For many years, make that decades; I’ve been going to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – since 1965, to be exact. In that near half-century, I’ve witnessed a lot of changes. The first race I attended there still had some roadsters powered by Offenhausers and Novis. There were no Turn Two Suites and not near as many stands in the north-end as there are now. Infield parking was allowed in all four turns and the Snake Pit was not a corporate sponsored organized party event. It just spontaneously erupted each year inside Turn one.
The Verizon IndyCar Series just held their final double-header weekend of the season, with the Honda Indy Toronto. That’s now six in the past two seasons. After last season, I think most would agree that the jury was still out on the double-header concept but there seemed to be some optimism surrounding the idea of running two complete races in two days at a few events. After two full seasons of double-headers, I would say that the optimism from a year ago has waned.
If I had to sum up the Honda Indy Toronto this past weekend in one word, it would be – “exhausting”. It had to be exhausting for the teams and crewmembers. I’m sure it was exhausting for the drivers. I’m also quite certain that those brave and devoted fans that sat out in rain are exhausted this morning. It was even exhausting for those of us at home that had the luxury to come and go at our leisure.
Before discussing the upcoming double-header at Toronto this weekend, I would like to acknowledge the loss within the IndyCar community this week. Famed broadcaster Gary Lee passed away Monday at the age of 63. Gary was a regular on the old Saturday Night Thunder USAC shows on ESPN in the late eighties and early nineties. I most remember him for his melodious voice and how he used that voice to make some very memorable calls on the IMS Radio Network from Turn Two during the Indianapolis 500. I would like to send my condolences to the friends and family of Gary Lee.
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.