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The 106th Indy 500
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Sunday, May 29, 2022
On Thursday afternoon, I met some North Dakota
and Texan friends who were in town for the race.  
We hung out at Goodwood Brewing downtown for
several hours.  Some of us later had drinks on
Mass Ave, at the Chatterbox dive bar where a jazz
trio performed.  We also drank at the German
Anthaneum, where a band played in the Bier Garten.

When I got up, I found E.T. asleep on my couch,
with one of my dogs sitting on top of him.  He'd
arrived during the night when I was asleep.

It was a rainy day and we ended up never going to
the track.  A shortened practice did take place later
and we watched that, and the Pit Stop Competition,
on TV.

The weather was really nice.

We watched the Drivers Meeting on IndyCar's Web
Site in the morning.  Then watched the 500 Festival
Parade on local TV and the Formula 1 qualifying from
Monaco on ESPN.

We drove around with the top down.  Got a car wash.
Bought beer.

ET checked out some Atmos music on my new audio
I got up at 8:30 am.  It was a nice morning!  We
headed for the track about 11 a.m. - a little earlier
than I normally go.

I took Harding to Washington to Lyndhurst to 16th
Street.  I could not find any parking along 16th close
to the track.  There were quite a few other cars
searching like I was.

I ended up on an industrial park street called Gilman,
that was off Main Street.  The Dallara Factory is on
the corner.

A few lot attendants told me they were full.

As I got near the end of that street, where Juncos
Hollinger Racing is located, I saw a perfectly good
space at the exit of the OMR Automotive parking lot,
and backed into it.  There was no lot attendant in

After we got our supplies out and began to head out,
some disgruntled guy came over and told me to
leave or pay him $100!  

I threw my stuff back in the trunk and was going to
leave, but it was about noon, and ET offered him $60
out of desperation.  When I said I'd throw in $20, the
villainous lot attendant assented.  He smiled as he
rubbed his hands together and twisted his long
Henry, Irma & I at Goodwood Brewery
A rainy Carb Day kept us home.
Lot Attendant at OMR Automotive
took us for $80
We reached our seats at 12:20pm, in time for Taps.  
We were sitting in the top row of Stand E in Section
7, seats 21-22.

Jordan Fisher finished singing the National
Anthem, the
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flew over.  
The roof prevented us from seeing them.  I looked
behind and saw them streak off.

I sang along with
Jim Cornelison as he performed
"Back Home Again in Indiana."  

The Thunderbirds did a second fly-by and I couldn't
see that either. A huge portion of the crowd is under
cover along the main straight like I was.  If the 2nd
fly by had been over the back straight, perhaps we
all could have seen them.
Beer - The Breakfast of Champions!
The top row of Stand E (Row R) seems to have been
put in as an afterthought.  There was not enough
room for my knees and I had to sit cross-legged.  
In addition, the backrest was a vertical board. I was
very uncomfortable the entire race and kept standing
and moving through out the 3+ hour race.  I will never
sit there again.
I am disappointed that the Penske speedway
cancelled the balloon release for fear an animal might
choke on a balloon.  Is there an animal dumb enough
to eat rubber?  Maybe a goat.  Or a human baby.

The balloon release was a tradition loved by hundreds
of thousands of people, and the only pre-race event
that could be seen by everyone at the huge facility.

I watched
Roger Penske on the Jumbotron as he
gave the command to start engines.  I wondered if
Tony George was here somewhere?

Sitting next to me was a woman who brought her
little boy because, even though she wasn't a race
fan, he was.  What a nice mom.

Green flag was at 12:45 p.m.
We got to our seats in time for Pre-Race Songs, Taps and Fly-over
I didn't use my new scanner, as I hadn't had time to
figure it out, so I used the noise-cancelling FM
Radio Headphones I bought last year.

There were several crashes, but they all happened
past Turn 2 and so I never saw them.

Scott Dixon and Alex Palou battled for the lead
through most of the first half.  Bad timing on a pit stop
dropped Palou back in the field and Dixon now
seemed like the likely winner.
The seats were in the sweet spot and I could see
right down the straight and watched many passes for
the lead as the cars approached Turn 1.  I also had
a good view of the jumbotron TV monitor across the
track from me.

I was in the shade on this sunny 80-degree day and
I had nice breeze at my back all day.
Parade Lap Before Green Flag
Wide-Angle View of Turn 1
Felix Rosenqvist of Arrow McLaren SP, Would Finish 4th

E.T. and I hung out in the stands till they were empty
and then made our way back to the car around 6pm.
Slow traffic made the 5-minute journey to I-70 take

30 minutes.

Once home, the race was soon broadcast on NBC
and D.R. came over to watch it with us.  

Afterwards, we watched the Formula One Monaco

Grand Prix, which was pre-recorded from earlier

I discovered later that the Indy 500 was also
live on Peacock and that they were unable
to black it out in central Indiana.  So the locals got to
watch the race live if they had the Peacock channel.
With 25 laps to go, Dixon made a mistake!  He drove
too fast in the pit lane and got penalized! He fell back
to 26th.  Poor Dixon!  He would finish 21st.  (He did
rake in $707,000 in prize money, so that probably
softened the blow.)

With Dixon and Palou out of the running, and
in last place, Chip Ganassi's hopes now
rested on
Tony Kanaan and Marcus Ericsson - who
had inherited the lead.

On his tail was
Pato O'Ward, followed by TK and
Felix Rosenqvist (another Swede.)
There was a steel girder next to my seat and a
diagonal cross beam that blocked my view and made
camera work difficult, not that I like taking photos
through fences to begin with.  The cross bar offered a
place to grab and lean on sometimes when I stood.
I need to remember that when I get a top row seat
with a tall fence behind me, I need to bring hooks or
carabiners so I can hang my gear and get it out of my

As it was, I was able to tie my hat, camera bag and
fanny pack on the fence behind me.
The 31-year-old Swedish driver won $3.1 million of the $16 million purse.  This was his 4th Indy 500.
As O'Ward fiercely chased Ericsson, Johnson crashed himself, halting an
exciting finish.  Arg!  What an idiot. "You're in last place dude, WTH?"  
I think Nascar sent him over here to sabotage IndyCar races.

While they cleaned up his mess, IndyCar decided to red flag the race so
that it could be restarted and finish under green.
Red Flag.  The cars lined up in the pit lane, awaiting a restart.
Ed Carpenter finished 19th, but his driver, Conor Daly, finished in 6th!
With 3 laps to go, Ericsson was chased by the two McLarens and Tony Kanaan.
Ericsson was barely able to hold off O'Ward
Ericsson's girl friend and team react as he drives by after winning the Indy 500.
Chip Ganassi and Marcus Ericsson Drive Around Track to Wave to All the Fans
Once the race ended and people had left the stands,
I moved down to the row in front of me, and it seemed
luxurious in comparison.  The seat backs were
a little
reclined and there was plenty of leg room.
Dan's Race Fan Analysis
No bag and no drink
indicates she's single &
looking for "nice guys"
with free beer.
Medium backpack, seat cushion,
Pringles and beer indicates
she pampers racer boyfriend.
Huge backpack
indicates she has brought
children to the race.
Cup indicates she needs something
stronger than beer.
E.T.  "Is it over?"
Leaning back and holding on for this photo
Jimmie Johnson's Crash on the Jumbotron