatbyagirl.org and check out this awesome article about us from the IndyStar: Glass Hammer Racing offers mentoring, opportunities for teen girls

Screen Shot 2013-05-19 at 3.30.04 PM




Double Duty – Indianapolis 500 Qualifying


Double Duty – Blogger/PR for the 2013 Indianapolis 500 Qualifying

It’s raining at IMS – we are hanging out here in the Social Media Garage. When qualifying DOES get underway, this will be the order: CLICK HERE

2-bd97c1defe7b8be93652e6c16b6842dfI’m very excited to see Glass Hammer Racing driver, Pippa Mann, go out to try and claim one of the Top 24 spots today. If not, there is always tomorrow, weather depending, for Bump Day. It always makes drivers feel so much better to be able to qualifying and secure a spot on the first day of qualifying. There is only ONE bump spot, and you don’t want to be that driver.

Please follow along for updates @GlassHamrRacing and @PippaMannPR on Twitter.

Let’s hope the CyclopsGear.com car gives it all she’s got today, but if not, we’ll see it out there tomorrow to secure a spot in next weekend’s 500 mile race.2442911_orig

Also – to follow along with some awesome Pippa Mann photography – follow Glass Hammer Racing AND Pippa Mann photographer Ali Markus on Twitter @AliMarkusPhotos  ————–>>>

Women At The Speedway


WELCOME to Day 7 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Today I will be live blogging about the interesting people that I have been meeting that are working here at the Speedway this month!

Around The Track: Saw Jamie Little having ‘girl talk’ with Sarah Fisher at the Century 21 pit stall earlier today! Susie Jensen (sp?) working hard for Firestone, checking the temperatures of the tires. Anna Chatten, gearbox mechanic for Panther Racing also working to get JR Hildebrand’s car ready to go for practice!! Mr. Gage got his personally signed hero card from Pippa Mann this morning – He is one of her biggest fans. Oh – and check out my SteelOvaryNation shirt — it may be a little hot today!!!

IMG_20130517_130756_111 IMG_20130517_125124_480 IMG_20130517_123247_104 IMG_20130517_123335_047 IMG_20130517_122234_132


229  This is Kathy Sax – she is wearing a Yellow shirt … yes, one of those! She is such a sweet lady and I’m glad that I got to talk with her for a few minutes about her job. She is a former teacher and loves to spend time outdoors, so working at the track during the Month of May is great for her. One very fun and interesting thing about Kathy is that she has actually run the 500 Festival Mini Marathon 27 times!

232Patsy White works as a pit spotter for NBCSN and ABC this month here at the Speedway.

I call her my ‘racing mom’ – we have been friends on Twitter for quite awhile now and its always great to see her at the track. She has been working the TV broadcasts for open-wheel racing series since 1995. She has traveled the world with her husband, who also works in racing, and truly loves her job! I’m envious.

Mother’s Day + Team Kate @ IMS

Mother’s Day + Team Kate


In my family, it was always my Dad taking me to the races. It was never something special that my mom and I shared. But yesterday, I got to experience Mother’s Day with Amy (@openwheelmom) and her son Gage. It was so refreshing to see a mother and son having so much fun at the speedway.

Both of them experienced things that they had never been able to do before. Amy was able to walk up and down the pits with her Silver badge, having only ever attended IndyCar events on race day at IMS. The relaxed atmosphere and lack of ‘rushing’ around to get to your seat for the race really made her enjoy the day.

She got to meet Mario Andretti and get a picture. Her love/respect for Mario was actually passed down to her by HER mother. So she was able to send the photo to her mom who responded with, “Best mother’s day gift EVER.” That was really fun to experience.

I’ve already had some amazing experiences at IMS and other IndyCar events the past few years, so the fun for me now is seeing other people experience new things. Watching Gage and Amy react to the same things that I freaked out about my first time was priceless and I’m so glad that I got to be there with them!!


Team Kate

What is Team Kate? Yesterday I wore my Team Kate polo – I think a few people thought I was an actual driver trolling the garage/pits looking for a ride ;) ImageI’ll start off by letting you see the first few lines of the Dead Man’s Switch synopsis.

“Aspiring racecar driver Kate Reilly goes looking for a full-time ride in the American Le Mans Series—and stumbles over a dead driver. When she takes that driver’s job just hours later, she also takes pole position on the list of suspects in his murder…”

 Dead Man’s Switch was written by Tammy Kaehler (@tkaehler) and has since become a series with the newly released Breaking Points.

 Because the book series stars a female racing driver, some fans of the books decided to create a fan club for the fictional racer. Because I am 100% behind the support of females in racing, I thought it would be great to wear the Team Kate polo shirt around IMS yesterday, on Mother’s Day. I will definitely have to wear it again on a day that isn’t so chilly because I was definitely bundled up for most of the day.  If you enjoy a good mystery and want to support the advancement of women in racing, buy and read the book! Dead Man’s Switch is only 99 cents for Kindle Edition on Amazon!


IMS – She Has Roused From Slumber


3:30 UPDATE: Josef Newgarden stopped by the Social Media Garage for an interview. I think I’m turning into a pro at interviewing people!!

What a great driver to bring in – so easy to talk to and is very optimistic and animated. He even handled getting asked out on a date graciously. “Oh, you know, I have such a busy schedule…”

Being dunked 8 times in the dunk tank at the Indy Family Foundation event on Main St. last night didn’t deter him from showing up today :-p

The Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing #21 Century 21 car was first out on the track this morning – his fastest practice lap was 220.263 – He believes his pole time will be close to what they were last year. At or faster than 226mph. He loves the new team shop – the fact that everything has that ‘new’ feeling makes it that much more cool.

