Tuesday, Aug 16

My Month of May

Monday, May 27

Speedway, Indiana - May 27, 2019

Congratulations to Simon Pagenaud for winning the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500. A great race to the end with Alexander Rossi! 

 

I want to talk to you about what it's like to be a fan at the Indianapolis 500. I started the day at around 6am in one of the lots. I met some really great folks from NJ. It was their first race and it was a check off on the bucket list of the man in the pair. They were both really excited about what the day would hold for them. 

 

I saw a fan I have talked to for many years from Victory Lane. He has been coming to the track since 1954. He has only missed 1 Indianapolis 500 and that was because he was in the service. I saw a mom pushing her baby around with a t-shirt that said "My First Indianapolis 500". As the month progressed I saw various events; Will Power kissing a girl with Downs Syndrome, the fan access is incredible.

 

On May 7th, the Friday before the GP, I talked to a teacher who had brought her students (about 30 in total) who were on a field trip to IMS. This is a group of kids from a low socioeconomic area of the city and it was their first visit to the track. She talked about how excited her students were to be able to experience the track and hear the sound of the engines. As I watched them, I could see their excitement coming off them like waves. They were trying to be cool, because they were high school students, but it was one of the best things I had seen that day and they could not hide their excitement. That is the spirit of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

Race day was spent in the infield of the 4th turn. I set my stuff down and then headed to the red carpet. There, I hung out and watched the crowd wait patiently, for about 2.5 hours, for the incredible list of celebrities to make their way down the carpet. Matt Damon and Christian Bale did not talk to media, but made themselves extremely available to the fans. Matt Damon went so far as to take selfies with anyone who handed him a camera. There was a 19 year old girl there from Belgium and when she mentioned to Damon that she was a fan and from Belgium, he took the time to interact with her personally.

 

Another highlight of the red carpet was seeing Michael Goulian, 2018 winner of the Red Bull Air Race, in Indianapolis. It was great to see past champions of other types of racing at IMS celebrate the Memorial Day Weekend. All the celebrities on the red carpet were incredibly generous with their time with the fans. Jackson Robert Scott and Chevel Shepherd were incredibly open to interacting with their fans. 

 

My race was spent in the infield of turn 4. I had a view of turn 4, and the straightaway toward turn 1. My favorite moment was after the 3rd parade lap and I could hear the engines rev up to running speed. If you haven't heard Indy Cars in full throttle, you haven't lived. It runs straight through your body and lets you know you are alive in no other way. I eagerly watched as we hit lap 100, knowing that if we could not get a full race in due to rain, things were going to get VERY exciting. As it turns out, God really does love Indy car because we were able to get the full race in, even with the threat of rain. There was a wreck at 177  that included Graham Rahal and Sebastian Bourdais that stopped the race. The last few laps were extremely exciting! There were several lead changes between Pagenaud and Rossi. The fact that it came down to the very last minute made it a race that will go down in the history book of Indy.  Thanks to Simon Pagenoud and Alexander Rossi for a GREAT race!!

 

 

 

 

 

Speedway Indiana May 20,2019

After spending the entire day in the rain Sunday! A small window opened late in the afternoon for qualifications.

For the second year in a row 2 highly known drivers were bumped from the Indy 500. In 2018 it was James Hinchcliff, and now this year 2 time Formula One Champion Fernando Alonso was the latest to get bumped from running the Indy 500!

Frankly it could have been avoided! McLaren did not give Fernando car he could compete with, and that fact was proven Sunday! The buzz around the media center was McLaren was going to buy a spot. Well that was quickly squashed. Fernando said if didn’t earn a spot then he didn’t want to be in race. Television cameras focused on Alonso during Kaiser's run as he sat on the brink of elimination. The Juncos driver ran four neat and composed laps, eventually crossing the line and knocking Alonso and McLaren—both synonymous with success but, more recently, catastrophe—out by just two-hundredths of a mile per hour.

Then we had the fast nine and it appears we are playing game of “Simon Says”. Simon Pagenaud wins the GP last weekend and this week he wins the pole. Today Simon leads in practice 1 for the Indy 500 this weekend!

This is the tightest grid in 500 history! With just a little over a second between 1st and 33rd positions.

Todays practice results

 Pagenaud, Simon 228.441

Newgarden, Josef 228.273

Hinchcliffe, James 227.994

Dixon, Scott 227.951

Rossi, Alexander 227.660

Kimball, Charlie 227.645

Castroneves, Helio 227.614

Power, Will 227.480  

Rosenqvist, Felix (R) 227.414

Davison, James 227.393

Practice one results

 

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Headed to the 103rd running of the greatest spectacle in racing?

This here is the track schedule for the week!

Monday May 20,

  • Noon-6 pm…Public Gates Open
  • 10:00-11:30 Indy Lights Test
  • Noon-2:00 pm Indy 500 open practice
  • 2:30-4 pm Indy Lights Test

Tuesday May 21st-Wednesday May 22nd

No Track Activity

Thursday May 23rd

  • No Public access
  • 10-10:45 Indy Lights Practice
  • 1:30-2:30 Indy Lights Qualifying

Friday May 24- MILLER LIGHT CARB DAY!

