INDIANAPOLIS — Mother's Day has a tendency to turn into Father's Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway,.
Here, family ties have been a regular May feature, and this time is no different.
Three father-and-son teams -- Marco and Michael Andretti, Bob and Buddy Lazier and Bobby and Graham Rahal -- are trying to qualify for this year's Indianapolis 500. If the three tandems each make it onto the 33-car starting grid, track officials believe it would be a race first. Here, it's all business.
"It is weird," Michael Andretti said. "I've probably spent all of my Mother's Days here except one, so yeah, it is more like Father's Day."
Not that they necessarily like it that way.
But there was certainly a motherly feel at the 2.5-mile oval Sunday.
Track officials selected longtime Indianapolis 500 ticket-holder Emily Sylvester, a mom, to be the honorary track starter. Seven family members watched as she waved the green flag to start practice.
And Sarah Fisher, the only female owner in IndyCars, spent the day shuttling between Gasoline Alley and Pit Row. She said she planned to celebrate the day with her husband and daughter, who will turn 2 in September.
"You know, I wish my mom could be here," Fisher said. "They had some issues a couple of weeks ago with some things, so she wasn't able to come this weekend, but it's really special to be here at home and with my daughter and the whole family.
Most of the competitors here don't have that option and the ones who do are usually surrounded by fathers, not moms.
"I don't know where my mom is, I've got to call her," Graham Rahal said as he sat in the team's hospitality tent when Sunday's practice began. "I told her she should come on over here. If would be great if she was here for Mother's Day because today is about mothers, you know. Every day for me is pretty much Father's Day."