Mr. & Mrs. Oilpressure Tie The Knot At IMS

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Most that have read this site for some time know that some of my most cherished memories have occurred at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The hallowed ground that has been the birthplace of so much racing history is also where I have so many personal recollections since I started attending races there in 1965. Well, Friday night’s memory has topped them all. This sacred place will now always be remembered as the place where Susan Scruggs and I got married.

It was a small intimate ceremony attended by a few friends who made the trip from Tennessee. We are fortunate that we have met some wonderful new friends who have access to a private suite at the track and they allowed us to hold our wedding ceremony there.

For those that don’t know, Susan and I met and dated over thirty-five years ago during the second half of our freshman year (1977) at the University of Tennessee and into the first half of sophomore year. It was the first full-fledged college flame for both of us. As most of those go, it was non-stop and intense. Below are a few incriminating photos from 1977.

Geo&Sue

GeoSusanMay77

GeoSusan Summer77

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Also as most college romances do, ours ended. Susan will say that I dumped her in favor of my fraternity. I’ll claim she chose a football player over me. Whatever the case, we crossed paths only a few more times in college and never saw each other again after 1981 – for twenty years, that is. After one marriage each and two kids apiece, we re-connected by chance in 2001.

It was as if we never missed a beat. Neither of us had ever forgotten about the other throughout those twenty-five years after we dated. When we re-connected, we were good friends at first, but as time moved on; we both realized that we were meant to be. We are different in many ways, but to borrow an overused cliché – we are soul mates. We compliment each other and make up for each other’s deficiencies, although I think I have a lot more than she does.

Even before my first marriage in 1986, I had always carried this secret dream of getting married at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – but it was nothing more than a fantasy, because I knew of no way to pull it off. Through this blog however, I have met and made many new friends over the past few years. When the idea of marriage to Susan became more than a dream, I approached my friends to see if it was possible to do this at IMS. When they enthusiastically agreed, I surprised Susan with the locale, long before I gave her the ring on the morning of the St. Petersburg race. To my pleasant surprise, she was all for it.

We didn’t go all-out for the whole racing motif. We didn’t want to be in firesuits wearing helmets. That would have been just a little too tacky. Instead, I wore a suit and Susan wore a dress. But the affair was not completely devoid of the racing theme. My boutonniere was accented with a checkered ribbon, while Susan’s flowers were the exact same orchids as those found in the Borg-Warner wreath that graces the winner of the Indianapolis 500 in Victory Lane. Plus, our “guest book” was an oversized checkered flag with the Wing & Wheel bought in the IMS gift shop.

Susan’s best friend, Peggy Jennings and her daughter, Hannah, came up from Clarksville, TN for Peggy to serve as Susan’s Matron of Honor. My Best Man was my very good friend and co-worker John McLallen, from the One Take Only videos. Performing the ceremony, was another close friend of Susan’s, Karen Kluever of Charlotte, NC.

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So will there be a honeymoon? You bet – but that comes after the race. We will both be at the track all weekend long. Then we actually return to reality and go back to our respective jobs for a few days, before returning for the race. Then after the race, we return to Nashville before hopping on a plane headed to a location that has a beach. I hope you’ll forgive me if this site takes a hiatus for a few days then, although I’ll probably post something from our tropical locale after the Belle Isle race.

We want to thank those that came; as well as Paul Dalbey from More Front Wing, who kindly served as our photographer. We also want to give a very special “Thank You” to our very good friends who were kind enough to give us access to their suite and for all the preparations that they should not have done. You helped create an unbelievable memory and fulfill a lifetime dream.

Without turning this post into a romance novel, suffice it to say that we are both very happy to finally be together. I feel as if I’ve married my best friend, and I don’t think anyone could ask for anything better than that. It’s been a long road with lots of obstacles, but we’re finally here.

OK – Now, it’s qualifying weekend!

George & Susan Phillips

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40 Responses to “Mr. & Mrs. Oilpressure Tie The Knot At IMS”

  1. So, Honeymoon in Japan I assume.

  2. Matt Borger Says:

    Well, I feel like two friends just got married. Never miss your blog but have only commented one other time. Just had to write and say congratulations! What a cool way to get it done. I’ll also be at the track tomorrow for pole day. Enjoy the weekend you two!

  3. Judy in Texas Says:

    Jeez, I nearly have tears in my eyes after reading about you and Susan and seeing the photos. Congratulations and best wishes! It’s wonderful to know that the love you had for each other in college never diminished and that you found each other again.

    And George, when Helio is introduced at the Indy 500, please cheer for me too!

  4. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you both. All of the pictures were great, too!

  5. billytheskink Says:

    Much congratulations to the both of you! I can’t imagine there are too many things that top the memory created by getting married at the Speedway. Very cool.

  6. Congratulations ! What a cool way to get married.

  7. Yannick Says:

    Congratulations to the 2 of you. Reading about your story, you have really come full circle here, the Winners’ circle that is! Here’s wishing you a great honeymoon.

