From The Libertine to Recess and Oakleys to Bluebeard, Korean to Latin and sushi to steak, our critics choose the cream of Indy’s dining crop.
Despite the star treatment, Veach says staying humble makes connecting with fans much easier. He considers himself a typical teen. “When I’m hanging out with my friends back at home,” he says, “we usually talk about video games, girls—normal stuff.”
Editor’s Note, Feb. 19, 2013: This past Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, driver Danica Patrick became the first woman ever to qualify in the top spot for a NASCAR Cup race. She will start in the pole position of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24. The following profile, noted in The Best American Sports Writing series, originally appeared in the May 2006 issue of IM, a year after Patrick’s fourth-place finish in the Indianapolis 500.
Listen up, ladies: Arie Luyendyk Jr., the dreamy former Bachelorette contestant and racecar driver, is hosting a viewing party for the season premiere of The Bachelor tonight at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, starting at 6:30 p.m. Fans will get to ask Luyendyk their long-burning questions during a 7:30 p.m. Q&A session and then watch the first episode of the new season with him at 8 p.m.
IndyCar star and Bachelorette heartthrob Arie Luyendyk, Jr. was in town recently for a celebrity cook-off benefiting the Children’s Bureau. He stopped by Indianapolis Monthly beforehand to reveal some his favorite local date spots for our Best Of Indy issue, coming up in December. You’ll have to pick up the magazine to find out what they are—but we got him to stick around long enough to offer a few other nuggets.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves is dancing his way back to reality TV. ABC announced today that Castroneves will join the cast of Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars for the show’s 15th season. Castroneves, the season-five champion, will compete against other past celebrity favorites of various ilk and levels of fame for the chance to hoist the Mirror Ball trophy. Among his competitors: Bristol Palin, Drew Lachey, Joey Fatone, Kirstie Alley, Apolo Anton Ohno, and Pamela Anderson.
Dan Wheldon was going to save IndyCar. That was the premise with which I set out to write an early-season profile of the Brit in the spring of 2005. He was 26, dapper, handsome, and quotable in a sneering, “like-it-or-lump-it” attitude that seemed about as sincere as his insistence that he only drank Red Bull and Jim Beam, his sponsor. He was coming off his first full season, having won three races and finished second in points, and sitting at a table in the back of his trailer for an interview the night before the first race in Homestead, hair spiked stiff, slacks immaculately pressed. He flashed a snaggle-toothed grin and agreed that, “Yeah, a good piece is exactly what the sport needs,” to get fans on board.
This past winter was a tragic one for IndyCar. The loss of my friend Dan Wheldon pushed race officials to place a renewed emphasis on improving safety in IndyCar, and as we approach the high-speed Indianapolis 500 with an all-new Dallara chassis, the need for those improvements to be effective becomes more urgent than ever.
JR Hildebrand spotted the starter’s white flag. “Bring it home, baby, bring it home,” chirped the rookie’s support staff over the radio from their perch in the pits. Four left turns away from winning the 2011 Indianapolis 500, Hildebrand buried the rush of excitement. No one, he told himself, cares who leads lap No. 199 at Indy. In the ether, though, the announcer’s voice on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network was already rising. Here he goes, the final lap! Across the line, JR Hildebrand will see the white flag.