|Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Sunday - May 28, 2000
We began raceday by rising at 6 a.m.
This year, Johnny was joining Buddha, E.T. and I.
We took I-465 around and bypassed the 10th Street and
Crawfordsville Road exits which were already backed up on
the interstate. We went up to 38th Street and took that to
Moller Road and then down to 30th Street and into the Coke
Lot where we parked for free!
We all bought some cheap $10 t-shirts off some guy in the
Lots of campers had huge poles with flags and lights in the
We proceeded over to 24th Street and Georgetown
where Buddha's Michigan Tech fraternity brothers were
partying. They had rented a big U-Haul truck and had
parked it Wednesday along this party corridor. There
were about 30 dudes and by the looks of things, some
serious drinking had been going on the past few days.
Three TV sets were lying around smashed to pieces
thanks to a drop off of the top of the truck. They told me
one made a really good "pop". There were assorted
couches scattered about, a mountain of beer cans and a
campfire which blazed with weird colors thanks to the
various toxic items they would throw into it.
About six of the guys sat on top of the truck which had Tiki
Torches duct taped to the top corners.
Crowds of people began walking by on their way into the
track around 8 or 9am. The boys hurled down insults and
sex jokes. It was amusing.
They also had a "fireman's" pole for sliding back down to
E.T. and I walked around to some of the vendors lined
around the outside of the speedway selling racing souvenirs
and food. I wanted an Indian Taco, but they were still
cooking breakfast. Another batch of streetside party boys
set what looked like a live rat with its head caught in a big
trap out in the middle of the street for all to see. I walked by
and thought it was funny because it was so realistic. A little
later, E.T. told me it was real. If it was, then it was the sickest
thing I've ever seen anyone do.
We packed up the gear and headed toward the speedway
entrance at 10 a.m. I thought I'd try bringing in plenty of
supplies this time. I had a cooler full of beer and food,
another bag with junk and an umbrella. The one thing I did
not take was a camera.
We had not stepped 5 feet into the speedway when it began
raining! I pulled out my poncho and umbrella and I was one
of the few to keep dry. Hundreds of thousands of people had
already made it to their seats, many rushed to seek shelter
under the stands and in the tunnels. It was packed and most
people just had to sit in the rain.
We eventually made it over to the tower and Gasoline Alley,
walking around gawking at stuff. These guys hadn't been to
the track yet this year and there was plenty of new stuff to
see. I was really tired of carrying my junk around. Next year
if I feel the need to take my own food and beer, I am going
to get a wagon or a large cooler with wheels!! Many people
use wagons and there are spots behind the stands where
you can leave them while you watch the race.
After the rain stopped, several fighter jets flew by. Then a
Harrier jet slowly flew down the front stretch and came to a
stop above turn one. Harriers have adjustable jet engines
that let them hover in air. The noise was unbelievable, the
loudest thing I have ever heard. It slowly rotated 360
degrees and then slowly took off. I wasn't even in the stands
right under it. Its hard to imagine that the noise didn't
damage a lot of ears.
E.T. had gotten an extra pair of tickets over in Tower
Terrace. He and Buddha planned on watching the start and
finish there and the middle portion up in NE Vista with
Johnny and I. I was surprised by how fast they got the track
dry. We got to our seats right as the parade lap was
coming by. Later I heard they had driven the Turbine
"whoosh" cars by. I'd have loved to seen those. Anyway it
was nice having the extra space provided by E.T. and
Buddha's absense. I was tired from carrying my junk around
for the last 3 hours.
The race proceeded well enough, no accidents or yellows
until after the first 150 miles, when Greg Ray, pole sitter, hit
the 2nd turn wall. 2nd place qualifier, Juan Pablo Montoya,
from the CART series, had already taken over the lead. He
basically led to the end of the race making this one of the
most boring 500 races I've ever seen. Little Al had car
troubles and bailed out as did my old friend, Andy
I didn't take a camera today and the photos on this page
were supplied by someone else.
After the race, Johnny-G and I went back to the U-Haul truck.
Seven hours had passed and the frat boys hadn't slowed
down. They yelled at the girls with gusto and several raised
their tops and flashed us as they walked by laughing.
I got the camp fire going again and then some of the guys
fired up the grill and cooked some burgers.
I played some Euchre in the back of the truck and tried one of
their homemade pickled eggs.
By the time it got dark, they were packing up and getting
ready to torch 4 sofas, before fleeing quickly before the fire
department would show up. That is when we left for home.
|Juan Montoya and Target Chip Ganassi Racing
from ChampCar easily won the Indy 500.
The broadcast of the race is delayed in Indy.
After we got home, we all started watching it in my living
Everyone fell asleep with about 30 laps left to go.
It had been an exhausting weekend and we can't wait for this
September and the U.S. Grand Prix!
For the first time in history, two women started in the 500.
Ironically, they hit each other and then the wall. Neither
returned to the race.
Toward the end, Buddy Lazier began gaining on Montoya.
This provided some excitement. About lap 175 it began to
lightly sprinkle. The race continued and Montoya won, to
most IRL fan's chagrin.
|Andy Hillenburg in the #48 Sumar Special