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The Top Ten Days of May

What’s your favorite day of the month of May? (Aside from Race Day itself, of course).

We thought it might be fun to rank the best gems of the days leading up to the Indianapolis 500. Keep in mind that it’s not a scientific list, but completely subjective. And we want your input, so feel free to offer your opinion on our Facebook page.

So, without further ado, let’s get started:

THE TOP TEN DAYS OF MAY AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY:

10. Freedom 100 practice and qualifying day (Thursday, May 26). This is your chance to see the future stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series sortthings out.

9. Fast Friday (Friday, May 20). The day before Pole Day qualifying is when you really see what drivers and teams have. Not that they’ve been sandbagging all week, mind you, but late in the day on Fast Friday is when they put all the cards on the table.

8. First practice day (Saturday, May 14). This is like the first pitch of spring training for baseball fans. It’s the first sound of engines and the first whiff of spring. Take it all in.

7. Balloon Festival (Saturday, May 7). If you haven’t taken the time to see this, it’s worth the effort. Hundreds of hot-air balloons launch from the grounds the weekend before everything starts on track, commemorating the first events held at the track back in 1909. It’s breathtaking.

6. American Family Insurance 500 Festival Community Day (Wednesday, May 25). If you have kids, this probably ranks a bit higher than sixth. Everything is open, including the track, for you to enjoy. Drivers are available for autographs, Gasoline Alley is open, and you can take your car for a spin – well, a slow roll, anyway – on the track.

5. Day before Race Day. (Saturday, May 28). One of the best chances for fans to get close to the participants just before the race. In the morning, there’s a public drivers’ meeting that’s open tofans. Not to mention autograph sessions for both the 33-car field and living legends of the 500. Afterward, head downtown and catch the parade.

4. Miller Lite Carb Day (Friday, May 27). This is a treat for the party crowd. Not only does the day include the all-important final practice for the Indy 500, the Firestone Freedom 100 and the Pit Stop Challenge, but it also includes a concert from a top rock ‘n’ roll band.

3. Bump Day (Sunday, May 22). There are times when the bumping on the second day of qualifying is as dramatic as the first day of qualifying, if not more. This is when the real qualifying games begin – and continueright up to the final gun.

2. Pole Day (Saturday, May 21). Some like to argue that Pole Day is nearly as interesting as Race Day. I won’t go that far, but the electricity on the track right before the first car rolls out and the buzz that permeates everything during the final 30 minutes of the day are two of the most dramatic moments in sports.

1. Race Day (Sunday, May 29). If you’re a Hoosier, you’ll get weepy when Jim Nabors sings. If you’re a race fan, you’ve experienced this before. The traditions, the pageantry, the bands and drama. Nothing in sports matches this. It is unique, historic and thrilling.

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