Welcome to the Month of May!

Welcome to the Month of May! For the second year in a row, we have had to welcome the month a little belatedly due to race coverage of a race that took place in early May. Last year, the double-header at Texas took place on May 1. On Sunday, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama took place. I’m not a big fan of IndyCar races being run outside of IMS during the Month of May. The schedule makers didn’t ask for my opinion, so we will just have to deal with it. Anyway, the Month of May is officially here – so welcome!

May 1st is also the anniversary of when I launched this site, way back in 2009. Oilpressure.com is now a teenager, as it turned thirteen years-old on Sunday. I’m hoping the site does not turn surly and very unlikable, now that it is in its teen years. I’d like to think it is becoming more mature. Then again I’m probably somewhat immature for someone of my ripe old age, so who knows.

Like previous Mays, I “plan” to post every weekday in May. With work and a busy schedule, I always reserve the right to not be held to that schedule. I say that every May, but I don’t think I’ve ever missed a daily May posting in the previous thirteen. Hopefully, that record will stay intact this May as well.

This May will also feature the annual Oilpressure.com Indianapolis 500 Trivia Contest. It’s already in the hopper and features thirty-three all new trivia questions about the Indianapolis 500, and there will be a prize for the winner. The contest will post Wednesday May 11, and everyone will be given two weeks to send their answers to me. Entries will have be turned in by 6:00 pm EDT on Tuesday May 24, and the winner and the answers will be posted on Wednesday May 25.

Aside from all of the activity and excitement that comes with the Month of May, I always get a little nostalgic around the first (or second) of May.

After being an IndyCar fan for most of my life – especially the Indianapolis 500 – in the early spring of 2009, I was encouraged by my oldest brother and then my best friend growing up, to start a blog. This was in the days when blogs were quite the thing. Whether they focused on sports, travel, cooking or stamp collecting – it seemed everyone had a blog in the mid-to-late 2000s.

I personally had never read a blog of any sort and I was very reluctant to do it. But my best friend, Bruce Yarbro, was insistent. I checked out a few of the IndyCar blogs. There must’ve been over forty IndyCar blogs back then. Like most things – some were good, and some were not. The ones I really liked were Pressdog, MyNameIsIRL, Planet IRL, 16th and Georgetown and The Silent Pagoda. Many of them were outrageously funny. While I enjoyed reading them, I knew I couldn’t pull that off consistently. So I figured I would simply play it straight and write about things I was passionate about.

After one year of blogging, I got my first credentials ever, for the very first IndyCar race held at Barber in 2010; and then for the Month of May one month later. It was there that I met many of my fellow bloggers, including Bill Zahren (Pressdog), James Black (16th and Georgetown), Roy Hobbson (The Silent Pagoda) And Paul Dalbey (Planet IRL, then later More Front Wing and ultimately Field of 33). Even to this day, I still stay in touch with Paul and James throughout each year.

The following year, I was able to get my then-girlfriend, Susan, credentialed for both races at Indianapolis and Barber as a co-writer and my photographer. We now try to attend about half of the IndyCar races on the schedule each season.

We have met lifelong friends through this site. Some are fans we see at the same tracks every year. Others are crew-members who work for the teams. We know a few drivers personally, but not that many (less than five). Many are well-known members of the IndyCar media, whom we’ve grown to know enough over the years that we carry on conversations that have nothing to do with racing.

We met some new friends at Barber in 2011, who worked for a major sponsor of the series. They had a suite at IMS, and were kind enough to allow us to get married there in May of 2012. To this day, they wish to remain anonymous – but they know who they are, and we will always be grateful to them.

This site has opened so many doors, and introduced us to so many people – some very famous, and some not at all. I have gotten to tour the ESPN production truck on Race Morning at Indianapolis, I was allowed to wave the green flag for Helio Castroneves on his qualifying run at Fontana in 2013 and we got two-seater rides at Fontana and IMS, along with pace car rides at multiple tracks. We’ve been invited to driver-only parties on the fourth floor of The Pagoda and just last year, got to visit the PA booth at IMS and stand on the Victory Podium.

While it probably sounds like I’m bragging and gloating – I don’t mean for it to. I am merely taking inventory of everything this site has brought me over the past thirteen years – things I never would have dreamed of, beforehand. I make sure that I never take any of this for granted. It could all go away for good with, just one change in media policy. It sounds overly dramatic to say that starting and operating this site for the past thirteen years has been life-changing, but it has been.

