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bluengold34_OS's Blog
The Indy 500 
Posted on May 19, 2009 at 12:02 PM.
Gone are the days of such drivers known as Rahal, Unser, Rutherford, Andretti, and Mears. The days I spent going to the Brickyard, and seeing these magical, mythical Titans of concrete, are just faded memories now. These names were larger than life though in the 70's and the 80's, when the 500 was truly the " The greatest spectacle in racing".

We would head to Indianapolis form South Bend( only a 2.5 hour trek) the night before and enter a world that seemed like it was straight out of the movies. The city itself was engulfed with people and the energy would last throughout the night. Indianapolis was truly the midwest version of " The city that never sleeps" at least for that 48 hour period. It seemed like every block was lit up with parties in the street, parties in the road, and parties all around the track.

If you counted on sleeping that night, then you were in the wrong place. It didn't matter what your age was, or where you were from, it was huge family gathering of a quarter of a million people. I Drink beer with people from New York, California, Florida, and even an international contingency was prevelant.
I've seen people perform acts in the street's that up until then, were relegated to adult movies. I witnessed acts of kindness, acts of cruelty, and acts that I still have no explanation for.

Just as the night time diminished, and the new dawn was breaking, when normal people would need to sleep. This crowd found more energy, as the excitement of race day was here. Even before the track opened, the anticipation was almost palpable. People would shower and wash up in the infield bathrooms, and share stories of the night before.

As we made our way to the our seats in turn 1 at the top, you could see the crowd to start to settle in. The Brickyard is so massive, that it is impossible to see the whole track at once. From our seats you could see almost the whole front stretch, all of turn 1 and turn 2, and a little of the backstretch. Just down the frontstretch, you could see, arguably, the most famous icon in racing, The Brickyard Pagoda. Its the only seat in the house in which you can actually see the whole track, but obviously was reserved for track official's and announcing crews.

Once the race started, you could feel the vibration from the cars in the stands, and the sound was so loud as those 33 cars blazed around the track, the use of earplugs is emminant. Turn 1 is famous for its crashes, and never dissapointed in that area. I have seen crashes that I was amazed the driver was able to walk away from, as the jetpack on wheels would disintigrate into the wall.

With the race approaching this weekend, I keep hoping that this is the year that the excitement form years past, would appear again. There is a good group drivers who are extremely talented. Such stars as Castroneves, Patrick, Weldon, Tracy, Kanaan, and Franchitti will make this one of the most competitive 500's in awhile. Along with seasoned vets, there is also a good group of young talent with some names that may sound familiar. Drivers such as Foyt ( AJ IV ) Rahal ( Graham ) and Andretti ( Marco and John ).

As I set down on my couch this Sunday, and settle in for the race. I hope it draws me in and keeps me there. I hope the racing is competitive, I hope to see spectactular crashes, I hope for a finish that comes down to half a second, but mostly I hope for the feelings I felt 20 years ago. Maybe its just nostalgia that I want, maybe it's just my longing for yester-year, but truly I hope it isnt.
# 1 Bengals1Fan @ May 19
Hey if you live in Indy there is one place to be on the week leading up to and after the race
Located in the coke lot outside turn 4
Look for TOM
or got to camp and
# 2 bluengold34_OS @ May 19
Thanks FS..I appreciate that. Bengal, we no longer live in Indy. We have since moved to Denver....and trying to get the Wife back to Indy just for the race, is a near impossibility.
# 3 Mo @ May 19
I envy you for having been to 500 before and if I could I would go in person.
But that said, I'm eager to watch the race, especially to see if Helio can put his off track distraction to side and win another 500.
# 4 bluengold34_OS @ May 19
Miget..........Just make sure before you leave this earth good friend, that you make at least on trip to Indianapolis, In.
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