Archive for the Indianapolis 500 Category

The Masses Have Arrived

Posted in Indianapolis 500 on May 24, 2015 by Oilpressure

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Just a quick post before we head out for good. We headed to the garage area first thing and as son as we go there, it started sprinkling. Although it was enough to make us duck for cover, it lasted only a few minutes and amounted to nothing. As is usual on race morning, the tension in the garage area was palpable. This picture was taken around 8:00. Not long after that, the place became packed and there was a flurry of activity along with the occasional engine firing up. I love the smell of ethanol in the morning.

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We saw the cars lining up for final technical inspection. We noticed a special “Get Well” message on the cowling of James Hinchcliffe’s car, being driven today by Ryan Briscoe. You can’t help but pull for Briscoe as he will be making his way from the last row.

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The massive Race Day crowd has arrived. What was a pleasantly busy Pagoda Plaza, has become a mass of humanity. They have now put out the red carpet for the celebrities that are attending the race today. Who is on it? I have no idea, nor do I really care.

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This is going to do it for this morning. Susan and I are about to head out to the pits to soak it all in. That’s another Race Day ritual I do. I walk from one end of the pits to the other. As I walk, I think back to all the action that has taken place under my feet for more than a century. It’s all part of the mystique of this place.

I’ll be back here with a post after the race. In them meantime, Susan and I will be tweeting some from our seats. Please follow us on Twitter  at @Oilpressureblog and @MrsOilpressure.

Enjoy the race, everyone!

George Phillips

Welcome To Race Day At IMS!

Posted in Indianapolis 500 on May 24, 2015 by Oilpressure

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Good morning from what is soon-to-be a sunbathed Indianapolis Motor Speedway! It is absolutely perfect weather as the sun was just peeking over the horizon as we arrived here at 6:40 am. The Pagoda was already bathed in sun as darkness started to disappear from the area on the ground.

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There is already a flurry of activity even though we are still almost five hours from the drop of the green flag. Our route from our hotel was a breeze, but I’ve heard there are already backups on 16th Street east of the track. Susan is not wild about opur early arrivals each year, but she understands. it’s nice to be here and relax as we watch the throng enter. The next time we see this place this empty, the race will be history.

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We are going to go get me my traditional early Race Morning “meat sandwich”, which is a ribeye steak sandwich with grilled peppers and onions. It’s not health food, but it is one of my many long-standing traditions here.

I will try to have another post up here before the race, but don’t hold it against me if I don’t. Our seats are across the track in Stand A. Last year, we got caught in a total mess as we came out of the tunnel and entered a mass of humanity that was not moving. At one point, I thought that we might miss the green flag. I’m not getting caught up in that again. So we may head over there much earlier. But I will try.

In the meantime, follow us both at @Oilpressureblog and @MrsOilpressure. Check back in a bit.

George Phillips

Has It Really Been Fifty Years?

Posted in Indianapolis 500 on May 24, 2015 by Oilpressure

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As we head to the track this morning to witness the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500, i have to ask myself “Has it really been fifty years since I went to my first Indianapolis 500?”. OK, it’ll really be fifty years next week since the 1965 race took place as that race was run on Monday May 31st. But do the math. My first race was the 49th edition and this is the 99th.

At the track this weekend is the winning car from my first race, the Lotus powered by Ford driven by the great Jim Clark. It has become one of the most iconic cars in “500” history. It was the first rear-engine car to ever win. Once it won, no front-engine car won again. Not only was it historic, it was downright beautiful. When I saw it yesterday, I felt like I was reuniting with an old friend. A car I first saw fifty years ago, when I was a six year-old.

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Clark and his Lotus were not the only stars of the 1965 race. The rookie class consisted of Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Gordon Johncock, Joe Leonard, Micky Rupp, Bobby Johns, George Snider, Arnie Knepper, Billy Foster, Masten Gregory and Jerry Grant. There were seven future “500” wins in that group and practcially every one was an exceptional driver. AJ Foyt sat on pole that day and Parnelli Jones finished second.

So the memories are overflowing this morning. The Lotus will run this morning. Al Unser was honored yesterday at Legends Day. Mario Andretti was present, as well. AJ Foyt and Parnelli Jones will be in attendance today.

And so will I. We are all fifty years older than we were on that bright sunny day in 1965. There has been lots of water run under the bridge since. But one thing has not changed. The Indianapolis 500 will run today and that is something very special to all of us.

I’ll post before and after the race today, so please check back often today. You may also follow us on Twitter at @Oilpressureblog and @MrsOilpressure. Please, check back later.

George Phillips

My Personal Two-Seater Ride

Posted in Indianapolis 500 on May 23, 2015 by Oilpressure

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By Susan Phillips

I must admit, at this point in the Month of May, I am pretty fried. The month of May is also one of the busiest months for my day job. It is graduation and “the new June” for weddings. I spent the weekdays writing “Congratulations” and “Class of 2015” on countless cakes in my territory, which includes 104 stores for a major retail chain. I went out to work in my stores, and then packed up to head 300 miles to Indianapolis every weekend of the month. Yesterday I was unsure if I could even walk around the track, much less carry on coherent conversation. George was in his element, and as the month wore on, I was happy to let him take the driver’s seat and just go along for the ride. It has been a great ride.

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Welcome To Legend’s Day At IMS

Posted in Indianapolis 500 on May 23, 2015 by Oilpressure

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Good morning from a slightly cool, but beautifully sunny Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I’m not sure that the weather could be more perfect. It’s slightly brisk at the moment but headed to a high of 78 today. The forecast for tomorrow is partly sunny at a high of 80. There is now no mention of rain in Sunday’s forecast.

We went to the Carb Night Burger Bash last night. It was the biggest crowd I’ve seen there since I’ve been going. It was good to see a lot of people we hadn’t seen since last year. It was also good to meet a lot of people that have commented here or that I’ve corresponded with through Twitter. I’d like to give a special shout-out to Bob Butler and his wife Andrea from Florida. They made a point to come up and say Hi to Susan and me, and we had a very nice visit with them.

Today is more of my kind of day at The Speedway. It’s Legend’s Day, this year honoring the career of four-time winner Al Unser. As promised, we started the day at Charlie Brown’s in Speedway for breakfast with my brother, his son and his son-in-law. We got there early enough that we didn’t have to wait. When we left, the line was backed up out into the parking lot.

The vintage cars are about to run, so we are going back out to watch them. After that, it’ll be a leisurely day at the track. That also includes the annual trip to the museum.

Anyway, I hear cars running now so that’s my cue. Susan will have a post up here later today. In the meantime follow her on Twitter at @MrsOilpressure and me at @Oilpressureblog. Check back later.

George Phillips

Welcome To Carb Day At IMS

Posted in Indianapolis 500 on May 22, 2015 by Oilpressure

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Welcome to the zoo that is Carb Day at IMS. I will spare you the obligatory pictures of the freak show that we encountered. There were just too many to choose from. We were late leaving Nashville, therefore we were delayed arriving here (surely there’s a lesson there somewhere). By arriving at the track by 2:00, the whack jobs were well on their way to inebriation. I almost felt like a misfit walking through the crowd sober.

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Indianapolis 500 Preview

Posted in Indianapolis 500 on May 22, 2015 by Oilpressure

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Well, the wait is almost over. After a full Month of May, we are now on the cusp of the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

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