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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
until 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 Race Journals