If you follow this sport for very long, you learn to understand that rain is as much a part of the Month of May as The Gordon Pipers and a breaded tenderloin sandwich. Not long after my last post, I went wandering the garage area when the scattered sprinkles turned to a shower. I ducked into one of the hallways for the restrooms in one of the garage buildings. Unfortunately, so did everyone else. It was steamy and crowded. Worst of all, there was no phone service. The rain lasted longer than I expected – of course, I didn’t think it would rain at all.
Archive for the IndyCar Category
Epic. Incredible. Spectacular. Outstanding. Best racing on the planet. Instant classic. These were some of the glowing terms I saw on Twitter immediately following yesterday’s Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300; and for good reason – this may have been one of the most exciting races I have ever seen on any type of circuit and in any series. There were no late-race penalties to decide the outcome. There was no artificial fabrication (excuse the redundancy) with a green-white-checker finish. It was just good hard racing that was decided between the drivers on the track, with James Hinchcliffe making the move of the season to pass Takuma Sato on the final turn to take the win.
Call me old fashioned, but I’ve always considered the month of May to be the exclusive domain of the Indianapolis 500 on the open-wheel calendar. For only the fourth time in the eighteen-year existence of what is now known as the IZOD IndyCar Series, there is another race scheduled outside of Indianapolis to take place during the month of May. In 1999, the series ran the ill-fated race in Charlotte on May 1st. I was sitting in Turn One of that race when three spectators were fatally injured by an errant tire flying over the Turn Four catch fence. In 2010, the last IndyCar race at Kansas Speedway was also run on May 1st, which was a Saturday. The following year, the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 was scheduled to run on May 1st, but weather forced postponement to Monday May 2nd.
This past week, ESPN announced two moves concerning their coverage of the Indianapolis 500 and the IZOD IndyCar Series. Not that it matters to them what an over-aged blogger in Nashville, TN thinks – but I heartily approve of both moves.
When we were at Barber Motorsports Park a couple of weeks ago, one thing I wrote about was how a large number of those in attendance for qualifying seemed to have no clue what was going on. When I mentioned it here, there were varying opinions on the subject.
Unless someone grew up an avid Mario Andretti fan in the sixties and still carries a grudge against AJ Foyt from those days – you’ll be hard pressed to find many people that didn’t come away from yesterday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with a very happy feeling. To see Takuma Sato win the race in dominating fashion was justification for Larry Foyt and all of the hard work he has put into rebuilding his famous father’s team. The only thing that would’ve made it better was to have seen AJ himself on hand to witness the victory. Unfortunately, the elder Foyt is getting ready for surgery on Wednesday to repair his sciatic nerve. Having had a few bouts with that myself over the years, I can relate. He wants to be mobile for the month of May.
Last week, with no IndyCar race to watch, Susan and I did a lot of yard work – and I mean, a lot of yard work. While planting trees along the property line, we finally met the neighbor directly behind our house. After we exchanged a few pleasantries, we revealed that we were still technically newlyweds and that we had exchanged vows at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the evening before Pole Day last year. I figured we’d get the same blank stare from him that we get from most people here. Instead, he revealed he is a west-coaster and an IndyCar fan who always used to go to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. He immediately began telling us stories of watching Al Unser, Jr., Danny Sullivan and Mario Andretti conquer The Beach. Knowledgeable IndyCar fans are hard to come by in Nashville. We may have met a new friend.