It’s Race day at WWT Raceway!

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Good morning from World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois – just across the river from St. Louis. When I left my hotel this morning, the skies were gray and it was sprinkling just a little. I didn’t fret too much, because it was predicted. However, by the time I got to the track, the skies had broken and there was blue sky above and the overcast was to the east and moving away.

The varied forecasts out there are a mixed bag. Some are predicting rain this afternoon, which may push the start time of the IndyCar race back a bit.others say that the rain will stay away until after the race is run. I choose to go with that one, but we’ll see. I just hope they get the race in today or tonight and not have us come back tomorrow. But one thing I learned a long time ago, when dealing with weather and race tracks – be flexible.

During the first IndyCar practice yesterday, I encountered a very young and eager security person. I was standing behind one of the Penske pits, along the yellow line that indicates “Team Personnel Only”, chatting with a friend of mine. Suddenly we were interrupted by someone in a fluorescent yellow T-Shirt, who asked us to please get behind the yellow line. I looked down and my toe was barely over the line, while my friend’s foot had about the same proximity to the line.

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I dared to argue that we were behind the line, but he pointed out that no part of our body was to be touching the line. Seriously? We were considered in violation? I guess technically we were, but we were obviously not intent on going into the Penske pit. We were just having a friendly conversation. That falls under the category of taking your job a little too seriously.

I took in the Midway area of the track yesterday, behind the main grandstand. This track does a great job of giving fans lots of choices for food, adult beverages and merchandise. I bought Susan a very tasteful woman’s shirt with the track logo on it, for $28 – which I thought was very reasonable. Try finding apparel that cheap at the IMS Gift Shop.

What was not so affordable was the steak sandwich I bought. It was tasty and had grilled peppers, onions and mushrooms; but I made a mistake when I ordered. I was talking on the phone with Susan and didn’t bother asking the price. I about died when he handed it to me and said $20 please. It was good, but it wasn’t that good.

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Even for a major sporting event, I thought that was a little pricey. I don’t know if that was indicative of all the food  vendors pricing, or if I just happened to choose the most expensive booth on site.

The Vintage Indy cars are housed over in the Midway this year, as opposed to the infield where they usually are. While it may not be convenient for them, it is in a very good location for the fans. They have the usual replicas of Ol’ Calhoun and Foyt’s 1964 Indy winner, as well as one of the Lotus 56 turbines from the 1968 Indianapolis 500. It’s bad that I’ve gotten so used to seeing those cars that I don’t even bother taking pictures of them anymore. This that I had not seen before were this 1956 Kurtis driven by Rodger Ward, a 1969 Eagle and John Andretti’s 1991 Hall/VDS Lola.

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There is lots on-track activity this afternoon , but it doesn’t involve the NTT IndyCar Series. As I type at 11:45, the Indy Pro 2000 Qualifying has begun. There is an IndyCar driver autograph session in the Midway area from 12:30 to 1:30. The final Vintage Indy Session will be on track at 1:15 pm CDT. At 2:15 pm, the Indy Pro 2000 race begins and then the Indy Lights race takes place at 3:15 pm. Then NBC’s coverage of the Bommarito 500 begins at 5:00 pm CDT on USA Network. The green flag has been moved up to 5:01 pm CDT due to impending weather. Please take note!

With that, they have just announced that lunch is served in the media center – brisket sandwiches. They look and smell great and the price is a little more to my liking. Please check back later, and keep fingers crossed that the rain stays away.

George Phillips

4 Responses to “It’s Race day at WWT Raceway!”

  1. I’m looking forward to today’s race. Thanks for sharing your insights and photos. Ah, to hear a Silver Crown car… lucky you.

    I am so pleased that Susan is out of the hospital and making progress in PT.

  2. Have a great day, and drive safely to home.

  3. maybe his paycheck depended upon
    strictly enforcing the pit area rules.

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