Stepping away from Super Bowl for speedway party

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — A trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a dream come true for any typical Southerner who grew up in racing-crazed North Carolina. At least that’s the logic I assumed my bosses used when they sent me off to the Super Bowl media party Tuesday night.

A custom-painted Panthers Indy car hangs from the ceiling at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (David Ely /

And the party, held at the home of The Indianapolis 500, definitely had a racing theme. All 32 NFL teams boasted their own custom-painted Indy cars, and a few of the teams from racing country (the Saints, Panthers and Jaguars) had their cars hung from the ceiling right where people walked in to join the festivities.

Walking out onto the final stretch of the track and kissing the bricks definitely was a highlight (though a free jug of milk would have been a welcome addition). Inside the famous pagoda was some of the event’s marquee attractions: A vodka floor, one “Mad Men”-esque level devoted to scotch and cigars, and another with free beer and burgers.

I’ll let you guess which one featured the highest percentage of sports writers.

— David Ely

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