Sunday, May 10, 2015

Swim Practice and an Indy Car Race: Best Day Ever

I left for swim practice at about 7 a.m.
Saturday morning. It was going to be a full day: 
I addition to my backpack full of swim supplies, 
I had a ticket in my wallet for the 
2nd Annual Indianapolis Grand Prix.
After practice, I went downtown where I stopped
at a grocery for my track lunch, a sandwich 
and bottles of pop and orange juice, then caught
a bus to the track that dropped me off 
at the front gate of the Speedway.

I headed towards the mounds inside Turn 2
where I found a spot to watch the conclusion of
the Indy Lights race. The Indy Car race was
scheduled to start at 3:50 p.m. so I had 
time to walk around the infield where I found
another nice piece of grass outside the road course
Turn 7. I settled there to enjoy the company 
of other race fans and to bask in the lovely sunshine
as I ate my little lunch.

While the race was a so-so affair,
won by the "usual suspects" (Will Power of Penske Racing),
just hearing the sounds of the engines and seeing
the  low-slung, flying road sculpture took me to my happy place.
Admittedly, these latest incarnations of race cars
are not the most attractive creations; their wings and anglets 
seem like engineers' versions of frippery. 
I want to strip off the carbon fibre ruffles to see 
whether there is a sleek racer below.

After the race was over and awards were made,
 the track was opened to the spectators
to give folks the opportunity to walk as much of
the IMS oval and road courses as they liked.
Many hundreds of people passed through the gates
to check out the smooth pavement, to inspect the
SAFR barrier on the outside of the walls, and to take
pictures of the place to record their visit.

People walked around to see the most famous,
best known sites - the scoring pylon and the Pagoda.
 A number of them rolled through the course
in their wheelchairs, obviously enjoying the chance
to sample a small bit of wind in their hair,
imagining for a second they are driving
the same track as their heroes have done for
nearly one hundred years.

Carrying his daughter on his shoulders,
a father walks through Turn One, his hands free
to record pictures of the front stretch.
Below, president of the Speedway, Doug Boles,
took the time to meet and talk with visitors 
he met underneath the new scoring pylon.

I didn't get a chance to speak with Mr. Boles,
other then to tell him how much I enjoyed the track walk,
and to say, "This should have been done ages ago.
Look at the people: they are all happy and they love this place.
They would never hurt it."
Then the darkened skies released the rain,
closing the track for the day. 
People quietly headed for the gates and shelter.
The place is hallowed ground.
We will all return. Soon.


Anonymous said...

I especially like the picture of Speedway at the Speedway :-)

William Kendall said...

I've watched the odd Indy race in the past. I get it more than NASCAR, which seems bizarre to me.