So you’re saying I shouldn’t bring my beer bong to Carb Day this year? Probably not—or any type of bong, for that matter. And while you’re at it, hit up your designated driver, because the Speedway Police Department has more than 100 additional officers on duty today to corral revelers attending the Poison concert and other Indianapolis Motor Speedway goings-on.
Speedway PD Lt. Trent Theobald has some simple advice for fist-pumping partiers: “There are plenty of options available—get a cab, take the bus, or have someone pick you up.” Not sure if you belong to the rambunctious crowd Lt. Theobald is talking to? If you’re guilty of pulling a keg (or one of those large Gatorade drinking jugs used by football teams) into the infield in a little red wagon, if your kid’s birthday is in late February (nine months after May 24) and you have yet to identify the father, or if you simply can’t remember your last Carb Day experience, then he’s talking to you.
According to the 15-year veteran, patrol officers do not turn a blind eye to the shenanigans. Sorry, being belligerent outside the track—and, more importantly, behind the wheel—is still frowned upon. Nevertheless, as you might expect, compared to the average patrol day “there is a spike in crime on Carb Day,” says Lt. Theobald, particularly public intoxication, underage drinking, and DUIs. (Note: If you are one who casually refers to DUIs as “dewies,” you should pay particular attention to Lt. Theobald’s words of caution.)
“We want people to have fun,” he says—safe, responsible fun, that is. Also, excise police will be keeping a close eye on the youngsters. Under-21ers, no one really believes that plastic bottle of clear liquid you are chasing with Coke and juice is water.
If this little chat with the police is killing your buzz, try to look on the bright side. Our friend Lt. Theobald does. “The weather shouldn’t be too bad,” he says. And he reminds you to stay hydrated throughout the day. So maybe you can bring that beer bong to the track with you—so long as you’re only chugging water.
Carb Day concert headliner Poison goes on at 3:30 p.m. at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For more info, visit indianapolismotorspeedway.com.
Additional photos by Richard Dowdy and Chris Owens, courtesy IMS.