With all the prognosticating that will go on for the remainder of the Month of May, the usual names are tossed about. Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon are the most common picks, because between the three of them – there are seven Indianapolis 500 victories. Picking any of them is not really a case of sticking your neck out. Just behind them might be Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay and perhaps James Hinchcliffe and Takuma Sato. Ryan Briscoe may be a sentimental favorite since he is no longer a full-time driver. Tony Kanaan has been a sentimental favorite for years and will be again this year, mainly because his window of opportunity is closing.
At this time of year, it is usually a hot topic of discussion to debate who the best drivers were that never won the Indianapolis 500. The usual names tossed about are Lloyd Ruby, Michael Andretti, Ted Horn and Rex Mays along with several others. There is one name that is usually lacking from the discussion that should arguably be included – Scott Goodyear.
Although I am paying for it this morning, it was a full and fun weekend. Opening Day was all I hoped it would be – even though it was probably the coldest day I’ve spent at IMS with cars on track since Race Day in 1992 (it was 48-degrees when we got there Saturday around noon). I feel quite certain that we are in for a cold Race Day this year. Why? Well, two reasons. First, it has been one of the coldest springs that I can remember. Second – I, and my entire group, have moved our tickets across the track to Stand A. We got so tired of getting battered by the sun and intense heat while sitting in the Pit Road Terrace, that sitting in the shade during the race sounded inviting. With my luck – now that we’re in the shade, I feel like we’ll have the coldest race in history. Oh, well – life’s a gamble.
And so it begins…Tomorrow morning begins our three weekend odyssey to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, weather permitting. Only once before have I made three trips in three consecutive weekends – that was in 1995. I had bought the bronze badges to get into the garage area. My soon-to-be ex-wife went with me to Pole Day weekend. Then my oldest brother joined me for the second qualifying weekend, including one of the most historic Bump Day’s ever – when both Marlboro Team Penske cars failed to make the race. Then it was back for the third weekend in a row with my wife for the race.
It’s that time of year again. It’s time for the annual Oilpressure.com Indianapolis 500 Trivia Contest. As usual, there are thirty-three questions listed below that are guaranteed to make you sweat a little bit. Last year, I thought there was no chance that anyone would get them all correct. Not only did someone do it, a lot of people did it. So I had to revert to scoring the last lap – I looked to see which of the all-correct answers I received first.
The official entry list for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 was released yesterday with few surprises – except that there are only thirty-three cars entered for thirty-two drivers. For the most part – that’s a good thing. There was a time just a couple of weeks ago that it looked doubtful if they were going to be able to hit the magic number of thirty-three cars. You have to go all the way back to 1941 to find a year when less than thirty-three started the race. That was due to an early morning garage fire on Race Day that eliminated the car of George Barringer. Sam Hanks had been injured in a crash before the race and also didn’t start.
If you’ve ever spent any time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, chances are you’ve encountered a member of the IMS Safety Patrol or “Yellow Shirts” as they are commonly called now. For the most part, my experience with the Yellow Shirts has been very favorable – as opposed to what I’ve dealt with from local law enforcement officials on race morning outside the Speedway. Last year, I made the mistake of questioning an officer’s instructions on 16th Street. The next thing I knew, he was shouting at the top of his lungs and threatening to have me arrested. Since I didn’t care for the thought of spending the 500 in a cell, I reluctantly shut my mouth – but I digress.