A Madden on the Indy Racetrack. Beware!

Downtown St. Pete is gearing up for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race this weekend and my friend, Maeghan Madden, has already tested tire traction on the popular waterfront stretch of track. Meaghan, her boyfriend, Colton Roberts, and her mom, Laura, visited on Monday all the way from Blanchard, Oklahoma!! Ok, they were on their way to Disney but I’m so glad they detoured for a beach & Foxtrot meet-up. We spent the day at Clearwater among the Spring Break crowd. We left Pier 60 Beach separately. I explained that, due to the Indycar track construction downtown, they would have to weave their way through the concrete barriers put up for the race in order to get down to the marina. Me, I am known to freeze up at the mere sight of the words “Keep Out.” Perhaps even turn right around and go home. So my instructions may have been a bit overdone. “Just ignore any Road Ending or Keep out signs,” I said. “Drive right through!” I implored, like they might call later from Orlando with their regrets. Really, I so underestimate the Maddens. The Maddens, I should know, drive anywhere they please. I once sat shotgun in Laura’s suburban, chasing a golf cart on fire, nervously suggesting we pursue on foot. Laura kept offroading through the nicely manicured lawns, down to the rugged terrain right at the edge of Lake Eufaula . It was dry that year (surprise) and the water’s retreat left an axle-snapping minefield of logs and potholes. Without slowing, she intercepted the incendiary golf cart which was about to start its fourth little fire in the dry grass. Another time, Laura took us down a one-way street in Dallas the wrong way because, well, we could see the Dallas Museum of Art parking lot right there and no one was coming down the street at us. Art mustn’t be kept waiting! So Maeghan has bold driving genes, so to speak. So last night, Maeghan went right past the marina entrance and onto the actual Indycar racetrack. She made it up near the grandstand area which may even be near the ever crucial “Turn One.” Once she realized she had passed the marina, she whipped around and headed down the stretch again back to the marina entrance. I wish she’d have timed it. Her parents have been known to huddle up at Turn One, assessing Indy driver strategy and I’m sure they’d like to compare her speed to this weekend’s racers.

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