"We had call from IndyCar that their lot was packed with fifth-wheel trailers and that some of the drivers were starting to unload giant wicker-looking baskets," said Indianapolis Police Capt. Buford T. Ticketwriter. "So we responded and it turns out they were hot air balloon enthusiasts who had gotten the wrong message."
"We spoke to IndyCar leaders, and they said they were currently engaged in a Trial Balloon Festival, not a Hot Air Balloon Festival," Ticketwriter said. "It's an easy mistake."
The balloon enthusiasts, clearly deflated, were repacking their gear and leaving the lot by mid-morning.
Observers said the misunderstanding likely came from a festival of trial balloons being floated by IndyCar, including double-file restarts, tiered pitting under yellow, adopting a NASCAR-like lucky dog and most recently a "firm" 26-car cap for each race.
In each case, an idea was floated out publicly as either a "decision" or a "considering" and then monitored for fan reaction. In the case of the lucky dog and 26-car cap, the trial balloons were shot down. Double-file restarts and tiered pitting appear to be still floating.