Streamline PRG once again had the privilege to partner with Bryant on their annual Dealer Rally/Indy 500 event. This year was extra special because this was the 100th running of the Indy 500. Mind boggling when you consider the automobile was invented in 1886. Before the race they even drove a parade of the old race cars around the city. Some of them had some trouble making it all the way around the track but it was very, very cool.
Backing up – the kickoff Awards Ceremony Event on Thursday was held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. It’s always a nice evening for the dealers to be recognized for all of their years achievements!
Friday is the big race car event. After an amazing buffet (complete with all you can eat shrimp cocktail) the Bryant staff takes the stage to announce the Dealer of the Year and then welcome Bryant sponsored race car driver – the one and only #10 – Tony Kanaan! Tony is always very engaging and a lot of fun. This year we mixed it up a little and created a race car themed game show.
Saturday, while everyone is off enjoying varies 100th running events in Indianapolis, the hotel is busy preparing their famous buffet – a lot of fun following a day in the sun.
For the crew, Sunday starts early. 4 AM early. We have to get to the track before nearly ½ million people make their way to their seats. It’s kind of magical to watch an empty track wake up and come to life. Vendors arriving, garages opening, pit crew working last minute changes to cars, the sun rising, the gates opening to a flood of excited fans, a parade of people from all walks of life. We witnessed some pretty epic jorts to Lady Gaga. People watching is almost as fun as the race itself.
I do want to mention the special Memorial Day presentation that was put on before the race. It was pretty powerful. Old planes did the flyover with the new ones. Maybe it’s because in this precarious election year, for a few moments, half a million people stood together to salute America, the brave soldiers that fight for our freedom, and something as simple as 100 years of tradition.
Once that concluded, the sound of the engines starting began. It’s hard to explain if you’ve never been in person, but it’s like millions of loud bumble bees humming so loudly you feel it in your little toes. It’s pretty exhilarating. It’s also really fun when the driver/car you are cheering for is good. Not just good, but great. He was in the top 5 for the majority of the race so it was very, very exciting. He didn’t win (came in 4th) but he did an amazing job and it was a delight to cheer for him!
You’d think that after an epic day like that it would be hard to top, but alas, the amazing catering at the Marriot East saves the best for last – an international buffet that rivals most cruise ships. It’s overwhelming in the best way possible. Once we are all happily in food comas, the event quietly concludes.
This was one for the books! We cannot wait to do it again next year. Thank you, Bryant, for allowing us to be part of such a fun week! – EC