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July 2, 2006 - U.S. Grand Prix
E.T. and I left for the track at 11 am - the latest I've ever left before.  We would miss all of
the support races and see just the F1 race at 1 p.m.

I came up 10th Street to Lynhurst, but instead of turning on 16th Street, I went straight till I
got to 20th Street.  I drove toward the track, and as I got close to Lot 2, some guy came over
and sold us a $20 Lot 2 Parking pass for $10!

We got to our seats at noon - Front row of section 10 in the Paddock Penthouse. $150 each.
The grid girls walk down the track toward the grid.
Soon, the mechanics began bringing out the tires (wrapped in warmers) and the other
gear.  It was sunny and super hot.  I heard it got up to 95 degrees today.  I wouldn't get
any shade until lap 68.  

The race was 72 laps...
Next, the cars started appearing and driving around the track to get to the grid.
NASCAR's Jeff Gordon was accompanied by his
new girlfriend as he walked out to the grid.
Pole sitter Michael Schumacher was obviously very popular.
Copyright 2006 IndySpeedway.com
Fernando Alonso was popular with the press.
A guy sitting near me said he'd seen Flavio Briatore exit the
Conrad Hilton yesterday with a super model on each arm.   When
I spotted this female standing alone in front of the Renault
garage, I figured she's one of them.
Flavio Briatore
The grid girls retired to the podium for the start of the race.
The drivers returned to their cars.
The teams and equipment cleared the course and the cars were ready to
take their warmup lap.  Unlike last year, all 22 cars came back around and
lined back up on the grid.

However, when they came around for lap 2, the field had been greatly
reduced due to wrecks beginning at the first turn.  I couldn't see them, but
here are few photos I've found of the wrecks.
Nick Heidfeld barrel-rolled through the gravel trap
flipping 3 or 4 times!
Pit stops!
The Ferraris streaked off to a big lead.  Soon, only 12 cars were in the
race.
By the end there were only 9.   I found it a pretty boring race as I melted
in the heat.   I cheer for Fernando Alonso and he was running in 5th,
which is horrible for him.  This race was the first of the year where he
didn't finish 1st or 2nd.  I'm always happy to see Jacques Villeneuve
doing well, and he was looking to finish in the points, but as the race
neared conclusion, he had car trouble and dropped out of the race.
As the final lap approached, Tony George came out to wave
the checkered flag and the photographers were set free!
Michael Schumacher streaks by the checkered flag, becoming the first
5 time winner at the Speedway.
Massa was 2nd and Giancarlo Fisichella was third.
When there are winners, there must be losers...
We stayed in our seats until the yellowshirts kicked us out.  The traffic was snarled, so we
walked to the pagoda plaza.  E.T. walked over to the museum parking lot to buy a Mercedes
hat like I bought yesterday.  I hung out in the plaza and bought a pretzel for $3 and a little ice
cream thing for $4.  By the time we got to my car, we had no problems with traffic.  I saw lots of
police, as they finished their various traffic duties in the area.  While the race ended at 2:30,
we did not get back to my house until 5pm.  

My friends came over for a cook-out.   Afterward we all went to the Nickelback concert at
Conseco Fieldhouse.   Chevelle and Hoobastank were the warm-up bands.   For the second
time today, I witnessed mediocrity rewarded by great applause.
DAN'S PHOTO JOURNALS