|The AMBER Alert Portal 300
IRL Kentucky Race
Sunday, August 14, 2005
I received 2 sets of free Kentucky IRL ticket vouchers in
the mail from Marlboro, good for 4 tickets. That was
enough encouragement to attend.
Dave, Russ and Brian.
Brian drove us in his van. We left Indy at
9:30 and got parked about noon. The race
didn't start until 2:30 Indy time (3:30 local
We hiked up around the outside of the
track looking for the place to redeem
our ticket vouchers. Marlboro Penske
would only honor one set, so we needed
to get two more tickets. Russ found
someone up around a ticket stand who
gave him two free "comp" tickets!
We then found a scalper who traded us
our tickets plus $40 for 4 seats together
in Stand 2, Section N, row 20. So we
each only spent $10.
Besides bringing some Harp beer
today, I also picked up some Grolsch
Amber Ale to try. Like Harp, it is a
great beer! Big Dave just drank water
all day and so he would be our driver
on the way home. Kentucky Speedway
does not allow coolers, so we tailgated
out at the car. I did sneak a flask into
the track so I had a couple cocktails
during the race. The line to get in was
very long and slow.
It was a hot muggy day, but there was
some good cloud cover and breezes.
This chick's tatooes included spiders, beetles
and bloodsucking zombies.
The Valvoline Chopper
Kids can practice performing a pit stop at this display.
Qualifying was rained out yesterday, so the
starting lineup was according to practice
speeds. Danica was on the pole!
Dario Franchitti came out of the pits,
lost a wheel and slid up onto the track.
He limped back around to the pits.
I needed a pack of smokes and went
in search. Even with all the Penske
Marlboro tents everywhere, no one
had any smokes for sale except one
snack stand at the total opposite end
of the place.
Dan Wheldon had a good day, but his
Andretti-Green teammates did not.
Wheldon finished 3rd.
There was a record setting number of
people in attendance today - 62,595.
Ed Carpenter had trouble with the Vision
car and limped behind. When the pack
was passing him, he had mechanical
problems and hit the wall.
There was lots of close side by side racing
today. This was a tremendous race to see!
Even though we were only halfway up the
stands, we could see all the way around the
Coming into the pits...
Toward the end of the race, Vitor Meira was right
on Scott Sharp's bumper. Lap after lap Meria ran
side by side with Sharp, but couldn't pass him on
the outside and Sharp protected the inside line to
the end of the race. Sharp's margin of victory was
the 2nd closest in the speedway's history.
A.J. Foyt IV and Jimmy Kite had a
good day, finishing in the top 10.
The series also set the record for lead changes
with "The AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300" as the
lead changed 16 times among Andretti Green
driver Tony Kanaan, Meira, Sharp and Wheldon.
I was happy to see Scott Sharp win. He'd one an
IRL race every year since the series inception until
last year. It was also good to see a different team
in each of the front runners.
While there were many people directing traffic
into the speedway, there were none but a few
officers directing traffic out. There was only one
way out of our parking area, and we all sat there
an hour before they let us out. There was only
one restroom outside the track. This place
needed a lot more.