Life is Short–Eat the Cake

Susan
By Susan Phillips

Good morning from Race Day at Road America! My apologies for not getting this up on Saturday, but we were out enjoying everything that Road America has to offer.

We arrived in Milwaukee before 10:00 on Thursday morning and George promised me that this would be My Day to do whatever I wanted after we checked in at the track at Road America. He had told me beforehand about the track walk on the course that was happening on Thursday afternoon and that we could possibly take our golf cart on the track. That sounded good because you know that’s how I am about road courses and golf carts.

So we went to see if we could get our trusty golf cart and take to the track. We soon learned that we had only rented it for three days and we had to purchase an additional day to participate on the track walk. George is a bit thriftier than I am, because I’m all about spending a few dollars to get a great memory. So I spent the extra money from my own account. Problem solved. With our extra day paid, off to the track we went in our Oilpressure.com golf cart.

It was a crystalline blue-sky day, the kind you get where there is almost zero humidity in the air. We don’t often get that color sky in Tennessee in the summer. I also love the birch trees here. We don’t have many of those down south either.

birches

We entered the track at pit-out and I was actually scared they would say “you don’t belong here, better get off the track,” but we waved at security as we drove by and had one of the best experiences of my life. You may say I’ve led a sheltered life, but how many times can you say you drove around a race track, taking your own sweet time and experiencing [somewhat] what if feels like to be on the other side of the fence.

01entering the track

I think what struck me the most was how much you feel every little crack on the track. Sure, we were not in a vehicle with great suspension, but we were at least two and a half feet off the track and we felt every bump. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be 6 inches off the track in cars going 180 mph that were built for speed and not for comfortable ride. Don’t get me wrong. The track is in really good shape (to me) and we ran into some areas that had more cracks than others, but they were filled in. But it gave me a new perspective about why drivers have to be in excellent physical shape to race.

Braking zone

braking zone 2

bumps

George was truly in his element. He was hitting the apex on each turn and was setting up each entry to have the speed to carry him through the next set of turns (or so he says). We saw Graham Rahal being driven by Takuma Sato, checking out the track. As we passed him, I thought “we just passed an Indianapolis 500 winner on a race track” never mind that we were going 10 mph. We rode over the rumble strips, which seem to be a favorite of photographers for their red and yellow colors. We viewed the track the way the divers do. We later passed Bobby Rahal, another Indianapolis 500 winner, driving his golf cart as we were going up the hill coming out of Turn Five.

george driving

rumble strips

Rahal

b Rahal

speedville

party deck

pit zone

On-Track

For me, it is something I will always remember. I love this track and no offense to the other venues I think this is my track. So if you get a chance like this, spend the extra money, the experience is priceless.

Enjoy the race.

Life is short.

Eat the cake.

6 Responses to “Life is Short–Eat the Cake”

  1. billytheskink Says:

    Sounds like you passed Bobby Rahal like Howdy Holmes used to do in Atlantics.

  2. Ron Ford Says:

    Oh boy girl, what a wonderful experience you have described here. I am jealous and anxious to give that a try. Pretty funny that you passed Indy500 winners. No glass ceiling at Road America. Thank you so much for posting this. It was well worth the wait. I enjoyed seeing a photo of the QuadGraphics Speedville sign. I am retired from QuadGraphics.

  3. Ron Ford Says:

    I like your windblown, tousled hair. Looks good on you. Apparently George favors the Helio look.

  4. Lynn Weinberg Says:

    I’m so happy to hear about this great opportunity you had! Great pictures.

  5. I am jealous green!

  6. Talón de Brea Says:

    So you’re saying that George’s Rossi-like driving compromised the rumble strip that later fragmented during the race? Were you guys running extra downforce?

    Sounds like you two had a great race weekend. I hope the post-race rain wasn’t a problem.

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