A Family Affair At IMS

Finally, it’s race morning. As you read this, we are probably sitting in traffic somewhere on 16th Street, like a few thousand other fans. We’ll probably utter a few obscenities every time one of those police escorts zips by with someone that is obviously more important than we mere mortals that are sitting still.

We all know the significance of this race – the one hundredth anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. But personally, it holds an added significance. While growing up, my father took myself and/or my two older brothers to the race and qualifying for practically every year from 1964 to 1972. For whatever reason, my father chose to stop going to the race after the 1972 race.

Fast forward twenty years to 1992 and I’m a grown adult. I finally got the bug to start coming to the race again. That was back in my married days and I took my wife who could have really cared less about it. The following year in 1993, I took my father. I had a friend who got us back in the garage area prior to the race. My father just stood there in awe and said “I never thought I would ever stand in Gasoline Alley”. A year and a half later, he passed away.

In 2003, my brother Jack joined me and my son. It was Jack’s first race since 1972. He came back in 2005 and 2006. In 2007 and 2008, my oldest brother Jim joined me. For the past two races neither brother has been here.

Now for the first time since 1972 – almost forty years – the three of us will be attending the Indianapolis 500 together. All of my passion and interest in this event was instilled in me by my two brothers. Our mother is still going strong, but she never cared one bit for this race, although she went a few times herself. . We all live far away from each other. I’m the only one that still lives in Tennessee. We see each other once or twice a year, but we are all together this weekend for the Centennial Celebration of the Indianapolis 500. Below is a picture of the three of us taken at the museum on Saturday afternoon.

3 brosThe Phillips Brothers: Jim, George & Jack

Once we make our way through traffic, Susan and I will make our way into the media center and I promise to have some posts up. I failed to have anything other than a few pictures from qualifying, but things got a little busy at the track yesterday.

Check back in a bit.

George Phillips


4 Responses to “A Family Affair At IMS”

  1. I hope you all have a great time together – that the whole experience is good and very memorable for all. I look forward to reading your post-race thoughts.
    I’m personally pulling for either Oriol, Buddy Rice, or Tag…and of course rooting for a good day for Ed C and Simona!

  2. That is fantastic that you can all enjoy this race together! Nothing better than doing something you love with the people you love. Enjoy the day, George!

  3. That’s a great story to share. Good times together on race day.

  4. I hope that Bicklemom & the Phillips trio have a safe, fun day and that Oriol wins the 500.

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