Welcome To The Month Of May
Welcome to the Month of May. Here locally, the month got off to a wet start as Nashville saw flooding of biblical proportions. My basement/garage flooded, but I was able to get my cars out in time, never lost power and had minimal damage and losses. However, many here lost everything on Sunday. I’m very lucky. I was inconvenienced yesterday. Many in Nashville had their lives changed forever yesterday. Some lost their lives. It’s a bad way to start off the month. Even I realize there are more important things than racing. Yesterday was a not so gentle reminder of that. Please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers. Here’s hoping for better things ahead.
Anyway…this site is now over a year old. I chose to launch it on May 1 of last year, simply because it was the beginning of the Month of May. To any fan of the Indianapolis 500, this is a sacred time of year. To commemorate the month, I plan to post here on a daily basis every weekday throughout the month. I probably won’t post on the first two weekends, but will post from the track during the qualifying weekend and also race weekend.
When I was growing up, the track opened for practice on May 1 and was open for the entire month every day up until qualifying was complete. The race was always run on Memorial Day, May 30, no matter which day of the week it fell on. I recall going to races on Wednesday as a child, it seemed normal at the time but would be rather bizarre now.
The Month of May continues to grow shorter and shorter. With all of the teams running the same car now for the past several years, it just doesn’t take too long to get a handle on the setup. There are not a whole lot of changes on these cars from one year to the next. There are a few aero tweaks that were given back to the teams last August at Kentucky, but it shouldn’t take too long to sort them out.
There is only one week of qualifying this year. With no real reason to be sorting out a car everyone is way too familiar with, it just doesn’t make too much financial sense to have the teams and crewmembers hanging around the track all month. What the Speedway has done is to give the fans two jam-packed days of qualifying as they experiment with a new pole-day format that takes its cue from the Firestone Fast Six qualifying on the non-ovals. Twenty-four cars will qualify on the first day. After 4:00, the top nine qualifiers will be locked into the first three rows, but then they will battle it out between those nine to see who not only gets the pole – but who can improve their position within the first three rows. It sounds interesting in theory. I’m anxious to see how it all plays out.
One of the many great traditions of the month begins tonight when Donald Davidson kicks off another season of The Talk of Gasoline Alley on WFNI 1070 “The Fan” in Indianapolis to answer questions “…of a nostalgic nature about the Indianapolis 500”. You can listen live online at 6:00 Eastern each weeknight or catch the archived shows posted later on their website. These are “must-have” items for your i-Pod. This season Kevin Lee, who will act as somewhat of a host – much the way Dave “The King” Wilson did a few years ago, joins Donald. One slight change this season will be that e-mails will be incorporated into the show. They will still take callers, but Kevin will sort through e-mails before the show in order to streamline things a bit.
Then we’ll get another bonus each night at 7:00 Eastern time as Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee go nightly during the Month of May following Donald Davidson each weeknight. If that didn’t cut into our nightly productivity enough, the Speedway opens on Saturday May 15 and practice will be shown online all day, every day up until qualifying. That way, our days will be about as productive as our nights in May.
Most of my daily posts this month will be of a personal nature. I attended my first Indianapolis 500 in 1965 at the ripe old age of six, but my memories of that day are somehow just as vivid as if it happened last week. I am one of the few people my age that can say they saw roadsters and Novi’s compete at Indianapolis. Since that first experience at Indy, I have attended roughly half of the races run since then – although I had a stretch from 1973 through 1991, where I did not attend at all. Then I returned in 1992 and have not missed the race since 2002.
I’ll be sharing my impressions, my experiences and my preferences about all sorts of things; but everything I write this month will pertain to the Indianapolis 500. This is why I follow this sport. I tend to drive everyone I know absolutely crazy during the Month of May. I fully enjoy the other sixteen races on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule, but they pale in comparison for what this event does for me. When Opening Day at the track comes on May 15, it’s like Christmas Eve for two solid weeks to me. The anticipation, the excitement and all the storylines that appear along the way make the Month of May something truly unique.
So join me on a daily basis this month, here at Oilpressure.com. Feel free to chime in on the comments section to share any Indy memories that you have. It should be a great month.