Welcome To Legend’s Day At IMS

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Good morning from a sunny and not-too-crowded Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s Legend’s day. This year’s Legend to be honored is Mario Andretti.

First of all…contrary to popular belief, I was not abducted in the Carb Day crowd. But my afternoon filled up with an unexpected surprise. Through happenstance and good fortune, I somehow lucked into a ride in the two-seater at IMS. I’m close friends with a sponsor here that had one opening in the two-seater rides they were giving for their guests. As an act of kindness, they asked me if I wanted to do it. Needless to say, they did not have to twist my arm. Susan is going to put up a post about the whole thing a little later, but suffice it to say, it was unbelievable!

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If you think it looks easy on television, think again. The g-forces in the turns are unimaginable. I had the feeling the entire back-end was going to step out at any moment. We also got very close to the wall in the short-chute between Turns Three and Four. How these drivers do that in traffic while trying to beat others to the corner is unimaginable.

Anyway, we’re about to head to the stands for the parade of vintage race cars around the track at 9:30. Back in a bit.

George Phillips

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One Response to “Welcome To Legend’s Day At IMS”

  1. George, what an experience that must have been for you! I do know what it is like to get very close to the wall at the North end of the track.
    Years ago, a day or two before the race, media members were able to take laps as passengers in pace cars. I was in the front passenger seat of the actual pace car, riding with the driver who was going to pace the start (I don’t remember his name or which pace car it was). As we approached Turn 3, our driver had to dive low to avoid one of the tour buses. The bus then moved low, blocking our line, so our driver turned right go go to the outside.
    When we no longer had any other option, the bus moved high again.
    A computer chip was limiting our speed that day to 140 and the driver had his foot pressed to the floor. The bus was coming up, we were getting very close to the wall and there didn’t seem to be any way we were going to get through!
    I’m sure a piece of paper wouldn’t have fit between our right side mirror and the wall. I think we missed the bus by an even narrower margin, but we got through.
    The driver said “That wasn’t what I wanted to show you. We’ll take another lap,” so we went around again.
    I still pull my arms in and hold my breath when I see cars drift right up to the wall.

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