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Honda Indy 200 set for “Christmas in July” camping theme


Part of the allure and attraction of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is that camping is not only embraced, but a fabric of the Honda Indy 200 race weekend (Sunday, July 31, 2 p.m. ET, CNBC).

Much of that has to do with Mid-Ohio’s literally “middle of Ohio” location in Lexington, far from Columbus, Cleveland or Cincinnati that doesn’t leave a ton of hotels very close to the facility.

But the camping presence is omnipotent around the grounds of the historic 2.258-mile permanent road course, so much so that there’s even a competition for best designed campground.

Honda and Verizon - the race and Verizon IndyCar Series series sponsors, respectively - are combining to then create a “Christmas in July” camping theme this year, because with the race the last day of July rather than one of the first days of August, it creates this fun Christmas-at-a-race weekend mentality.

The hashtag for the weekend is #CampingWithHonda and follows off a successful camping weekend at the track last year.

Guests wishing to reserve camping of RV spots may do so by calling 419-884-4000 or by visiting A Weekend General Admission ticket is required in order to purchase a Tent Camping or Motor Home Camping pass.

Here’s the tentative schedule of events:


Friday, right after the driver meeting – 9:05am. To kick off Christmas in July, a photo opp by the “reindeer car kit” outfitted Honda Racing pace car with all Honda drivers in Honda Indy 200 santa hats.

Honda Racing will host activities for all race fans during the event weekend.


11:50 am “Ugly Hawaiian Shirt” contest judged by Santa and James Hinchcliffe at the stage in the Honda Fan Zone.

2:00 pm “Christmas in July” campsite/camper decorating finalists are chosen with Santa judging. All participants receive a Honda Indy 200 gift. Also the Verizon “best-connected” finalists will also be chosen. This is for the best wireless enabled campsites using technology to show off their holiday spirit.

Post-qualifying (exact time TBD) Campsite/camper decorating and “best-connected winners chosen by Graham Rahal and Conor Daly. (winners for the decorating competition receive a pace car ride, runners up receive Honda-branded camping gear; Verizon finalists receive Verizon gear)

8:00-10 pm A community bonfire and s’mores in the camper area, with live music provided by Columbus’ premier party band “MidLife Crisis”.


Race fans can find Santa in the Fan Zone where Honda and Firestone will be celebrating Christmas in July. There will be photo opps with Santa, candy canes, and for a donation to James Cancer Care facility of Columbus, fans will receive a commemorative Honda Indy 200 Christmas in July ornament.


And here’s Verizon’s presence for the weekend, alongside Honda:

As the series sponsor, Verizon provides fans and customers the ultimate access to the Verizon IndyCar Series. Verizon is joining Honda to celebrate the Christmas in July spirit by selecting and awarding the five most connected campsites that use wireless-enabled technology to bring their holiday spirit to life. Winning campsites will be selected on their ability to showcase how they stay connected on Verizon, America’s best network, even when at the track.


Further participation is possible not just from the Honda contingent of drivers, but also Rising Star Racing, Chevrolet teams and drivers, and perhaps some Mazda Road to Indy participants.

The Mid-Ohio on-track schedule is pretty jam packed from start to finish next weekend, but this ensures those at the track will be entertained at all hours - not just those when cars are running.

Follow @TonyDiZinno