When the 1964 Indianapolis 500 was held, I was five years old. No one in my family had ever been to the race before, but my father had always been fascinated by it. He considered a five year-old much too young to take to a race. So he left me with my mother, while he took my two older brothers. I was not pleased.
Even if you didn’t care for the outcome of the Iowa Corn Indy 300, you had to come away knowing you had just seen a thrilling ending to a very exciting race. Over the years, I’ve made it quite clear that Tony Kanaan is one of my favorite drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Since I’m a blogger and not a journalist, I have the freedom to say who I cheer for. I was obviously pulling for Tony Kanaan to get his first win since winning the 2013 Indianapolis 500 and his first victory driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. That’s not to say I don’t like race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, but you pull for your favorites.
The Verizon IndyCar Series heads back to Iowa Speedway this weekend for what has become one of my favorite races. It seems I have recently claimed a lot of tracks that I have on my list to go to, but there really aren’t that many. Pocono, Road America, Mid-Ohio and Milwaukee are all on the list for various reasons. So is Iowa.
Last Thursday, on the eve of the Pocono IndyCar 500, Pocono track president Brandon Igdalsky made headlines when he said that ticket sales were “scary” when compared to last year’s race. He went on to say that he wasn’t sure if his facility would fulfill the final race in the contract for next year. In 2013, open-wheel racing returned to the Poconos after a twenty-three year absence. The first year back produced a surprisingly good crowd of 30,000 to 35,000 that brought a smile to Igdalsky’s face. It was thought that the decent crowd size was a good number to start from as the event grew over the next few years.
What started out as a race of strategy and little action, developed into quite a race in the latter stages. The Pocono IndyCar 500 ran a total of 159 laps before Graham Rahal spun and brought out the only yellow of the afternoon. While Will Power and Juan Montoya seemed content to play the fuel mileage game, Tony Kanaan wanted to run up front. Kanaan led the most laps of the day, but a botched fuel strategy backfired allowing Montoya and Helio Castroneves to coast to a Penske one-two victory.
A year ago, the return to Pocono Raceway to the schedule was one of the most anticipated events of the season. It was the first time open-wheel cars had run at the Tricky Triangle, since Danny Sullivan piloted his Penske/Chevy to victory in 1989.
Many have probably come here today thinking I would go off on a rant about the old scoring pylon at IMS coming down on Monday afternoon. After all, rumor has it that it is to be replaced by something similar to a vertical ribbon-board reminiscent of what’s found running around every stadium in the NFL. Well, before I get jagged out over another iconic landmark at IMS giving way to some modern gadgetry, I will withhold judgment until I see what is supposed to be in its place by mid-July. I’m told by those I trust that at most times, it will look just like the pylon it replaced – except you’ll be able to see it better. Other times, it may morph into some type of vertical video board. If it is as I’ve been told by those that know – I won’t have a huge problem with it. Therefore, I’ll withhold any rants for now.