A day at the speedway

Posted by Iannucci | 5/26/2007 | 3 comments »
Bookmark and Share

Oh, it's so good to be back! Being a resident of Arizona and having four little ones has eliminated my opportunities to return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for nearly a decade, but it was worth the wait once we got there. Walking up to the intersection of 16th and Georgetown, P1 nearly had a heart attack.

"Oh my god! Is that the pagoda? I think I'm going to faint!" What an adorable little drama queen.

Fortunately we arrived early, so we snagged some seats near the Yard of Bricks in the upper deck on the outside of the track. On Sunday, we'd have to kill somebody to get those seats, but on Carb Day we were living large.

Unfortunately the P1's camera was unavailable for Carb Day, so I can't give you the picture of the day. It would have been when the ICS teams were reading for practice and Dario Franchitti's car was dropped off it's jacks while the rear wheels were off, making a very large "CLANG" type noise. Mr Judd had been chatting with Marco and Tony, but he suddenly turned his head, mouth agape, and just stared while crew members all stood around looking at each other. Priceless.

The practice itself was uneventful except that it was very obvious Milka Duno was A LOT slower than everyone. If you have Milkalicious in your Indy 500 pool, you might be looking at "first out" money already.

Speaking of Duno, P1 and I were at the track with Link (my father-in-law), who is a longtime friend of Ron McQueeney, Director of IMS Photography. McQueeney said everyone is impressed with Duno's personality and willingness to sign autographs for hours (and hours), but that there is concern that her Citgo-related buddy Hugo Chavez might be at the Speedway on Sunday.

Personally, I can't think of a better place for this jerk ass then among hundreds of thousands of adrenalin-fueled and alcohol-powered Mid-westerners. Especially after reading this article in the Pueblo Chieftain that was forwarded by Red-Blooded American MoneyCJ. So at any rate, the Milka conundrum continues.

After testing it was time for the Freedom 100, which managed to be both exciting and boring in the span of 40 laps. Congratulations to Alex Lloyd for running away with his fourth straight Indy Pro victory, which I will always remember for something that has little to do with Alex.

The ESPN had their full crew covering the race, including the return of The Ponytail herself, Big Jamie Little. (During the day I heard the fans behind me excitedly point out three people on pit road: Mario Andretti, Tony George, and Jamie Little. It's true.) Anyhow, at the end of the race Brienne Pedigo got to handle the interview with Lloyd, and while listening to the scanner of the raw feed I heard Jamie exclaim "Oh Bree, it's your first Victory Lane!"

Maybe you had to be there, but I couldn't help thinking of the word embrace. In a related note, I did see Jamie and Dan Wheldon embrace at one point, and all seemed right with the world again.

Two of the most notable efforts in the race came from Hideki Mutoh and Mike Potekhen, who both went to the back of the pack on the first lap because of pitting but then surged in like 25 green laps to fifth and sixth respectively.

The accomplishment of the day was by Ryan Justice, who got tapped and turned nearly sideways between two cars but somehow straightened it out and saved the car without contacting anything. The crowd applauded both the TV replay and his pit entry immediately afterwards. Somebody buy that man a drink.

Afterwards was the Pit Stop contest, which was really annoying. If you go to an NBA game nowadays there is music constantly playing, as if the event needs a soundtrack. Somebody at IMS must have noticed this because they got the not-so-bright idea that the Pit Stop contest needed a DJ cranking out music with obscene lyrics that was so loud you couldn't hear the announcer of the event. You couldn't even hear the tires squealing on burnout.

And the Kid Rock concert came AFTER this.

Seriously, if the marketing folks are only going to target drunken college students then go ahead and jack the price of beer up to $7 because everyone else is leaving early.

Even more amazing is that there was no announcement over the Public Address system about what happened on the track during the Kid Rock show. They hauled out over a dozen vintage Indy vehicles and had them drive around the track, and even P1 was impressed. I'm not old enough to have heard turbines or Offys, but this was a rare opportunity to see and hear these historic cars - once they turned down the music. Why didn't they promote this? I mean, even the easily bored P1 thought it was cool.

Sincerest apologies to those folks hoping to get together with P1 and me on Firday. Link didn't want to walk anywhere and we didn't want to leave him with three coolers and a bunch of merchandise. Also a special thank you to Ron McQueeney for his hospitality, which was amazing considering he just worked 8 hours in the sun and then had to shoot photos of a Kid Rock concert on top of that.

That's it for now. We are getting our camera charged and will be back on Sunday. In the meantime, check out the real and totally unfabricated Pressdog interview with Tony Kanaan.


  1. Anonymous // May 26, 2007 9:28 AM  

    wow what a nice blog entry.

    It's joyful that you can share this with your Daughter (this is P1 right?)

    My wife is packing the coolers with Wal Mart chicken and making Spam musubi as I type. this is our pre race routine.

    I'll be in the "N" lot stop by and say "hi" I'll bring an extra Fosters and Spam musubi.


  2. Anonymous // May 26, 2007 2:01 PM  

    I arrived at Mecca at approximately 1 PM today. Immediately got an enormous IMS beer just outside of Gasoline Alley, rolled with the pressdog (who was weighed down by the many many sweet ass credentials hanging from his neck. Playa.) Also gave some shout outs to Arni and NPH Brienne who was sporting some very tight jeans which brought a small tear to my eye...but that's another story for another time...

    Anywho, I missed J-Lil, but p-dog ran into her prior to my arrival, told her I was en route, and apparently she fainted w excitement. Generally, that's what chicks do when they learn of my impending arrival...what can I do...it's a gift.

    Jeffy, I am pumped. Cant wait to see you and P1 tomorrow. You gonna announce my pick, or do I need to do it here?...

    I'll be rolling in tower terrace with my white rimmed DannyPimp sunglasses and my pressdog shirt. Look for me, people...gonna be a great day....

  3. Anonymous // May 26, 2007 4:48 PM  

    OK, first of all, Father of the Year goes to Jeff. Taking the youngster to Indy? Total trump card. I can't match it. He's Da Man. All I could do was shake down the merch tent for some Sarah Fisher shirts for the kids back home. Money is a thug. Chicks all over him. Chippy lighting up his cell wanting to know if he wants to test at Milwaukee. I saw Jamie and Bre inches apart. The concrete started to buckle from the heat. Totally on fire for the race. Let's light this candle!