We went to the Tweet-Up in the Pagoda Plaza to meet a lot of old and new friends. I’m telling you – this place is packed. This crowd seems a lot bigger than last year’s pre-race crowd. I don’t know if it’s the good weather or what. But that will look good on ABC if practically every seat is filled for the over-head camera shots.
It was an interesting Legends Day at the track for us. Instead of walking around taking photos of the same strange people and places, I went down to the track and got some pictures of the Driver’s Meeting and Award Presentation and just some random shots of what was going on around the track.
Good morning from a sunny and somewhat smoky Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The smoke is coming from the camping grounds in the Coke lot across from Turn Four. It has drifted over The Speedway and created sort of a blue haze. I’m hoping it goes away because it’s kind of hard to breathe. I come here wanting to smell ethanol and tires burning – not camp fires.
Give the folks at 16th and Georgetown credit. They are trying new things. When you try new things, sometimes you hit a home run. Sometimes you bet a base hit, but more times than not – you either strike out or get thrown out at first. It used to be that there was absolutely nothing going on at the track on the Saturday before the race. All these people were making their annual pilgrimage to this great facility and they had nothing to do but go to the museum and the gift shop.
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!
As we were driving through the mob in the infield of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I had to ask myself why I was here. Yes, I’m old – but this wasn’t my bag thirty years ago. I was never of the shirtless, throw a Frisbee walk barefoot crowd. Most will not be surprised that I worse shorts, tennis shoes and polos to any large gathering like this. Now, it’s just expected of my age group.
Three-hundred and sixty-two days ago, we all watched Tony Kanaan win a very popular 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Now that we’re almost a year removed from it – I’d have to say it ranks up there with some of the most popular in recent years. Certainly, Dan Wheldon’s second victory in 2011 was near the top. Watching Helio Castroneves celebrate winning his third win in 2009 – just a month after being acquitted for tax evasion, was popular with many fans. Although he was never one of my personal favorites, Sam Hornish passing Marco Andretti just before the yard of bricks ranks near the top for many fans. So who will be drinking the milk in a couple of days? That remains to be seen.