Race fans pull out warmer gear for a cooler 500

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From the cold to the rain, race fans have dealt with it all race weekend. It was a far cry from what we saw last year, when temperatures reached into the 90s.

Last year during race time, no one needed a jacket. This time around, jackets, blankets and long pants are must-have items.

“It is too cold this year,” said race fan Amy Castro. “We need the heat, I want the heat.”

It’s a good thing Castro packed her sweatshirts and extra blankets—they’ve come in handy.

“I have jeans, I have long pants,” said Castro. “I still brought a couple of shorts, hoping for warm weather. Keeping my fingers crossed.”

Chances are she will need the warm gear on race day, too.

Kit Lindsay drove all the way from Kansas City. His group usually doesn’t bring as much firewood as they brought this year.

“This year we knew it was going to be chilly, so we brought a little bit of extra wood,” said Lindsay.

The coldest race on record was in 1992, when temperatures were in the 50s. Race day 2013 will be in that neighborhood this weekend—a 40-degree difference from this time last year.

Extreme heat was a major issue during the 2012 race. Fans were dropping like flies, just trying to find a way to keep cool.

“We are really excited (that) we are not going to have to deal with the heat,” said IMS Chief Operating Officer Doug Boles. “That became the story last year, and we want it to be what the guys and girls are doing on the track.”

Lindsay has been coming to the 500 since the early ‘90s. He has seen all types of weather.

“It can be hot one day and cold the next,” said Lindsay. “If you do not like the weather, wait a day it is going to change.”

But regardless of whether it’s hot, cold or in-between, Lindsay, and his “Official Pace (Golf) Kart” will be at the track on race day.

“We love coming out here,” said Lindsay. “We look forward to this more than Christmas.”

Race fans are also hoping for a rain-free weekend. If it does rain, the race could be delayed. Drivers would have to complete 101 or more laps to make the race official. If there are fewer than 100 complete, the race’s makeup day is Memorial Day.

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