  • 8:00 am-6 pm Public Gates open
  • 11:00 AM -12:30 Indy 500 Final Practice
  • 1:00 Pm 17th Freedom 100 (Indy Lights Race)
  • 2-3:30 Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge
  • 3:30 Miller Lite Carb Day Concert, Turn 4 infield

 Saturday May 25th- Legions Day

  • Parade, Downtown Indianapolis... (Non Track Sponsored Event)
  • 9 AM-10:00 Driver Autograph Session Pagoda Plaza
  • 10:25: Public Drivers Meeting- Tower Terrace
  • 3:30 Firestone Legends Day Concert Turn 4 Infield

Sunday May 26- RACE DAY

  • 6:00 AM Public Gates Open
  • 7:00 AM Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Coors Light begins, Turn 3 Infield
  • 12:30 PM 103rd running of The Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge

Have fun, stay safe and hydrated. SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING!

Speedway Indiana- 5/20/2019

Sad news to report from Indy!

Two-time Indy 500 Champion Al Unser Jr was arrested in the suburb of Indianapolis of Avon, Indiana!

According to Fox 59 in Indianapolis.. 

Avon police arrested two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser, Jr. on an OWI charge.

Unser was booked into the Hendricks County Jail at 3:21 a.m. on Monday.

Unser faced similar legal problems in the past. He made headlines in 2002 when he was arrested after an alcohol-fueled fight with his girlfriend. He also has previous drunk driving arrests in 2007 and 2011.

Unser has been very vocal about his struggles with alcohol. In fact, just a few weeks ago he spoke with Hope Academy students to share his story of addiction as a recovering alcoholic. He said drinking was a demon he faced, and he hopes others will learn from his mistakes.

That years-long challenge has gotten him into trouble with the law before. In 2002, he was arrested for domestic battery against his girlfriend at the time. She blamed his drinking for the incident when she reported it to police. He first denied knowing her, but later said she hit him first. The charges were later dropped the woman stopped cooperating with investigators, but Unser still decided he needed help.

"Nearly every poor choice I've made in my life occurred under the influence of alcohol," he read in a statement at the time

Bobby Unser after the arrest that he'd talked to his nephew about his drinking problem. "It’s been addressed, for sure. He knows about it, but not doing anything is the problem. In other words, knowing is one thing, doing something about it is another thing and he really needs to do something about it."

He found sobriety for a time, but was arrested in 2007 in Las Vegas for driving under the influence. He was arrested again in 2011 in New Mexico, accused of drag racing while drunk.

Al Jr., now 57 years old, won 34 races including two Indianapolis 500s during his time as a driver, and continues working in the racing industry.

Speedway Indiana May 19th, 2019

 

We knew this was a likely going to be the case today. Rain continues to fall here at IMS. This comes on the heels of a big day 1 of qualifying.

Day one was a rough day for some and an incredible day for others!

 

 After spending more than a year working toward an Indy 500 comeback, Hinchcliffe had some difficulties with his No. 5 Honda during his first qualifying attempt Saturday after crashing the race car on the 2.5 mile track, which slid into the backstretch of the track after hitting a wall along the second turn. Thankfully, Hinchcliffe climbed out of the car of his own will, he was also checked, cleared and released from the infield care center. With not getting enough speed in his backup to move his way into the Top 30 starting positions, the 33-year-old Canadian driver’s final shot is Sunday afternoon according to CBS News, when six drivers will vie for three spots in the “Last Row Shootout.”

 Dragon who? No we aren’t talking about the latest Game Of Thrones episode. We are talking about DragonSpeed a low budget unsponsored car. I’m pretty sure most didn’t have much confidence in their 31 year old rookie who had never been on an oval until his rookie test! At IMS just a few days ago. Welcome to Indy Ben Hanley. Hanley qualified with a speed of  227.482 yes that’s only 27th but what a performance from DragonSpeed

Also Fernando Alonso has been struggling for speed in his McLaren car! Fernando Alonso is in danger of failing to make the grid for the Indianapolis 500 after setting the 31st fastest time on the first day of qualifying. The two-time Formula 1 world champion faces a shootout on Sunday with five other drivers for the final three places on the 33-car grid.

If it rains continues, the shootout will be when weather allows next week. Alonso had five attempts at locking in a place in the top 30 on the grid but the McLaren car was not fast enough.

"We didn't have the speed," said Alonso, who managed a fastest average over his four-lap run of 227.224mph.

"We are where we deserve today and hopefully tomorrow we will have another chance. If we do not take it, it is because we do not deserve to be in the race.

"The whole week, the speed is not really there in the car. We will not find it in one night. We will try to do a good clean run and hopefully that will put us in the top three positions."

While there will be dry at times Sunday, I think it is going to be hard to get on the track for Fast 9 #Fast9 and last row shootout .Strong/severe t'storms possible after 2pm. Plus, winds will be gusting 35 mph.

We will continue to monitor the situation but not looking good at the moment.

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