Scouting at the Indianapolis 500

What does a turbo charged V-6 engine, carbon fiber body work, 220+ miles-per-hour, and the brickyard have in common with the Boy Scouts of America? All are part of the Boy Scouts’ project to interest boys in Scouting using Indy Car Racing. Dale Coyne Racing uses the red, white and blue “Be A Scout” Indy car number 19, driven by John Jakes, to attract attention to Scouting and then to attract Scouts to our STEM activities.

Through the efforts of Al Lambert I had the opportunity to see the car up close at the Indianapolis 500. Al arranged for me to have credentials for the pre-race activity at this years “greatest spectacle in racing.” I was allowed into the garage in Gasoline Alley where I heard Dale and Bob Mazzuca talk about racing and Scouting. Then I, along with about 50 other Scouts and volunteers from around the country, walked with the car as it was moved from Gasoline Alley  to its starting position on the race track.  Once the car was positioned I was free to wander through out the pits and on the track until about an hour before the green flag dropped.  I had a chance to see each of the other 32 race cars up close and of course I took hundreds of pictures.

I am a life time Indianapolis 500 fan. I grew up in Indiana listening with my dad to the race on the radio. I attended my first 500 in 1968 and have attended more than 30 500s since then. This was however, the first time I have ever been in Gasoline Alley, in the pits and on the race track on race day. What a day…thanks to Al Lambert …I was able to enjoy two of my very favorite things (Scouts and Indy Car Racing) together! 

Dave Smith

Council Commissioner