  8. SkipinSC Says:

    Congartulations, George and Susan. I can’t imagine a better and more fitting place to have the nuptials. Awesome. (Although considering the weather they’ve had this week, IMS may require that you repeat the cerfemony every year, just to ward off the rain gods.)

    Seriously, my best to you both.

  9. Congrats! That’s a great story.

  10. That. Is. Awesome. Huge congratulations to you both, George and Susan, and may this year’s 500 be the first of many you attend together in wedded bliss. I only wish I were going to be at the track today to wish you well in person, but I guess that will have to wait until next weekend. Until then, enjoy!

  11. Deborah in Wilmington Says:

    Congratulations Susan and George. The pictures are beautiful . I’m glad everything worked out for you. Enjoy your weekend!

  12. Way to go, George! You deserve some happiness in your life. I’m very happy for you and Susan.

  13. Travis R Says:

    Awesome! Congratulations!

  14. I’m still laughing at the Japan comment.

    Congratulations Susan and George, happy for you both.

  15. George I appreciate the enthusiasm and all but if the Honeymoon involves going to the Speedway Museum….

  16. Leigh O'Gorman Says:

    Excellent stuff George and Susan. Congratulations — I wish you both the best and for a long and happy marriage.

  17. Lawrence Stoen Says:

    Congratulations George and Susan! We now have one more thing in common: My wife Tammy and I were also married at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 16th Street and Georgetown Road on Saturday, May 25th, 1996. Best Wishes!!

  18. What a great story. Congrats from one of the few fellow INDYCAR fans in Nashville!

  19. George and Susan, this is great. I am happy for both of you. I wish you the best in this journey together. I’m sure yo both know you will probably “hit the wall” a few times, but you both also know that you learn from that, put the pieces back together, work hard and get back on track. (My second engagement photo was taken by Ron McQueeny at the entrance of Turn 1 with the main straight and scoring pylon as the background.)

  20. Jill Rathert Says:

    What a great story!! I love happy endings! We miss sweet Susan’s face at the hockey rink!! Congrats and blessings!

  21. Robin Pippin Says:

    Congratulations!

  22. Megan K. Bickel Says:

    I’m very excited for you both. Congratulations!! You are two of the best folks I’ve met thanks to the IndyCar online community and it is just perfect that you got married at the IMS. May you enjoy many, many happy years together!!

  23. George & Susan,

    Congratulations and Godspeed!

  24. C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !

  25. Carburetor Says:

    Congratulations to both of you! While watching pole day today, my wife (who loves Susan’s posts) predicted that the two of you were going to tie the knot this weekend. We loved the photos, and wish the two of a lifetime of happiness. We so enjoy your posts! Have great fun on the honeymoon!

  26. bent wickerbill Says:

    Apparently I was correct on my initial hunch… Here is wishing for many more happy days ahead for both you and Susan, George.

  27. George and Susan,
    Carol and I are very happy for you two, and wish you the very best life has to offer. And George, you won’t have to hear me say “When are you going to get married to Susan”, anymore. Congratulations to you both!

    Mike and Carol Davis

  28. Congratulations George & Susan!

  29. Herman Flowers Says:

    Condgrats to both of you.

  30. james t suel Says:

    Congratulations George &Susan ,i think its neat being married at the speedway.

  31. Ron Ford Says:

    George, you are nothing if not cool. Congratulations to you and Susan.

    Thanks for the photos. You clean up nice.

    I sincerely hope you do not blog while on your honeymoon and that no extra “boost” is needed.

  32. George and Susan. I wish you nothing but the best. What a great story. I’m a old fuddy duddy romantic at heart and this is fantastic. Enjoy the race. Hope to bump into you both sometime during the weekend.

    • Randy Holbrook Says:

      Congratulations to you both and I hate to say it George but I think you out kicked your coverage with this one. Best of luck to you.

  33. Sally Halle Says:

    Georgie–
    I am so proud and happy for you. Please tell Susan how happy we are for her too! Love your Blog—will keep reading!

  34. Mike Lis Says:

    Congratulations! I can appreciate how special it is. I proposed to my wife on the track in 2009. Best wishes to you both.

  35. Jim Gallo Says:

    Belated Congratulations to both of you. We were married only days after the 1973 race, which should have been an omen to the days that followed! Good luck to both of you and hoping many more happy years to be together.

  36. Simon Garfunkel Says:

    George, first of all I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations to both you and Susan. I also want to let you know how envious I am. How cool is that, to get to marry the girl of your dreams at such a location?

    Susan, I can tell by what I’ve read over the years, that you’re gonna have your hands full. I hope you like Indycar racing as much as you say, or you’re gonna have some awfully empty Sundays. It sounds like he has landed a fantastic woman. I think George is mighty lucky.

    Best of luck to you both!

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