Over the years, I’ve made some rather candid statements about Graham Rahal that probably infuriated some of you who are fans of his. My feelings at the time were that he had a tremendous amount of talent, but it was being under-utilized. I also felt that he had a tremendous amount of growing up to do. That’s easy to say when you are in your fifties and passing judgment on a kid who was in his early twenties.
Last year, I was chastised unmercifully for my negative commentary on the Dual in Detroit. The two races last year were both affected by rain and I thought they were boring for the most part. When I said so, I was accused of eating an extra bowl of Grumpy Flakes and pouring negativity all over the series.
After sleeping on it and thinking about it driving home Monday afternoon; I feel like I’ve now had more time to digest the 100th Running of The Indianapolis 500. It has now sunken in that Alexander Rossi won the race and also how he won it. I’ve also read enough articles and comments to know that there is no shortage of opinions and a wide variance in them.
To use an old cliché, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 was one for the books. Rookie Alexander Rossi won an improbable victory when he was running out of fuel while leading on Lap 199, but had built up enough of a lead over teammate Carlos Muñoz that he was able to make it to the yard of bricks for the 200th time with a speed of only 179.784 mph on that final lap.
To be honest, they are no longer boys. Time has flown since the Eric’s first Indy 500 in 2004 when Buddy rice won and a tornado tore through Indianapolis shortly after the race. That year George brought his daughter, Katie and I brought Eric. I thought Eric might have fun, but how much fun could a 14 year-old have with two “Old Fogies” and a little girl with Down Syndrome. Little did I know that I would be fostering in him a long and abiding love for all things IndyCar.
Good morning from a sunny, but muggy Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With all of the warnings about heavier traffic, I made it a goal to be in the IMS Media Center by 6:30. I figured to do that, we’d have to leave our hotel at 5:30. I credit my wife for being on time – we actually walked out the door at 5:29. Traffic was light until we got to our parking lot. We were inside the lot when the opening bomb went off at 6:00 and were in the Media Center by 6:20. Not bad.
This year there is something for everyone available to purchase in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Gift Shops. From a paperweight that has dust from the original paver stones that made up the track to a commemorative 100th Running nose cone. I admit, I did see a few people shell out the $800 for the nose cone and they were hauling it around the garage area seeking all of the driver’s autographs. A perfect addition for your IMS-themed Man-cave.