Saturday, May 23, 2015

Indy 500

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, Indian

I like open wheel racing, Indy-Car, Indy Lites, the new formula -E-series, Formula One.  My love affair with Indy-car began as a teen, back the wild west days when many of the cars were once of a kind, and the rules were very liberal.  There is something magical about a car going by at 220 miles per hour. 

I have not been to Indianapolis for the big race, I avoid huge crowds and traffic jams.  I have been there a couple of times for qualifying weekends.  Indy is the "BIG SHOW" in the season, qualifying takes place over a couple of weekends before the race.  When I was in Lexington it was only a 3-4 drive to Indy, tickets for qualifying weekends are cheap (as I recall $15.)  The crowds are small and most of the track is open to explore.  The only thing I couldn't get into was Pit Lane - you needed a sponsor badge for that - I tried to buy one of those from a 12 year old ticket scalper in the parking lot one time, but he didn't want to sell, he did sell me sponsor general admission tickets but not the pit passes that went with them.  I dare say he sold those for a nice premium later.  You can get right in behind the pits on the pre-race weekends, areas that are closed on race day. You get close enough to see and hear the drivers talking to their crews, you will be surprised at how small the drivers are.  There is a nice museum in the infield.  

The drivers, teams and owners are extremely competitive spending days working on a fraction of a second on a 2.5 mile track, and yet there is something gentile about open wheel racing.  They make no secret of being the toys of wealth sponsors. There is a graceful elegance in the lines of a car built to push the envelope of speed.  

I detest NASCAR - they talk about the Ford, or Chevy - or Toyota, but not a single part of that car came down the assembly line. The language, culture and tone of NASCAR turns me off, but then I am not their market.  


  1. look at you standing there; "gentlemen, start your engines!"; you flap your flippers and off they go!

  2. Flappy paddle gear shifting began in open wheel racing.