Figure atop Indy 500 trophy and American Flag painted on back of Bombardier Tower.
Events in the Plaza:
Many people hanging out listening to some Indy 500 Rookies
of the Year relating antidotes and answering questions.
Host, Larry Rice, Robbie McGehee and Pancho Carter
There was a line forming to get autographs of these 3 racers
including this dude who is like a super fan who I see every year
with some wild thing for them to put autographs on.
There was a line all day for kids getting face paint.
Another line seemed equally popular over in one of the F1
Garages - they were giving away a pin and a photo.
Anyway, I passed it all by and went to the garages.
It looked like someone on Foyt's team already hit the wall.
Let me guess... Larry?
Vision Racing showing off their
stainless-steel multi-media tool box.
Cool, but where's the X-box 360?
I caught this peek in the garage of Townsend Bell.
His sponsor is Rock & Republic. Cool.
Here is Arie Luyendyk getting interviewed.
HEY, whats that back behind him??
Why it's Thiago Medeiros interviewed by a tall hottie.
Medeiros is tall for a race car driver.
Have you been wondering what a "Car Melo" is? A candy bar?
Actually it's a guy named Carmelo Anthony who is sponsoring the car.
Carmelo plays forward for the NBA's Denver Nuggets.
He was a freshman on Syracuse when they won the NCAA title.
When I ran out of whisky, I walked around the Plaza picking up swag.
Then I went to the museum gift shop and bought some souvenirs.
For some reason, the fountain was not running.
There were a lot of different Corvettes lined up on Hulman Blvd today.
The truck above has evidently been taking its owner to races
for many years if all the stickers are any indication.
2013 Update: I found a photo of that old truck from 1962.
POSTSCRIPT - Corvette-owner Michael Brawley told me that in the morning, all the Corvettes did a parade lap,
and he sent me the following photos:
I went and sat above the F1 garages at the far south end of the track.
This was the only car I saw for like an hour.
Lawrence “Larry” Bisceglia was an auto mechanic who attended the Indianapolis 500
as far back as 1926. Originally from Chicago, he traveled from Long Beach California
and Reno Nevada.
In 1948, he arrived early with his aging 1933 DeSoto to be the first fan to line up
at the gate but was surprised to find two cars already parked ahead of him. Larry
made another attempt in 1949 but was still beaten by one vehicle. By arriving on
May 11 in 1950, he finally achieved his goal.
Larry went on to become quite famous for annually being “first in line.” By 1955,
Larry replaced the De Soto with this 1951 Chevrolet panel truck, and it became
highly recognizable, adorned with hundreds of racing decals.
On the first qualifying day in 1967, he was called to the start/finish line and
shocked with the presentation by Ford Motor Company of a brand-new Falcon Econoline
van! Larry then turned the Chevrolet over to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
The '67 van became Larry’s transportation, as well as his accommodations, up through
1985, after which he fell into ill health. He still attended, but with friends
bringing him. He passed away in December 1988 at the age of 90.
2019 Update: I discovered this truck belongs to the IMS Museum. Here is what they told me about it:
Larry's 1967 Ford Econoline Van is also owned by the museum.
Sunday May 7th 2006 - OPENING DAY & Rookie Orientation
I arrived at the track about 1 p.m. so I missed opening ceremonies
(eg. Andrettis taking a parade lap and interview with all three in the Plaza.)
I came in off of Georgetown. They parked me right in the middle of the 3rd turn by the hill.
There were families picnicking along the 3rd turn hill.
Panaramic Photo from Turn 3 Infield
I caught the tram to the Pagoda Tower Plaza.
I headed back to turn 3 at 4:30. I dragged my cooler and chair from my car to the top of the hill.
I expected to be there till 6, but they stopped things at 5. Maybe its due to the
fact that Indiana just switched over to Daylight Savings Time?
There were some new signage around the speedway announcing the 90th race.
Photos from Turn 3 Infield
This old truck was parked over by the museum.