My favorite memories and coverage from the 2014 ‘Month of May’

MeThe last month has been one of the most memorable in my 23 years of existence.

Three years ago I made the decision to set my academic sights on eventually earning my Sports Journalism masters degree from the University of Indiana at its IUPUI branch in Indianapolis. Part of that decision was in the potential opportunity to cover the Indianapolis 500, the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” a race that had been a part of my Memorial Day weekend activities since the late ’90s.

Fast-forward to now and I’ve just wrapped up covering my first “Month of May,” reporting on the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis and of course the two weeks leading up to and including the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

The month included a wet walk through Gasoline Alley with a fellow Indianapolis Monthly writer, standing on pit road for all the second day of Indy 500 qualifying to interview almost every driver (but most importantly Kurt Busch, my first chance to ever ask a NASCAR driver a question). I stood at the top of the Pagoda the night of the “Last Row Party” and watched the sun set on IMS and Indianapolis. I did my very first “Grid Walk” the morning of the “500” and of course I was whistled at by the endless army of “Yellow Shirts” in the infield, who I firmly believe are all that stand between us and societal progress.

I forgot to mention I inadvertently photo bombed James Hinchcliffe’s post-qualifying interview on ABC.


Me and Mike Guzman in the background of ABC's qualifying broadcast on pit road.

Me and fellow NSJC writer Mike Guzman (right, with the beard) say hello to America without knowing it.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the great people at the National Sports Journalism Center and Indianapolis Monthly, who trusted me with writing about the events and people at the track in their name.

With their support I was able to write some of the best material of my career, which was invaluable for someone who wants to eventually be an auto racing journalist and had never been to a race as a member of the media.



Below are links to where you can check out my specific coverage for both the NSJC and IM, with my favorite pieces highlighted. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Indianapolis Monthly coverage

Favorite pieces:

Profile on driver James Hinchcliffe, written the week after a small accident left him with a concussion.

I stood on pit road for 2-3 hours along TV reporters getting their repetitive soundbites to compile all 33 driver’s earliest memories of the 500 and to grab answers from elusive and very busy Kurt Busch.

National Sports Journalism Center Coverage:

Grand Prix of Indianapolis:


Indianapolis 500

Castroneves in disbelief after his loss.

Indy 500 runner-up Helio Castroneves still trying comprehend losing by 0.600 seconds.

  • Those in attendance at the 98th running of the Indy 500 were treated to the second-closest finish in the race’s history. My recount of the memorable last four laps and the post-race reaction from its two combatants.

About Daniel McFadin

NASCAR writer for Former Sporting News intern. Graduated from IUPUI in Indianapolis with a master in sports journalism in 2014 and from Arkansas State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. Originally from Lewisville, Texas, now in Fort Worth. Ask me if I like Star Wars. I dare you.
This entry was posted in Indiana, Indianapolis, IndyCar, Journalism, Media, Memories, Sports and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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