Belterra Resort 300
Sunday - August 12, 2001
My friend from work, Pam, has a new red Miata. She wanted to go to the IRL race with me and she drove. I couldn't have asked for a better day to take a ride in convertible. The IRL's 10th race of the season was held on a perfect summer's day. The trip from Indy to Sparta Kentucky took a little over 2 hours. We hit heavy traffic about 3 miles east of the speedway on I-71, but it kept moving. However once inside the speedway area, we had a very hard time finding a place to park.
It was noon and the race would start in 1/2 hour. A lot of people were arriving rather late like us. There were quite a few vendors outside the track. There were big inflated playgrounds for kids. In one display tent, I got to see this Indycar next to a Ferrari Formula One car. Awesome!
The place only had one entrance open so it was very crowded trying to get in.
A bomber jet made a couple of loud fly-bys. During the national anthem, bombs were set off, thousands of balloons were released, and fire works launched when the cars rolled away.
I sat in section 1 which is the far end of the speedway stands. All the seats at this place are good and you can see all the way around the 1.5 mile oval.
The place was pretty full too.
Scott Sharp led from the pole for the first half of the race.
His teammate, Mark Dismore spun and crashed early and that was the only accident of the day on the track. After that, there were only 3 cautions during the day, the first two I think were for debris on the track.
Sarah Fisher and Buzz Calkins were backmarkers all day and must have gotten lapped at least 3 times over the 300 mile race.
Eddie Cheever was doing well, but his clutch broke in the pits late in the race.
Sam Hornish and Billy Boat stayed in the lead pack all day.
Little Al had some good pit stops and ended up in the top ten.
Kentucky Speedway has a miniature copy of the scoring tower found at Indy.
Two others in the lead pack all day were Robby Buhl and Buddy Lazier. There was exciting side-by-side racing at the end of the race as these two diced back and forth for the lead.
From previous experience, I knew you couldn't hear the p.a. system because the cars are loud. During the race, they cars eventually get spaced out so that there is constant noise. I brought my radio headphones but didn't have much luck with them.
I caught the news when I got home and it looked like Buhl had some trouble in the pits, pulling away and rupturing his gas line. Fortunately there was no fire. But it did prevent him from getting all the fuel he needed. Robby ran out of gas at the end as it looked like he might win.
This was Buddy's 8th IRL win (a record) and his 4th win in the last 5 IRL races (another record.) Buddy Lazier and his Hemelgarn team continue fighing Sam Hornish and Panther Racing for the points lead.
Buddy Lazier Wins!
This was Rick Treadway's first IRL race. He finished 17th.
This was a fun, exciting race and I overheard several Nascar fans exclaiming how they liked the race.
Last year, it took hours to get out of the track. They must have fixed some things because the traffic kept moving and we were soon out to the higway! We took the scenic route home, traveling to Louisville, instead of Cincy. Drove up the hilly middle of Indiana, beside national forests and rolling farmland (lots of corn and soybeans, cows and horses). A few good twisties.