I had a bit of a party last night. D.R. was smart and went
home at 1:30 a.m. E.T. and I stayed up past 4 a.m.
Brian showed up early ready to go to the track. I had not had
much sleep for days and I had a hangover, but I got up.
We four approached on 16th street but it looked like they
were not going to let us turn on Georgetown Rd, so we took
a side street north to 20th street and took that into Lot 2 to
It was going to be a super hot and sunny day. I took a small
collapsable cooler containing a sandwich and two cokes.
No beer shows you how I felt.
The traffic in was not too bad, but there was a long line
waiting to get in the gate. However we did not wait in line
upon the sidewalk, but walked right up to the gate and got
It was so hot and the front row seats were in the full sun, so we
stayed at the top in the shade and breeze until it was almost
time for the race to start.
While we waited, we had the pleasure of this pretty St Louis
girl's company, who was also trying to stay cool.
The Corvette pace cars were lined up single file along
pit row. The Indy 500 princesses sat in them.
Everyone across from me in the Tower Terrace held up
signs which stated "America Supports You".
Celebrities came out and took a parade lap.
Then soldiers came out and marched down the road,
while the Purdue Marching band played old tunes and
twirler girls did their thing.
|The last row on the grid was in front of me.
Here is a collage of some of the Indycars....
The shade slowly crept toward our seats.
In the meantime I was using a wet hankerchief
to try and stay cool.
(Gentlemen, hankerchiefs have gone out of
style, but let me tell you, they are a really handy
thing to always have in your back pocket.)
By lap 61, we were finally in the shade.
The temperatures hit 89 degrees today and
was the 3rd hottest Indy 500 in history.
It was 125 degrees on the track.
I do not know how the people sitting across
the track from me in the tower terrace
survived the day with no shade.
Tomas Scheckter, driving for Vision Racing, wrecked and lost his
wing out in the middle of the track. Jaques Lazier came along and
must have been daydreaming or looking at the crowds, as he clipped
the wing and it exploded sending a large piece reeling high up into
I saw this big black rectangle thing go up into Tower Terrace. It was
unreal, I wondered if I really saw it, or if it was a shadow. They never
announced anything about it. But later at home, I saw on tv that
it really did happen and that it hit a fan on the arm, fortunately only
causing minor wounds.
And finally, Felipe Giafffone , driving for AJ Foyt in the #14, wrecked
on lap 177. A bad day for Foyt as his son Larry retired on lap 43 with
|Buddy Rice's car burns
in Turn 4
|Tomas Scheckter slid into end of pit wall.
I believe Scheckter's wing flew into the crowd at the center of the above photo.
Sam Schmidt Motorsports team performed admirably with
driver Airton Dare'. How this guy can beat Rahal,
Hemelgarn and Foyt's teams with a small budget and one
car is amazing, nevermind that Sam is in a wheelchair!
The end was interesting due to some yellows
and pit stop strategy. Without a radio, it was
hard to tell why certain drivers were moving
forward or backward in the field.
For a moment, it looked like Danica, who had
admirably held on to 6th place most of the day,
was going to take the lead. Then suddenly
Tony Kanaan was leading. I had him in the
betting pool as usual, so I was happy for a few
There was a late yellow and the track went
green with 5 laps to go.
Suddenly, Marco and Michael Andretti were in
the lead! The audience gasped as the lead
changed yet again.
As the last lap came up, Sam Hornish Jr.
rocketed back from a penalty, passed Michael
and as rookie 19 y/o Marco Andretti headed
down the final stretch toward the checkered
flag, Hornish passed him at the last second
winning the race in the 2nd closest finish in
I had to snap the above photo using my hearing and guessing when these
225 mph cars would zip into the frame.
Everyone thought today's race was one of the best they
have ever seen!
We waited around after the race for about an hour, until
they kicked us out.
We drove out onto Georgetown Rd heading south, intending
to go right on 16th.
However, the police forced us to go left (east) on 16th and
wouldn't let us turn south until we were past the track.
We took Holt Rd south, jumped on Kentucky Ave and
then finally reached I-465 on the south side.
We got home in time to watch the race on tv, as it is delayed
here in Indianapolis. If you live here, you can't watch it live
unless you have a satellite feed. Hence, many people listen
to the race on the radio around here.
Soon the cars were brought out onto the grid in preparation for the 1 p.m. start.
|Jim Nabors looks on as Mari Hulman
George gives the signal to the drivers to
start their engines.
Florence Henderson sings "America" and Jim Nabors sings "Back Home
Again In Indiana". Thousands of balloons are released into the air.
During the singing of the National Anthem, 4 F-16 fighter jets flew over.
A minister says a prayer. All of this is tradition. But when the hundreds of
thousands stand and fall silent and taps rings out so forlornly, I think of the
boys who have lost their lives in defense of our country and it really makes
me sad. I sometimes wonder why they try to make me sad before an event
that I look forward to all year, but I know its good that they use this forum,
which reaches so many people, to remind us of our nation's power, that
we are at war and the sacrifices that have been made in order to let
freedom ring around the world.
|Helio Castroneves slid up to pit wall
Jaques Lazier sent
Scheckter's wing into the
audience - notice missing
|INDY 500 RACE DAY
Sunday, May 28th 2006
We scored great seats this year - FRONT ROW of Paddock Penthouse.
D.R. and I sat in section 30.
Brian and E.T. sat a few sections north of us.
|Here is the foot bridge that takes people from Lot 2 to Georgetown Rd.
Rookie Jeff Simmons pit was right across from my seat.
He left the pits too soon and scattered his pit crew. The gas
man was still fueling and he got slammed in to the wall and
collapsed. He was taken away on a stretcher.
Meanwhile, Simmons drags the torn fuel hose out onto the
track, where Little Al hit it and wrecked!
Then Simmons crashes by himself and is out of the race.
Bad day for Simmons and the Rahal Letterman Ethanol team.
Although Sam Hornish Jr. put his Penske on
the pole, Dan Wheldon, the defending Indy
500 Champ, led most of the race for Target
Chip Ganassi Racing.
There were a few incidents throughout the day.
On the 2nd lap, two rookie teammates, Jeff
Bucknum and PJ Chesson, driving for Ron
Hemelgarn, collided and knocked each other
Two former champions, Helio Castroneves and
Buddy Rice collided and hit the wall on lap 109.
|Buddy Lazier driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
|Al Unser Jr driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
|Jeff Simmons diving for Rahal Letterman Racing
|Felipe Giaffone leaving the pits
|Scoring Pylon before the Start
|Larry Foyt's day came to an early end when he exprienced handling problems.
Another amazing thing is that umbrella girl who
held that thing up through the whole race!
Come on guys, I've seen fans out in the infield
with umbrellas attached to their lawn chairs!
The unfortunate name given to these tarps to keep oil from
leaking onto the track is "diaper". Ha ha!
|DR, me and ET staying out of the sun.
|Sam Hornish Jr
and Penske Racing
Won the 90th