From time to time, I’ll share  opinions on books, DVD’s, attractions, etc. Check back often to see what’s new.

Book:  Jack Arute’s Tales From The Indy 500


 Although this selection has been panned in some circles, I have to admit that I liked it…and not just because my brother gave it to me for Christmas. While it isn’t in danger of winning a Pulitzer Prize anytime soon, it is an enjoyable read. The chapters are more like sections, and they are just as the story says–just little snippets as Jack remembers them.. The writing is light and Jack doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously. One thing does come through over and over…covering the Indianapolis 500 is not a job for Jack Arute. You get the impression he would do it for free.

It is worth buying and reading (which doesn’t take long). If you’re in a bad mood it’ll cheer you up. There’s a lot to be said for that. 


Attraction:   Indy Racing Experience

This is a MUST for anyone’s “bucket list”.

For those that don’t know, this is a company that provides the opportunity for anyone to drive an IndyCar at Indianapolis Motor Speedway or other selected tracks on the IndyCar schedule. They have also recently opened a permanent location at Walt Disney World Speedway. I will qualify my comments by saying I have no business relationship with this company at all, even though I have provided a link to their website.

Last October, my two brothers chipped in and bought me the Indy Racing Experience. It isn’t cheap. Three laps will set you back about $400. But I’ll do it again (and pay for it myelf, this time) soon!

These are real cars that have actually raced in the Indy 500. They are 2000-2002 era G-Force (Panoz) cars that have had the race engines removed and replaced with Honda Gold Wing motorcycle engines. The sound is a little bit of a letdown, but that was the only disappoint of the whole day. According to one of their mechanics, they will hit around 125 mph.

I was thinking that sure sounded slow, since the “real” cars do 100 mph more. Believe me, that was plenty! Those three laps gave me a newfound appreciation for what these guys do. Heading into the first turn at speed, I was sure there was no way I could navigate a 90-degree turn. I lifted.

Right after I lifted I remembered that the car was designed to do almost twice that speed. I didn’t lift anymore and the car was GLUED. I’m not sure if I exhaled during those three laps. What a rush!

After only three laps and that relatively slow speed, my neck was sore the next day from the g-forces. I can only imagine what it’s like to do 200 laps at full speed. Don’t tell me these guys aren’t athletes.

They also have the two seater program which allows you to ride (around 180 mph) while a professional does the driving. The driving experience sounded more appealing to me.

Take a friend with you to videotape the whole thing. It is truly an experience of a lifetime. It’s been seven months since I did it and it is something I will never forget…until I do it again.

George Phillips 















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