Indianapolis Motor Speedway puts a new light on holidays


What a great weekend. I started it by taking in "Lights at the Brickyard" at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I loved it and highly recommend it. When you’re driving around the facility, be sure to listen to the Christmas music on the assigned FM radio frequency; it’s a nice touch.

It also reminded me of getting in my parents’ car as a kid to drive around the city and see the Christmas lights. I'm excited that this is a new way to introduce the magic of IMS to a younger generation – in a whole new way.

Props for Guerrero: You want to know who I think had an underappreciated Indy car career? Roberto Guerrero. One of the all-time masters at IMS, finishing second, third, fourth and second in his first four Indianapolis 500s. He then won a pole and scored a top-five finish after recovering from a crash that left him in a coma.

Setting the pace: Here’s a racing thought: Did you know the NBA’s Indiana Pacers are named for the state's heritage in horse racing? Go win bar bets with that.

A tip about Nashville: My girlfriend and I road-tripped to Nashville on Saturday. Great city. My only complaint: Every restroom on Broadway had those attendants with a platter of goodies and a tip jar. It's a men’s room, not a convenience store.

In Nashville, we went to the Hermitage, which is the residence and library of President Andrew Jackson. Interesting tidbit: The election of 1824 was disputed due to disparities between the popular vote and Electoral College. And you thought this was a new thing? I also found it fitting that admission to Jackson's estate is $20 (Jackson’s likeness is on the $20 bill). I'm not sure if that's subject to change

It makes me wonder: A friend asked me to list my "Seven Wonders of Indianapolis," which would be helpful for your next visit to the city. These are among the gems. The Children's Museum and James Whitcomb Riley's tomb atop Crown Hill Cemetery are obvious ones. (Editor’s note: Feel free to consider Jake your travel advisor, which will become clear as the Verizon IndyCar Series season rolls through 2017.)

No. 7: The gym at Tabernacle – It's a marriage of nostalgia and current day when new generations take to the historic hardwood.

No. 6: Benjamin Harrison Home – Harrison was from Ohio, but he ran for office after settling on Delaware Street in downtown Indy. He returned to practice law after serving as U.S. President and died in the house in which he lived.

No. 5: The grave of Oscar Charleston – Inconspicuously located in Floral Park Cemetery, the gravestone marks only the life of a World War I veteran. It does not mention the final resting place of a baseball Hall of Famer and arguably the greatest athlete ever born in Indianapolis.

No. 4: The L.S. Ayres clock – The downtown clock is a reminder of yesteryear when shoppers flocked to the tea room of the department store that is no longer. The cherub atop it overlooks holiday shoppers and proves that while the clock may still run, with some things, time stand still.

No. 3: Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Some things need no explanation.

No. 2: Civil War Museum below the Soldiers and Sailors Monument – Quaint and simple, but everyone pays attention to what is 22 stories above: downtown’s Monument Circle. Few realize the history displayed one story below it.

No. 1: Indiana War Memorial – When the American Legion was looking for a national headquarters in 1919, Indianapolis won the bid and two years later appropriated $2 million for a memorial honoring veterans of World War I. Today, it houses an auditorium, historical displays and a shrine room made of stone and marbles from all U.S. allies. The room itself is enough to realize one's own individual insignificance, while also celebrating our collective spirit and triumph.

Veteran broadcaster Jake Query is a member of the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network team and will offer his musings Tuesdays on

From the fans