"Is that a man? Yeah, you damn right it is!"

Posted by Iannucci | 7/24/2007 | 2 comments »
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My Name Is IRL holds high regard for anyone who dares to strap themselves into a fenderless machine and race around with others at speeds well in excess of 200 MPH, and we have trememdous admiration for those who are able to succeed against their peers at such high rates of speed.

But there is another category of respect reserved for those who are successful are even more frighteningly dangerous acts involving even higher speeds.

This year your humble correspondent will be attending only a handful of IndyCar races, but one of these events is the Motorola Indy 300 at Infineon Raceway. And now comes word that the Grand Marshal of this event is none other than Chuck Yeager. Excuse me while I gasp in awe.

For those who do not know or haven't read or seen "The Right Stuff", Chuck Yeager is a World War II ace who went on to become the first test pilot to break the speed of sound. Seriously, just rent the movie and watch the first 15 minutes. "There was a demon that lived in the air..."

As a member of the US Air Force, Yeager - now a retired Brigadier General - received the following awards:

  • Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
  • Silver Star, for shooting down five Me-109s in one day, with one oak leaf cluster
  • Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster
  • Distinguished Flying Cross, for an Me-262 kill, with two oak leaf clusters, including first to break the sound barrier
  • Bronze Star Medal, for helping rescue a fellow airman from Occupied France, with “V” device
  • Purple Heart
  • Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters
  • Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with oak leaf cluster
  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
  • Air Force Commendation Medal
  • American Defense Service Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (8 battle stars)
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Congressional Silver Medal
Oh yeah. THAT is a Grand Marshal!


  1. Puretone Audio // July 24, 2007 5:57 AM  

    Look at his quote from the 500:

    "I've probably been here 10 times. I drove the Pace Car twice. I've flown over four times." (About the speeds) "It's all relative to me. I fly 2, 3,000 miles an hour. As long as you don't hit anything, that's all that matters. I've driven these cars, got to 212, 213 (mph). I've driven cars over 600 miles an hour!"

  2. Jennifer Coomer // July 24, 2007 9:30 AM  

    Did you see him in the 500 festival parade? I can't remember if you made it there or not.