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    Inside the Coke lot at IMS, the party never sleeps

    By Michael Van Schoik,

    26 days ago

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indy 500 might be a little more than a day away, but some race fans are keeping the party going all weekend long.

    “Keep the beer cold and the good times rolling,” might as well be the motto for Lot 1C outside Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    “I’m told this is called the Coke lot,” said Indy 500 fan Kyle Gara. “It’s the Coca-Cola lot.”

    If the Snake Pit is the party on the inside, the Coke lot is the shindig on the outside that never sleeps.

    “We have a beer-die table for my beer-die fans,” Gara said. “We have bags or cornhole. We’ve got a football. Any lawn game you can think of, we’ve kind of got it set up right here.”

    The Coke lot is kind of like the heartbeat of race weekend, never skipping a beat. For many fans, camping on Indy 500 weekend has become a tradition over the years.

    “The first year we came, we borrowed a friend’s dad’s RV,” fan Ryan Grant said. “The second year we came, we rented a second. Now, we’re up to four. So, we got 24 people with us, four years running now, and we just keep growing every year.”

    With a growing tradition comes a growing group of friends.

    “I met him a year ago,” Grant said as he stood next to one of his friends who will be going to his first Indy 500 this weekend. “We met after chugging a Miller Lite together. We were like, ‘OK, you’re my new best friend, you have to come to Indy with us.'”

    And who wouldn’t be thrilled to be a part of that experience?

    “I am absolutely enamored,” a race fan who chose to go by “Greasetank” said. “I’ve been a motorsports fan since I was young. I still have my Hot Wheels that I grew up with, all 673 of them. I’m a big IndyCar fan. I’m very happy to be here. It’s well overdue that I’m down in Indy right now.”

    Fans come from far and wide to be a part of the fun, including one group that came all the way from California.

    “We drive 300 or 350 miles a day,” said race fan Ron Varela. “Then, (we) stop and camp and then get up the next morning and come.”

    “You know it’s all about friends, good food and just enjoying life,” fan Charmaine Laney said.

    As all Indy 500 fans know, there is chance for storms this weekend. Despite that possibility, fans at the Coke lot said they are not going to let any weather get in the way.

    “We’re not leaving until I see that 500 th mile,” Grant said. “I am going to be in Indianapolis until I see someone pour milk all over their face.”

    While storms rushed in Friday evening, many campers at the Coke lot braved the weather. Several campers used tarps to cover their tents to protect themselves from the storms.

    Regardless of the chance for storms during race weekend, fans said they will be out there all weekend long.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to Fox 59.

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