When I arrived at Infineon this morning for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend things didn’t seem that different from when I was there in June for the NASCAR race. The same messy traffic issues with go-karts and pedestrians making it incredibly nerve racking to navigate the parking lots. There were the same big tents promoting everything from cars to clothes to video games and a super special cleanser for your sunglasses. But it wasn’t until I took a seat in the media center that I realized this was definitely not the same as a NASCAR race. The guy two seats down from me was speaking a language I couldn’t quite figure out, I’m thinking it’s Italian? Or maybe Portuguese? Anyway, he was speaking fast and broadcasting live, reporting on the IndyCar warm-ups going on before us. The other thing that tipped me off was that the whole front row was full of Japanese media.

Since the day was about practicing and qualifying I went off to check out the vendor tents. Qualifying is obviously important but I will admit that it’s the only boring thing about racing. I saw Tony Kanaan as I left the media center, he was walking with two other guys that I’m assuming were drivers but I couldn’t tell who from where I was standing. Tony kinda stands out in that bright green suit.

Behind the grandstands Honda had what looked to me like a regular showroom, complete with carpeting throughout, and every single car in their production out for display. I bumped into the Playboy tent, which was full of men, and young boys on the outside looking in. Sierra Nevada had a great outdoor lounge area featuring a stage where a band called the Spazmatics were to play today and tomorrow.

Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma 2006 Photo Gallery