Early Afternoon Ramblings From IMS
First of all, my post on the tenderloin situation caused quite a stir on Twitter. If you follow me (@Oilpressureblog), you may have seen that there is more to the tenderloin story. Just before lunchtime, I stumbled across one of the free-standing concession stands that still carried the sign “Jumbo Tenderloins” – just inside Turn Two, next to the museum. Just out of curiosity, I walked up and checked their menu board. Sure enough, they listed the Jumbo Tenderloin as $7.00. But after yesterday’s debacle, I wasn’t going to just order another one blindly. But after asking a few questions, it appeared that what they had was indeed, the old classic tenderloin.
They had to cook it up fresh, but it was well worth the wait. Sure enough, it was our old familiar sandwich. I tweeted the news along with the above picture, announcing where they could be found. Others began to chime in saying they had found similar concession stands under the Paddock area along the front straightaway. None other than IMS President Doug Boles himself chimed in to announce that there will be other places too. That’s what I like about Doug Boles, he is a fan above all else. Consequently, he listens to fans. It seems as if our national nightmare is now over. I think the Jumbo Tenderloin and the New Tenderloin can coexist – so long as fans know the difference.
Now, on to other matters. As this day moves forward, the crowd has become bigger and bigger. Is the place full? Hardly, but that’s the trouble with a facility this size. You can have over a hundred thousand people in here and it’ll look empty. I have no way of guessing how many people are here, but it is certainly buzzing, by now. I’d have to say that Speedway officials should be happy, considering that the message did not seem to reach the local residents that there was a new race this weekend.
One of the attractions today is the Celebration of the Automobile. I couldn’t begin to guess how many antique cars are on display behind the Pagoda – but it’s a lot. Behind the Gasoline Alley Suites, there are some vintage race cars on display as well. Many roadsters and cars from as far back as the thirties are there. The only one that begged me to stop and take a picture was the 1968 Lotus 56 turbine-powered car, which Joe Leonard put on the pole. That was my favorite car when I was a kid. It crushed me when it flamed out on Lap 191, while leading. The day-glo orange is still as bright as it was when I saw it run forty-six years ago. As usual, something gets lost when trying to reproduce that brilliant color in a photograph.
Since 11:00, there has been constant racing today. Fans won’t be able to say they didn’t get to see much racing. By the time the Verizon IndyCar Series is done, fans will have been treated to close to seven hours of racing. It is still sunny, and the temperature is 72-degrees. As off and on as yesterday was, fans could not have asked for a better day, weather-wise today. I just hope it can continue through tomorrow when practice begins for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.
The Indy Lights race just wrapped up with Luiz Razia the winner. Soon, they are going to grid the Verizon IndyCars on the main straightaway. I want to be down there when that happens, so I’d better get down there. Check back here after the race.