By the time you read this, Susan and I should be well on our way for our third and final consecutive weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tonight, after we meet up with my oldest brother and his crew, we will all be attending our first-ever Carb Night Burger Bash at 96th St. Steakburgers. Tomorrow morning, we’re headed to the track to see the great Parnelli Jones lead a parade of thirty-three roadsters around the track. After that, Parnelli will have a Q&A session in the Pagoda Plaza. Then we’re headed to the Dallara Factory for a tour before returning to the track for a tenderloin and whatever else we feel like doing. Then it’s Race Day on Sunday.
By now, my friends and co-workers are used to my behavior during the Month of May. They are used to it, but they are still perplexed by it. They don’t get it. I have one co-worker that sort of semi-gets it, because he’s a big NASCAR fan. But I’m not even sure he gets it totally.
If you’re a regular ticket holder to the Indianapolis 500, you may have already received a letter from IMS President Jeff Belskus outlining the ticket price increases for 2014. Curt Cavin reported this past weekend that ticket prices for most seats would be going up “about” 15%, depending where your seats are located. My seats in Stand A are jumping from $85 currently to $100 next year. That’s a 17.6% increase, but that’s OK. Based on my trip over to Stand A last weekend – I think I’m going to like my new seats, although my exact section was closed off.
Now that the starting field has been set for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500, it’s kind of interesting to scan through the field to see the distribution of power through the field. The Top-Ten cars on the grid are all powered by Chevrolet. You have to go all the way back to Alex Tagliani’s Barracuda Racing machine to find the first Honda-powered entry in the eleventh starting spot. Then there are a couple of more Chevy’s before you see Justin Wilson’s Boy Scout entry in the fourteenth spot. After that, it’s Row Six before you find more Hondas. That’s where you find the normally favored cars of Target Chip Ganassi and the points leading ABC Supply car of Takuma Sato. From that point on to the rear of the field, it’s mostly Hondas with a smattering of Chevys.
As many of you know, my son graduated from High School on Saturday afternoon, Pole Day, Mr. Oilpressure and my first Anniversary. Many compromises were made and it was agreed that I would leave the graduation festivities to my son and his friends (Thank you to the find my iPhone app—where I could pretty much track his whereabouts throughout the evening—yes, I’m one of THOSE moms) and fly to Indy Saturday evening—we did manage to be together for 20 minutes of our Anniversary, Mr. Oilpressure being a stickler for dates and times, but you know that about him.
When Katherine Legge became the thirty-third qualifier, also occupying the thirty-third starting position, in the first hour of qualifying – I had no idea that we were looking at the final version of the starting grid for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500. As the afternoon wore on, however, it became obvious that what was on the scoring pylon was the way things would look next Sunday.
First of all, I apologize for not having anything up here first thing this morning. Susan got up here late last night and I actually slept in for the first time since I’ve been here. Then I had a post all ready to go, but I moved my laptop slightly and the battery became askew and my screen went blank. I lost everything I had just written. When I rebooted I was hoping to find it saved as a draft, but no such luck. So I am retyping this from memory. Not happy.