My Thoughts



Wow, wow, wow!   What can you say about the Indianapolis 500?  For over 100 years it has been the most import race Ė not only in the United States Ė but also around the world.  I have been going since 1959; I may have missed a dozen years or so.  My Dad started going in 1934. Itís such a family deal.  My son now buys 6 tickets every year, and my grandsonís rookie year was 2009Ö.and heís proud of it.  He is proud that heís not a rookie.  Now, the crowd just keeps growing.  And itís a good thing that the damage that was done is starting to heal. 

The racing there is absolutely, totally fantastic.  I whole 68 lead changes on the racetrack is better than any race, any track, any series, or anything that I have ever heard of. These were racing changes not pit changes! 

13 countries were represented by drivers.  13 countries across the world.  This is the single most important race in the world.  I donít know how the guys or girls down at Charlotte can even think that they are competing with this! 

I have never been to this race where it wasnít one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have never been to this race and not met new people, new racers, from across the country.  If you donít go to the Indianapolis 500 youíre just flat missing it.  My grandson and I went to timed trials this year.  I remember when there were 200,000 people there on pole day.  There might have been 60,000 altogether. But you can sit anywhere you want so you can see where the good seats are, you can see the action, and you can meet people that have been going there for years and years and years and years and years. 

I talked to the guard.  (You can see my pictures there on the timed trails).  He said his family had been guards there since 1946, and his father guarded the media center in 1946.  He said there is a list to be a track guard, thatís the yellow shirted guys with a badge. He said he had spent thousands and thousands of dollars travelling to Indianapolis.  And his family is military and they used Indianapolis on Memorial Day as their Christmas.  He told me he had flown home from Thailand, from Japan, from Turkey, from Germany, and from South Korea to see the Indianapolis 500 and be a guard.  He said he was now so proud that his daughter was a guard at the track and that sheíd been on the list for 7 years before she made it two years ago. 

Everybody that you talk to has a story about their family and the Indy 500.  If you werenít there you just missed out. One of the greatest races youíd ever see. 

I saw Tony George misrepresented and badmouthed in several different places in the press.  They blame him for the breakup  of Indy racing.  It wasnít himÖ. it was Penske and his arrogance. Tony spent the money and developed soft walls. He gave NASCAR  the technology. It took them 4 years to decide it might be safer for racers. Now itís all about what NASCAR does for safety.  He redid the Indianapolis Motor Speedway completely, and itís gorgeous in what he did, and how he did it.  He kept the tradition and made it new and modern and fresh.  He brought NASCAR to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and it was the hardest ticket to get until NASCAR decided they were gonna run 10 laps and throw a yellow flag. He filled that place up with real race fans from across the country!  Real race fans know racing when they see it, and they know a joke when they see it. And they just quit buying tickets after that race. So NASCAR ruined the best thing they had going on as far as publicity. 

Then, Tony brought Formula One to the United States, and spent millions of dollars to make Indianapolis into the number 1 facility for Formula 1.  They came here and then decided on the day of the race that they werenít gonna race cause they didnít like the tires. So instead of having a full field, Tony only had 5 teams that ran the Formula One. Thatís certainly not the way to continue to grow in Formula 1.  So,  I think this guy has been screwed every which way there is.  

            Itís true: I may have personal feelings because I met him once.  We had a cup of coffee in the kitchen area at the Old Brick Yard Motel, and I had maybe a 15 minute conversation with him about racing.  3 years later, at the IRL race in Orlando Florida, Iím standing in line for the Porta Potty.  Tony then walks out and as he walks by me and called me by name and asked me how I was doing.  Now Iím just a race fan who spend 15 minutes with this guy in conversation about racing in the kitchen at the Brick Yard Motel.   And he remembered who I was.  So you could say Iím probably biased.  But outside of Mr. Holman and the 2 Bill Frances, I donít know anybody thatís done more for racing than Tony George.  He got Jack Hewitt to ride at the Indy Motor Speedway and if he didnít do anything else besides thatÖthat was enough for me. 

           Weíve got lots of great coverage going onÖ. Ina went to the little 500, Bruce has covered sprints in 7 states, VA Dirtís doing his usual great job, Lonnieís holding down Texas, and LarrE is everywhere.  And thereís more!!   And myself?  Well, I continue to get rained out.








If you weren't there you missed out.




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Revised: May 29, 2013