Good luck Josef and thank you for stopping by the Social Media Garage today!

Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 3.18.52 PM IMG_20130511_115305_195-1 Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 3.31.32 PM


Photos via @TheSpeedwayGay @500Coverage


2:20PM UPDATE: Finished up the Pippa Mann tweetup in the Social Media Garage! There were several young girls in attendance who asked some GREAT questions!!

“What is it like to beat boys?” “What does it feel like to drive a racecar and go really fast?” “Do you ever get scared?” They also got some Glass Hammer Racing stickers to support #BeatByAGirl

Pippa will be driving the #63 CyclopsGear sponsored car for Dale Coyle Racing. She will have another female as a teammate, which I will write about later – Ana Beatriz! Look for her to get behind the wheel Sunday or Monday. This will be her first time running in a DW12 chassis. I can’t even imagine how excited she must be!! Check back for photos of the car!


Today is Opening Day. It’s the start of a journey that 33+ drivers will take to become remembered forever. The Rookie’s get to pass their orientation and the veterans will shake down their regular or T cars…

This is my third opening day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway… and hopefully the best!

The Social Media Garage will be active! Doors open at 10am.

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver, Josef Newgarden, will be stopping by at 3pm!

Stop by and sign the SteelOvaryNation guest book.

I will be Live Blogging the day – so keep coming back for updates!

Visit our site to view information about the other bloggers — See you soon!
Social Media Garage

#SteelOvaryNation goes to Long Beach

Do you hear that?! Can you feel it?! Just close your eyes and listen for the sound of 33 IndyCars flying past at over 200 mph.

There is only ONE more race between now and the Month of May. I can hardly contain my excitement. I’m ready to help promote #SteelOvaryNation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway! If you aren’t aware of the what #SteelOvaryNation is, check out my last blog post: Welcome To The #SteelOvaryNation

This past weekend the #SteelOvaryNation was taken to Long Beach. Tammy Kaehler and several other awesome people represented the movement at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Check out what she had to say!!

Styling #SteelOvaryNation in the LBC

You see a lot of … let’s call them interesting people in the LBC (that’s the city of Long Beach, FYI). I live out here, and well, you just have to embrace the crazy sometimes. Some say we’re the most diverse city in the nation, and from what I see around me every day, I believe it.

Given my own special interests, I get pretty excited when a particular, strange breed of human comes to town. That’s right, those weirdos who love the deafening roar of eight or ten cylinders at full throttle. Who think eau de race fuel ought to be bottled. Who know they’ve had a good day when they wipe black particulate matter (from exhaust and tire rubber) off their arms in the evening. I’m talking, of course, about racers and race fans.

This year, a new tribe was spotted at the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend, staking their claim to the paddock and recruiting new members. That’s right, the #SteelOvaryNation was at the track—and we were kicking butt and taking names. OK, OK, maybe we were only posing for photos and explaining the sign to passers-by … but we were ready for action, thanks to Barb and Mary who were ready with the sign at a moment’s notice.

The #SteelOvaryNation at Long Beach included a professional racing instructor and safety car driver, an engineer (on the race-winning car, no less!), a mystery author, some social media experts, and a whole bunch of mega racing fans. Best of all, some of those were new recruits to the movement (I feel like we need a special cheer or handshake, you know?).

So where are our sisters (and brothers)?! Who else is out there in #SteelOvaryNation?! Give us a shout-out and send us your photos!

Written by: Tammy Kaehler



Welcome to the #SteelOvaryNation

“The Month of May is my favorite month of the year.” – Said a LOT of people

Working with Glass Hammer Racing for the past couple of years has really opened my eyes to the world of women in motorsports. Women in the sport have increased in numbers, but they don’t get the exposure that they should… yet.

I’m incredibly privileged to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the Social Media Garage for the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I want to use my voice/words to help give females more exposure during the Month of May and help inspire young girls/future racers and show them, through my experience, that they can enjoy and participate in this sport too.

Instead of creating my own theme and title for my #SMGarage blog, I decided to ask my friend Shea Holbrook if I could help give her brand #SteelOvaryNation more exposure, because I think its great and I want to support something I believe in. We agreed that I would name this blog #SteelOvaryNation ….


If you visit the SteelOvaryNation website you will find the definition…

#SteelOvaryNation is a brand representing female drivers, engineers, mechanics, broadcasters, bloggers, fans, car and motorsport gurus. The percentage of women in motorsports is small but their impact is large. This brand encompasses tough, dedicated, compassionate and influential people in motorsports who happen to be women.

I hope you will all follow me on this ride through the Month of May and have as much fun as I believe I will have!


Cardio Blast Workout


15 minutes Treadmill

Warm-up for 5 minutes. For first minute, walk at 3 mph. Every minute thereafter, up the speed by 0.3 mph.

For the next 10 minutes, increase speed to an easy jog 5-6 mph for 1 minute, then bring it down to 4 mph walk for the next minute. Do this sequence five times.

10 minutes Elliptical

Use a full-body machine that involves arm movement. Make your arms your primary movers: emphasize pushing and pulling them, instead of letting your legs do everything. Go hard.

12 minutes Treadclimber, Stairmaster, Arc Trainer, or Rower

Do 2 minutes of hard work (you should be on the verge of gasping for breath), followed by 1 minute of recovery. Get to the breathless state by increasing the incline or speed, then lower it for a minute of active recovery. By the end of the easier minute, you should be able to carry on a conversation.

5 minutes Stationary bike
Pedal at a low intensity to cool down. You’re done!



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,490 other followers