I was in Baltimore and DC for the Grand Prix of Baltimore weekend, and luckily was able to spend Saturday in the Inner Harbor, at the track. I was sans Gage for this trip, and honestly, being at a track without him felt weird! Having our favorite IndyCar Drivers ask me where he was by name completely blew me away, but I was happy to pass along their greetings to him! Only in IndyCar!
I wasn’t at the track to really “work”, or blog as I had at Mid Ohio, as we were up in the area visiting family. However, I saw a Mom and Son in the Paddocks, and I couldn’t resist talking to them!
This awesome 8 year old is named Ryan! I noticed Ryan and his Mom outside of Simona De Silvestro’s transporter, and saw Trish (Simona’s PR Guru) hand him an autographed hero card. Of course I had to say hello! Any Simona fan is a friend of ours!
As I said, Ryan is 8 years old, and he is a HUGE racing fan, with IndyCar being his absolute favorite! Mom attends the Indy500, and this was the 2nd GP of Baltimore that he was attending. He said he was having a LOT of fun! He told me that sometimes they just can’t find an IndyCar race live on TV, so he will wait until they are available on YouTube, and watch them that way. No kidding, that is some pretty awesome dedication!
They told me a story about encountering Bruno Palli last year, describing how, after meeting Ryan earlier in the day, Bruno and his crew actually called out Ryan’s name later in the afternoon when they saw him, giving him huge High-Fives! To a child, having someone you look up to actually remember your name AND seek you out in a crowd is a pretty unforgettable! It is also a moment that can turn a child into a fan for life. Ryan is obviously well on his way!
Parents, I’ve said it before, and I stand by it. Bring your kids to an IndyCar race, let them meet the drivers, and just watch how your kids react. Ryan was loving being there, and I am willing to bet that your kids will love it too. Who knows, you may find a new bond with your child that you never imagined!