Well, I had a fabulous Sunday at the track. Got hooked up with suite tickets at pit out, and access to the official Indycar Paddock (the catered suite). I was also allowed in the pits and on the track.
I arrived by 9:30, and was walking outsde the fence on my way to the credentials suite to pick up my ticket, when I saw three of the 2-seater Indycar come roaring past--then Arie looped it. As he tried to get going again he stalled it. I ran into him at the Indycar Paddock. He was very nice.
Watched the Star Mazda race--an absolute joke. Perhaps there were 5 laps of green--the rest was a wreck-fest. The Ferrari Challenge that followed, by contrast, had only one incident.
Walked the paddock a lot. Predictably, Hinch, Tags, Simona's had the most traffic. Managed to say hello to Michael Andretti, Scott Dixon, and Josef Newgarden. Talked to a guy from Carpenter's crew about the final practice--he said they weren't quick but that Ed didn't crash the car (so I inferred he was relieved).
Started walking the grid about an hour before the start. Talked briefly with Larry Foyt (he graduated from a private school in Houston where I used to teach)--he was cool. Said hello to Robin, and told him Trackforum sends its regards. Walked by Conway's pits to see what they had laid out--one set of black stickers, two sets of red stickers, and a set of red scrubbed (he had lots of reds left).
Mike was the man to watch early on, and the announcers picked up on it nicely. Got absolutely done in by the FCY, so I don't begrduge him what was clearly a fortuitous finish. He ran most of the last half of the race in 14th or 15th, and was 11th with 10 laps to go (although it was obvious some were going to have to duck in for a splash and go).
From my suite the televisions provided incorrect gaps, never clarified how many P2P's each driver had left, or how long it had been since their last pit stop, so that was somewhat confusing, since I typically watch the race with my laptop on live timing.
Kimball, obviously, was a monster on race day. I was worried about all 4 TCG cars, because on Friday theirs were the only motors that were popping, Charlie's being the worst.
Heard the Lotus motor for the first time. To me the difference between it and the others is subtle to the casual fan. Connoiseurs of F1 can truly appreciate how glorious it is.
Bourdais has no class. Even if Conway was in the wrong, which is a dubious claim anyway, to start lobbing insults indiscrimately, on twitter no less, is weak sauce.
After the race I managed to spend some time in the drivers' motorhome lot. Unfortunately, I can't say anymore.
Spoke with AJ as he was leaving the track. I told him I was a big Conway fan and he said Mike was "a good boy."