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Dan's Race Journals



U.S. Grand Prix - Race Day Sunday September 24, 2000

I normally live alone, but I had 5 houseguests in for race weekend. On Race Morning, Jeff Braybusted into my bedroom yelling at me to get up. It was 7 a.m. and he had just showed up at my house to find everyone asleep. He wanted to get to the track early as he hasn't been yet.

My sister came over to make us all a big breakfast. Eggs, blueberry muffins, and bisquits and gravy. Yum!

Debbie, the girl from last night, showed back up.

Kos and Steve however, were not getting up! Jay noted that he had seen them still partying in my garage at 5:30 in the morning!

Jeff, Debbie and Jay were ready and fervently in a hurry to leave for the speedway! I wanted everyone to go. I managed to delay them an hour while I tried to get the two drunks up. By about 10 a.m. we got everyone into 3 cars and we headed in a cold rain toward the Speedway.

Jeff and I took the 10th Street exit and hit standstill traffic before we reached Lynhurst Ave. The cops had 10th blocked so you had to take Lynhurst. Soon, we parked in someone's driveway over on 21st street for $20.

We hiked in and got to our seats in the NW Vista in time to see the Ferrari Challenge race. We missed the Porsche race, but we also missed the rain.for it stopped by the time we got to our seats! We were happy we brought seat cushions for the seats were wet.

Ferrari 360 Modenas racing in the rain!
Photo by
Lester L. Louthian

The Ferrari guys in the above photo, were scooting around IMS having a good exciting race. They were spinning out on the wet pavement and crashing into each other, etc. I found out later that these cars were all being driven by their owners and not by race car drivers!

My seats are really sweet. They are a few rows down from the top. This proved to block the cold wind from bothering us. On a hot sunny day, it is nice to be up there on the top row if there is a breeze though. My view is amazing. I could see the cars coming out of turn 13, heading down the entire straight and into the infield course. I could see them as they drove through the esses in the north side of the infield. I could see them as they shot down Hulman Blvd and took turn 8. In other words, I could see a 2/3 majority of the track! The only thing I couldn't see was turns 9-12. I am going to renew these tickets and not even try to upgrade to somewhere else. I did use binoculars a lot today and the giant TV screens the speedway has added worked wonderfully and helped a lot.

After the Ferrari race, there was the Purdue marching band with their chubby midwestern cheerleaders. [update - these same rotund gals would appear later on national tv as Purdue made it to the Rose Bowl and the band was in the Rose Parade.] Then they had a children's choir sing some patriotic songs. They sounded pretty good. We had a jet fighter fly-by, but hard to see with the overcast sky.

The course was moist, but mainly dry by the time the F1 race began. Not far into the race, points leader, Mika Hakkinen, blew up his engine, thereby removing Michael Schumacher's major threat.

Jacques Villeneuve braked too late to get around Fretzen My favorite driver, Jacques Villeneuve made it up to 3rd place, behind 2nd place Barrichelo, but somehow got moved back to 4th place by Heinz-Harald. Villeneuve's race as he tried to catch H-H Fretzen was the most exciting part of the race for me. He tried passing H-H at turn 1 with about ten laps to go. It was a valiant effort, but he locked up his tires and ended up driving through the grass. This put him 3 seconds back which he made up with a few laps. However he was never able to get around H-H and ended his day in 4th place.

Michael about throws it all away! M. Schumacher wins the first Indy GP! Schumey had a big 30 second lead all day and he must have been snoozing - toward the end of the race, he spun out! Luckily for him, he was able to keep going and retained his position to win the first U.S. G.P.

M. Schumacher wins the first Indy GP!

For some reason, not all of the concession stands were open and the lines were pretty long, however they did not run out of beer or ice or food like they usually do. Unless you wanted the Fosters in the oil can. I also noticed some guy walking by with 4 cups of hot tea! I've never seen THAT for sale at a sporting event. Must be something they did for the UK fans.

Once the race was over, we took our time getting out of there. We walked along Georgetown Road looking for bargains on t-shirts. There was not much variety, mainly the only event stuff for sale was the stuff put out by the Speedway. Souvenirs were selling hot today. I grabbed a t-shirt for my sister for $10. It had probably been $20 before the race started. It took forever to get our car out of Speedway's little neighborhoods. I hope next year's race is sunnier.

Sept 22, 2000 - F1 Practice

Sept 23, 2000 - F1 Qualifying

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