To assist in finding the right holiday gift for the INDYCAR fan(s) in your life, we’re here to help. In the spirit of the familiar “12 Days of Christmas” tune, we invite you to follow the “12 Days of INDYCAR-istmas.”
It’s bound to make what’s waiting under the tree on Christmas morn have everyone on your list waving a checkered flag of thanks. Today, enjoy the last installment of the countdown:
On the twelfth day of INDYCAR-istmas, my true love sent to me:
Twelve driver die-casts
Let’s face it: a real, full-size Indy car for the race fan in your life is probably outside your budget. (If it’s not, may we humbly suggest you launch your own team?) But you can buy miniature die-cast replicas in various sizes for a song – or, more precisely, for between $5 and $249. The IMS/INDYCAR shop sells models of modern machines piloted by drivers like Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato and others. (To find them, visit shop.ims.com, click the INDYCAR link at the top of the page, choose Shop by Driver, and select the driver whose die-cast you want to buy.) There are also replicas of several vintage vehicles, like the Miller Special, driven by Louis Meyer in 1928; the Boyle Special, piloted by Wilbur Shaw in 1939; the Johnny Lightning PJ Colt, steered by Al Unser in 1970; the Coyote, operated by A.J. Foyt in 1977; and more. There are even replicas of several classic pace cars and the Chevy Silverados driven by the Holmatro Safety Team. For the die-hard INDYCAR fan, these die-cast replicas are to die for. (See what we did there?)
Eleven pipers piping
Performances by the Gordon Pipers have long been among the most treasured traditions at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indeed, for more than 50 years, race fans have thrilled to the wail of bagpipes echoing through Gasoline Alley and down pit lane like a swarm of hornet-powered chainsaws (in a good way). Your race fan need not wait until May to take in a show. You can book the Gordon Pipers to serenade him or her at your next special event. For info on price and availability, contact email@example.com.
Ten charms a charming
Dilemma: Your bae wants some INDYCAR bling. One solution is, obviously, to build a time machine, dial it back to your youth (the earlier the better), discover go-karting, migrate to open-wheel cars, step up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, secure a deal with a major INDYCAR team, win the Indianapolis 500 and, finally, hand over your champion’s ring to your darling. Or you could buy him or her one of several jewelry items available for sale through shop.ims.com. Like this charm bracelet ($10). Or this TAG Heuer watch ($1,950). Either way, your bae will think you’re a real charmer.
Nine race fans dancing
It used to be that race-car drivers partnered with riding mechanics, who, in addition to passenger, served as oil-and-fuel pumper, tire-wear checker, gauge watcher, gear changer, spotter and hand massager. These days, drivers develop partnerships of a different variety: with local chefs. The annual Rev presented by Fifth Third Bank gala – which kicks of month of May activities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and benefits the Indiana University Health Foundation – puts these culinary collaborations front and center. Rev, set for May 5, also gives guests an opportunity to take to the dance floor alongside top INDYCAR drivers and other local celebs. Tickets to Rev run $300 a pop, but your race fan and IU Health’s statewide trauma and critical care programs are worth it.
Eight Satos milking
Here’s a riddle: Who a) travels great distances at considerable speeds; b) relies on a crew of helpers to do his job; c) drinks milk; and d) is totally adorable? Well, Santa Claus, obviously. But he’s not the only one. There’s also Takuma Sato, winner of the 2017 Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Whichever answer you gave, one thing’s for certain: Both these men would love this souvenir Indianapolis 500 winning driver milk bottle ($15) – and the race fan in your life would, too. (Cookies sold separately.)
Seven socks a swagging
Socks. They’re, like, the ultimate Disappointing Gift. Unless, of course, they’re driver-branded USWAG socks ($18) – think Marco Andretti, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe, Tony Kanaan, Pippa Mann, Will Power, Graham Rahal and more. (There are also INDYCAR and IMS designs.) Like the drivers they represent, these mid-calf socks are no slouches. They’re high-quality, long-lasting, track-ready footwear. But they serve an even higher purpose: helping support the family of the great (and greatly missed) Justin Wilson, who co-founded USWAG in 2015. In other words, USWAG socks will warm your darling from heel to heart.
Six Newgie coozies
As any race fan can tell you, there’s nothing better than an ice-cold drink at the track. Sadly, race fans can also attest to the difficulty of keeping drinks ice cold whilst beached on aluminum bleachers surrounded by baking asphalt. That’s where this coozie, featuring 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden, comes in. This collapsible can cooler ($5) climate-controls your cola (or other beverage of choice) by harnessing Newgie’s inherent coolness, or possibly just neoprene. (For more driver-branded coozies, search for “can cooler” at shop.ims.com.)
Five hundred seats
Some people say Christmas is the best day of the year. INDYCAR fanatics, however, know otherwise. For them, the real best day of the year is Indianapolis 500 race day. Which is why the race fanatics in your life will freak out when you buy them seats to the 2018 Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil – the 102nd running of the event – scheduled for May 27. Tickets to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” are surprisingly affordable, ranging in price from $35 (for general admission) to $120. While you’re at it, consider tacking on a bronze badge ($135) to grant your beloved gate admission and garage access for each practice and qualifying day (including Carb Day). Buy tickets from IMS.com.
Four Foyt coins
Imagine a Venn diagram. One circle contains offerings for numismatics; the other, presents for racing enthusiasts. At the point where these circles overlap, you’ll find the perfect gift for the coin-collecting INDYCAR fanatic in your life: a coin set that commemorates four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and all-around racing legend A.J. Foyt. This limited-edition boxed set features four solid-bronze, matching-numbered coins – one to honor each Foyt win at Indy – and a certificate that proves the coins are as authentic as, well, Foyt. Best of all, the set is on sale here for half the original cost.
Three French men
OK, you got us. The Verizon IndyCar Series doesn’t currently have three French drivers, though Indy Lights prospect Nico Jamin would like to someday make it a trio. At present, there are only two: Sebastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud. And to clarify, you can’t actually purchase these Gaulic go-getters, but if your love is partial to Pagenaud and/or biased toward Bourdais, he or she will enjoy unwrapping some of their official merchandise – shirts, hats, decals, magnets, coozies, die-cast cars and more – come Christmas morning. Prices range from $3 to $70.
This Christmas, you can arrange for your true love to enjoy the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a whole new way: as a passenger in an INDYCAR two-seater, courtesy of the Indy Racing Experience. Trust us: Hurtling down the frontstretch at IMS -- blazing past the grandstands, the yard of bricks and the scoring pylon before plunging into Turn 1 at 180-plus mph -- will be the experience of a lifetime for your speed-seeking sweetie. Not in Indy? Not to worry. Indy Racing Experience runs the two-seater during several INDYCAR race weekends. Two-seater rides normally run $499, but you can buy one for half off through Groupon for a limited time.
And a trip to the St. Pete Grand Prix
To mark the advent of this holiday season, prime your true love for the launch of another important season — the INDYCAR season, that is! Starting at just $55 for adults ($30 for kids 12 and under), you can buy your beloved a three-day ticket for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series opener, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. As holiday bonuses, St. Pete is currently offering 25 percent off two-day general admission passes and a free INDYCAR paddock pass with the purchase of any three-day, lower-reserved grandstand ticket. During the event, scheduled for March 9-11, your loved one will enjoy nonstop racing action from the Verizon IndyCar Series, all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy and the Pirelli World Challenge — all staged on the beautiful waterfront of downtown St. Petersburg. (Sunscreen sold separately.) Visit gpstpete.com to order tickets.