How We’re Celebrating Memorial Day

We car enthusiasts see three-day weekends as more opportunity to spend time with our four-wheeled passions. Sometimes that means hitting the track, sometimes it means a cross-country road trip, and other times it simply means sitting back and watching racing. Here’s how Automobile Magazine editors, as well as several racers and executives from around the auto industry, are spending the Memorial Day weekend.

This year I piloted our Four Seasons Infiniti Q50 on a great American road trip to Las Vegas. With my brother along for the ride, I saw the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the Grand Canyon. Vegas…is my business. — Eric Weiner, associate web editor

It has been a great weekend. I snagged the 2015 GMC Yukon XL, and I packed every crevice with perennial plants and headed up north. After the horrendous winter, my cabin garden in the northern Michigan woods was decimated. Once the planting was done, I curled up in front of the wood stove with the dogs and Art Garner’s brilliant new book, Black Noon: The Year They Stopped the Indy 500. — Jean Jennings, president and editor in chief

As part of general spring cleaning, I waxed and polished our 2008 Toyota Tundra with some of the detailing products that Meguiar’s recently brought us. — Joe DeMatio, deputy editor

I drove my 1979 Triumph Dolomite Sprint to a family friend’s wedding about forty miles away. Bride and groom are quite a bit younger than the car. Heck, my wife and I are both younger than the car, and we’ve been married for nine years. Oh well. You love who you love, and Mrs. Blackwell and I love this car. — Rusty Blackwell, copy editor

I drove our Four Seasons Volvo V60 home to Chicago, where I’m eating Italian beef, drinking Revolution Brewing beer, and watching the Chicago Blackhawks play the L.A. Kings. — Chris Nelson, road test editor

Last Memorial Day, I traveled to Southern California with my brother and drove around to visit five different colleges in the area in a Mazda 3 Zipcar. A year later, he has decided to attend Occidental College in L.A. in the fall, so I drove our Four Seasons Kia Cadenza home to Nashville to see him graduate from high school. — Joey Capparella, associate web editor

I listened to the Indy 500 and pretended I was way up in the Turn 1 grandstands — crazed, sweaty and drinking a beer. Of course I was actually in my backyard and looking across the ocean at Santa Catalina Island. — Michael Jordan, senior editor

I spent Saturday with our 2014 Ford Fiesta ST at the SCCA Starting Line school, which teaches car control and introduces students to autocross driving, with driving time spent on slaloms, skidpads, and small coned-off courses. Today, I’ll lower the roof on my Mazda Miata and head to a barbecue. — Jake Holmes, associate web editor

This year—as in every year—I spent the fun weekend celebrating the birthdays of my wife and my dad. It involved a combination of picnics, outdoor grilling, and swimming. Plus, plenty of cake and ice cream. In between all of that, I loved watching the Monaco Grand Prix in the morning followed by the Indy 500 in the afternoon. — Greg Migliore, associate editor

I was among Firestone’s guests at the Indianapolis 500, so I met the 33 drivers on Friday night, then toured the garages and walking the grid on race day. This is my first time at the 500 since 2003. — Ronald Ahrens, contributing writer

Gentlemen, start your (lawn mower) engines! Picked up a riding mower — the first step toward teaching the boy to drive. — Joe Lorio, senior editor

On Sunday morning, I parked myself in front of my television, turned to ABC and continued to watch without pause until the checkered flag fell on the winner of the latest edition of the Indianapolis 500. With the exception of those occasions when I attended the race in person, this is exactly what I’ve done every year since I was a teenager. — Preston Lerner, contributing writer

I planned to drive my beloved toy car, the Honda Beat, but we’re having a series of disastrous thunderstorms, so I cleaned and straightened my office. — Robert Cumberford, design editor

Mario is driving the two-seat Honda Indy race car to lead the field of 33 starters for this year’s Indy 500. He will be the first one to do a “hot lap” before the green flag drops. Mario’s best Memorial Day weekend memory is winning the 1969 Indy 500. – Mario Andretti, former Indy 500 racer, through a publicist

On Memorial Day, Ford’s CEO-to-be Mark Fields will be taking three of his personal performance cars out of his garage for a spin: a 2005 Ford GT (red and white stripe), Ford Mustang Shelby KR (silver with blue stripe) and 2013 Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca (yellow with black stripes). All three cars are signed by Carroll Shelby. — Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company chief operating officer, through a publicist

Here are some of the things we will be doing over the weekend. Hanging out with family and friends. Cruising Woodward, stopping by the Shell Station to check out the cars and getting ice cream. Barbecue at the neighborhood beach with cigars around the campfire in the evening. And probably wrenching on cars. Any excuse to be outside — Tom Peters, General Motors Design

I’ll be with my wife, daughter and son, but I’ll be watching the race at the Speedway. It’s always about the Speedway on Memorial Day for me. I remember as a kid in the 1970s watching the race on this little black-and-white TV, those years with Johnny Rutherford and Tom Sneva. — Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company executive vice president

I’ll be on a pitbox at the Indy 500. I’ve had a lot of great Memorial Days, but maybe the best was 1982, when I was the fastest rookie in the field at the Indy 500. I’d just graduated from college. We had the ex-Andretti Penske PC-9B from the year before, but my speed was stuck in the low 190s. I just couldn’t get flat through Turn 1. My crew chief Mark Luther would call me into the pits every time I started to go slower. Finally I decided I’d show him, and first I finally made it flat through Turn 3 and then I was finally flat through Turn 1, which is the hardest corner. We went 197.705 mph in qualifying, middle of the fourth row. — Chip Ganassi, former Indy 500 racer and owner of Chip Ganassi Racing

Like most years, this Memorial Day weekend I plan to drive as fast as safely possible down to Indianapolis for the 500. My father started taking me down there when I was about 10 years old, and I have continued the family tradition by taking my son nearly every year, although he can’t make it this year, unfortunately. A few years ago I was able to go with both my father and my son, and that was beyond special for me. — Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president for global product development