It’s Race Day at Indianapolis!

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Good morning from a very sunny Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The rain that was promised overnight barely showed up. We left the track at around 9:15 last night, and it sprinkled a little bit on us as we drove to the hotel. That appears to be all we got. It’s currently 70°, with a projected high of 83°. I would like to say that we enjoyed dinner at one of our usual spots, but we didn’t. Instead, we went got take-out at the Arby’s next to our hotel.

I feel odd calling today Race Day at Indianapolis, but that is what it is. In my mind, however, there is only one race day at IMS and that is the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

Before we arrived at the track yesterday, Robin Miller made an appearance to the IMS Media Center. He had not been to a track since coming to a practice day in May. He has been very candid about his condition. He is suffering from bone cancer and leukemia, and penned a letter to fans a couple of weeks ago thanking them for their support, but did not shy away from the fact that he is dying.

Earlier this year, he had been elected to the Motorsports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremonies are to take place next month in Pontiac, Michigan – but Miller is to frail to attend. Instead, they did a special induction ceremony yesterday morning. I wish we had been there to see it. Those in attendance said there were funny moments and extremely sad moments, as he spoke off the cuff in pure Robin Miller fashion. He said yesterday was the best day of his life to receive such an honor. He also quipped “I’’m dying and I don’t give a ***”. (Photo: Michael Levitt, Lumen Digital Agency & Racer.com)

Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix

If you read my posts from Friday, you know I was unaware of which series was in what paddock yesterday. It grieves me to tell you that the IndyCar paddock is where I had feared – the parking lot. The NASCAR Cup cars are conveniently place in the Formula One Garages just behind the pits south of The Pagoda. The Xfinity cars are located in the Gasoline Alley Garages, where IndyCar is usually housed in May. Where is the IndyCar paddock this weekend? In what is usually the hospitality area in the parking lot inside Turn One of the oval. They are operating with their transporters as their base, and under awnings for their “garages” – just as they were last weekend for a temporary street circuit.

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Most of the people I’ve talked to this weekend, don’t seem to mind. They say this is a NASCAR weekend, and we’re the ones crashing the party. Maybe it’s because I’m old and have been coming here way too long, but this really bothered me. If it wasn’t for Indy cars, this place wouldn’t be here. The series got its name from this track. I found it unnerving to visit the haphazard IndyCar paddock that wound its way in the parking lot in an odd fashion, only to walk by the Gasoline Alley Garages and the F1 Garages and see their more glamorous work stations.

To me, a double-header weekend means equal footing. It was unsettling enough that the Xfinity race was the main event for Saturday. But to see IndyCar relegated to the hospitality parking lot was just a little much for this old man.

Other than that, we did have a good bit of fun yesterday. There is nothing like the sight and sounds of Indy cars on track at IMS, not matter which way they are going. Here are a few photos and videos from our day yesterday, but there is more to read, so keep scrolling.

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Alex P

Grosjean

Pags

One of the most important things I did all day (not really), was to sample a tenderloin from ne of the stands directly behind The Pagoda. It was loaded with pickles and was a little on the small side for the price ($10), but it was much tastier than it looked.

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It was good to be back here and see friends we hadn’t seen for a while, plus some we saw just last week in Nashville. We got to go somewhere yesterday that we had never been before. A loyal reader that will go unnamed to not risk getting him in trouble, works for IMS, and took us into the PA announcers booth – this weekend staffed by Allen Bestwick and Jamie Little.

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The booth sits just south of Victory Lane. In fact, those in the booth just need to look to the right to get a perfect shot of the most prized piece of real estate on the grounds.

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We were taken there next and I thought I would be just a little corny and take a couple of shots of Susan standing on the top step of the podium in Victory Lane. After all, she is currently enjoying her own victory over pancreatic cancer. After losing Bob Jenkins last week, and Robin Miller’s emotional appearance; I thought there needed to some good news regarding cancer and to celebrate it. Susan’s post-treatment scans last week were all clear, and her doctors are very pleased. I’m not sure they will ever go on record as saying she is officially cured, but all signs are excellent right now. Her hair has come back, she has gained her weight back and she feels great. It will take about a year before her stamina comes back completely, as she still tires out very easily. We just take each day as a gift.

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That’s going to do it for now. The morning warmup has already started and we are heading out. Susan will have a post up here later this morning before the race, and I will be back here for a post-race wrap-up. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter for more instant videos, photos and comments. You may follow Susan at @MrsOilpressure or me at @Oilpressureblog. Please check back later.

George Phillips

4 Responses to “It’s Race Day at Indianapolis!”

  1. Leslie Bissell Says:

    I agree with what you said about the paddock. Maybe we can console ourselves with the idea that we are being good hosts and showing hospitality to our guests.

  2. Not feeling my usual race day excitement. Just seems like a perfunctory preliminary for the other series. May he a rethink on this event

  3. Maybe IndyCar can use the Cup cars as tow vehicles from their “paddock” to the pits?

  4. James T Suel Says:

    Iam a old guy also and don’t like Nascar getting top billing over Indycar. Open wheel single seat race cars built that place, not taxi cabs .

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