Our most favorite day of the year, Carb Day, is just around the corner. What started as a Tactive’ staff “day out” back in 2001 has turned into an annual company picnic in Turn 3 of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
For those of you not familiar with this Indy 500 tradition, Carb Day is the Friday before the big race – which happens annually on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. The name arose in the days when Indy cars still had carburetors. “Carb Day” is the last day that any adjustments can be made to the car engines before the running of the “greatest spectacle in racing”. Today, Carb Day is one of the biggest parties at the track and an unofficial “skip-work” day.
After 16 years we consider ourselves experienced Carb Day aficionados, so we put together this quick list of essentials you won’t want to forget if (when!) you head to the track on Friday.
We’ve perfected our entrance strategy and typically send our “advance team” to line up around 6 am in order to be first in line when the gates open at 7. But if you’re not the “early to track” type, you’ll be doing your fair share of walking. Function beats fashion on Carb Day, so wear shoes that are both comfortable and you won’t mind getting covered with beer… er… mud.
Glass containers are not allowed within the speedway gates. You don’t want to be “that guy” frantically attempting to down a 12 pack – or giving it away to your new friends in line. Stick to aluminum or plastic containers! (For those of you who don’t like beer, boxed/bagged wine IS allowed.)
Speaking of #2, make sure you pack some hydration with all those adult beverages. We all want to have a great time, but between the sun, salty food, and party atmosphere it can be easy to overdo it. Stay safe, drink responsibly, and make sure you’re getting plenty of H2O.
Carb Day is notoriously hot, and it seems like every year we’re asking a late-comer to stop for ice. (Who wants to carry ice for a mile!?) Nowadays, track representatives sell ice from go-carts that roam the infield but you’ll want to be well stocked before you get to the track.
It could be 50 degrees and rainy or 90 degrees without a cloud in the sky at the end of May in Indiana. Make sure your drinks stay cold, and your hands stay warm, with a couple of foam can holders. Or if you need a business excuse to take the day off, order some with your logo on them and pass them out to the sad saps who forgot to pack one. Marketing!
Bringing your squad to the track? Show your team spirit with some custom tees (the brighter the better)! The featured concert performers, the 100th running, and even our own rebrand have served as inspiration for our t-shirt designs over the years. (Need help with design & ordering? We can help!)
Every year some pale fool decides Carb Day is the day to get a head start on that summer glow and fails miserably. Pack a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen! You don’t want to be the guy walking around the infield at 3 pm who looks like they still have a shirt on when then don’t.
Corn hole. Ladder golf. Frisbees. Footballs. You’ll see all of them being tossed around the infield on Carb Day. We even took a hint from the next item on the list and handed out beach balls for several years. Games are a great way to make friends, and keep your group entertained when the track action is low.
A “Wooo” Attitude
Carb Day has notoriously become one of the most popular days to skip out on the office and cash in a “sick day”. With the smell of sunscreen, cheap beer, and lack of clothing, it might as well be Panama City during Spring Break. Embrace it, and don’t be afraid to let out a “woooo!” or two.
An Unhealthy Diet
Hot dogs. Tenderloins. Turkey legs. Cheap beer. Potato chips. “Carb” Day could easily describe the types of food and drinks you’ll be consuming the Friday before the Indy 500. This is not a day for counting calories. Ditch your diet and treat yo’ self to a hot dog (or five).
Now that you’ve read through the list, you can get packing. OR, you can just come join us in Turn 3 where we’ll have all of the above! (Well, except shoes. You should wear your own shoes.)