Grand Prix brings new wrinkle for fans at IMS

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The Grand Prix of Indianapolis is a new race with some new wrinkles, but if you want to get the lowdown listen to old pros.

It's got a different feel to it. You've got cars going this way and cars going that way. On the track, they are seemingly going the wrong way, except it's the right way for a road course.

"Just seeing them go backwards. I love it. I love it. Nothing better," said Lisa Stiffler.

Stiffler and her husband, Bill, have been coming to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1976, so they've got it down to the second.

"They are fast. They are fast. They hit this turn and they are way hot when they hit this turn. All of them are sliding," Lisa said.

The couple can hardly contain their enthusiasm.

"So we just got done seeing USF2000, now we got Pro Mazda at noon," Bill said. "This is the hottest thing to hit Indianapolis in 20 years. It brings the entire month of May back to Indianapolis."

There are changes off the track. Parking for the Grand Prix will be outside of the track.

"The main gate is closed, except for credentialed traffic. You can park on the south side of 16th or the west side of Georgetown Road," said IMS President Doug Boles.

The food contract at the Speedway has been outsourced, but don't worry, you can still get that pork tenderloin.

The infusion of public money is only noticeable when you look at the road course. Dan Love from Broad Ripple was entrenched Thursday at the end of the Hulman straight.

"I was here for F1, but the traffic layout was not as good as this layout. What they did with the changes on Turn 4 area, they extended the backstretch, they got rid of the crazy S's here. This is perfect for IndyCar," he said.

They say 30 percent of the estimated 50,000 fans expected to attend Saturday's race are from outside central Indiana. That means 70 percent are local.

"They are out of their element. You can catch the IndyCars, you can just see they want to turn. They want to go the other way," Lisa Stiffler said.

Like the Stifflers, who for the next month will be calling Turn 1 home.