Today was the first time I've been back to IMS since 2006. It was a great day. It was SO NICE to get back to a place they holds a special place in my heart.
First of all, I sat through pole days in a winter coat, soaked to the gills, and arrived at the track during a rain delay only to find out 20 minutes after arrival that they scrubbed the day. This was the most perfect weather I've ever encountered. I glopped on the sun screen and had a wonderful time in Turn 1.
Some random observations.
--The motor cross track in Turn 1 really threw me off. It looks very nice and meadow-like, but it really threw me off. I miss the creek running through the infield and the trees and staring at those fans in the bleachers in the infield wondering why in the world they are sitting in those bad seats and not sitting outside the track.
--Turn one could use a coat of paint......
--The most sickening sound in auto racing is the sound of a car hitting the wall.
--Nice to hear Calabro, during the Clauson cleanup state that IMS helped invent the SAFER barrier and lament that IMS doens't get enough credit.
--I have never seen a darker and more defined groove in many, MANY years. Looked nice. Driver's didn't like it, I'm sure.
--The crowd in Turn 1 was in an Anybody But Penske mood today. The loudest cheers were for the Fisher and Andretti cars. The crowd was roaring for Hinchcliffe to knock Briscoe off the pole.
--The Fast Nine shootout offends my Indy 500 purist sensibilities, but ok, whatever. It was really a fast four shootout. I would have been pretty upset if more than Kanaan and Viso took the flag and pulled in. I don't blame them, though.
--Hinchcliffe's day glow car is awesome!
--Bourdais' car is beautiful.
--I want Paul Blevins' job!
--I want Dave Calabro's job!
--Speaking of which, I thought Calabro and Ralph Shaheen did a very nice job on the PA today. They aren't up to the Carnegie and Phillipe level, but they did very well.
--They didn't open as many stands since I was last there in 2006, but the crowds were very well behaved and into the event, but...
--I have never seen more ugly/bad tats in one place in my life! Maybe we needed it to be 50-degrees and have everyone in long sleeves. Nah....I enjoyed the hot weather. I'd rather sweat than be cold.
--I'm sorry that Simona looks like she won't make the field, but with Clauson and Carpenter behind after crashing she may have a shot.
--Looks like Andretti vs. Penske on race day. Hopefully Newgarten will have a top 10 showing.
--If you're coming in from the west on I-74 LOOK OUT! The Crawfordsville Road Exit is TOTALLY different. Be careful and follow the signs. If you miss the exit and wind up on I465 south, take the 10th street exit and turn around. Don't ask me how I know, ahem.
--The Talk of Gasoline Alley is a nice after dinner mint after a long and fun day. I just wish it was two hours today!
--It was great to get re-acquainted with an old friend today. I look forward to race day!!!!