None of this would be possible without you, the readers of this site. I may not have the most daily hits as some of the mainstream IndyCar sites, but I think I have some of the most loyal readers out there. Some of the people that commented on here in just the past week, were leaving comments over ten years ago. If people had stopped reading, I would have given this up long ago.

After thirteen years, I still enjoy it. My original plan was to keep the site going until after the Centennial Running in 2011. After that I figured I would keep going another year or two. Then making it to the 100th Running was my next goal. By 2017, I figured I would aim for the ten-year anniversary of this site in 2019. After that, I just said I’ll play it by ear. Three years later, I’m still playing it by ear.

There have been a few life events in the past thirteen years. Susan was diagnosed with cancer almost two years ago. While things looked grim at the time, she has persevered so far. She’s still having a few lingering issues to deal with, but she is still scanning cancer-free (she has another quarterly scan coming up next week, so fingers-crossed). But we also know things can turn on a dime, when you are dealing with health issues. If her health (or mine) turns the wrong way, I won’t hesitate giving up this site for a second.

But for now, I plan on hanging around a little longer. As long as people continue to come hear and read some of the things I am pounding out – I’ll continue to do it, so long as I am still having fun. I’ve always said that once this becomes a burden to me, that’s when it’s time to stop. But that hasn’t happened yet.

So please come here each and every day throughout the month. I hope you will attempt the trivia contest, and to the dismay of some, there may or may not be an episode or two of either One Take Only or Two Sites Unite or both. Susan and I plan on attending all three weekends at IMS – although after she didn’t feel so great at Barber, she may sit out one of the weekends. So not only will there be something here each weekday – there will be posts here every weekend; with the exception of Mothers Day weekend, which is this weekend.

I hope we all get as much as we want out of this Month of May, since COVID robbed us two years ago, and left us with a bare-bones Month of May last year. I am hopeful that this one far exceeds everyone’s expectations. Welcome to the Month of May!

George Phillips

11 Responses to “Welcome to the Month of May!”

  1. James T Suel Says:

    Always look forward to your blog, have since 09

  2. Congratulations George! Do you know if fans will be allowed free access to gasoline Alley, Saturday, May 28, legends day, as has been the case in recent years? Also what happened to the post race show on Peacock after Barber? Thanks

    • I’m not sure about Legends Day and Gasoline Alley. I would check the schedule or the Fan Guide on the Indy500 website. It is usually accurate and comprehensive. As for the post-race show after Barber, someone at NBC screwed up. They did the show, but it had nowhere live to go to. It’s up there now. – GP

  3. Congratulations on Oilpressure’s anniversary.

  4. Rick Johnson Says:

    George, congratulations on your thirteenth anniversary of this blog. I discovered it only four years ago, but am a loyal reader. I can’t wait for the trivia contest, but wish it was earlier in the month. The 11th is very close to when I fly to Indy and will be preoccupied with that. Oh well, that’s my problem. Again, congrats on your anniversary. Keep up the good work.

  5. I think reading Pressdog led me to your site right when you started. I miss Pressdog and Roy Hobbson was a very funny writer. I doubt that I’ve missed very many of your posts over the past years and always look forward to your opinion (change is bad) and reports from the various tracks, including photos from Susan. I’ll be reading as long as you can stand to write them George.

  6. SamCStL Says:

    I found the Indy blogosphere shortly before graduating in 2011 and have hung around here in near silence ever since. I love reading more personal accounts of the 500 and other races, it feels much more authentic. Keep up the great work and I’ll keep right on reading it.

  7. northeastvista Says:

    What a thought provoking, nostalgic look back in time. I never wrote a blog, but I never miss a chance to read yours. I too, have enjoyed a number of once-in-a-lifetime experiences at races across North America, and acknowledge that additional opportunities could vanish in a flash. I look forward to the month with memories of four-day qualifying events. Thanking the Lord I was able to have those experiences. Thank you for all the articles during all the years, not just May.

  8. Bob F. Says:

    Welcome to the Glorious Month of May! I’ve been reading your site for many years. Probably ten anyway. I can’t speak for others, but I learn a lot about what is going on in the Indycar world from your site. When the day comes when you “hang it up” I’ll have lost my best source on Indycar and a blog I never miss. It is very obvious all the work you put into this. More than once I’ve wondered how you do it. And its great to be able come here where others have the same passion for Indy car, and especially Indianapolis, that I have. I hope you continue having fun with this for some time to come!

  9. Scott B Says:

    Congratulations George, I always look forward to reading your posts. Keep up the great work.

  10. Jim Gray Says:

    I always enjoy reading and I definitely appreciate that you have kept pounding out posts all these years!

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