Sunday, August 26, 2007

Indy celebrities - Postscript

Did you guess who the six celebrities I ran into while at IMS are?
Or are you simply getting tired of the suspense? Just give us the “Frillin’” answers man… (No cheating Danny B, your excluded)

As I’ve previously written. The mystery men in no particular order are: DH, “S. George,” DM, “Doctor Who?” Mr. Interscope and the REAL “Double D.”

And with no further ado, Drum roll please…………..
The first three represent 1/11th of this year’s Indy 500 grid. And how often do you meet three racing drivers in one day?

Obviously DH is Davey Hamilton, whom returned to the Brickyard for the first time after six years of countless surgeries to repair his shattered feet. Davey has kept sharp by compiling seat time piloting one of Sinden Racing’s two seaters. He’s a true gentleman and it was a pleasure to spend so much time talking with him. And I felt it was a true bonus to have him as my chauffer around the Speedway!

“”S. George” is the aforementioned Steven George. Better known as Stefan Gregoire. And he seemed like a very nice chap as he was sent home early after his two seater mount lost its motor at IMS. Apparently Gregoire is also collecting valuable seat time at IMS as Sinden Racing’s other driver...

Although technically gregoire didn’t compete in this years Indy after crashing during practice. As you may recall Chastain Motorsports drafted the wiley veteran Roberto Moreno as his replacement. Look for S. George to be back next year at Indy.

The third driver is by far the court jester of the triumberant. As Darren Manning is a total crack-up. Making a loud snoring sound when recounting his displeasures of having to attend Sponsor meetings. As well as being a pretty fine golfer. Manning now resides in Indianapolis and was the BAR Honda F1 test driver before moving to Derrick Walker’s Champ Car team.

Dr. Who is none other then 1997 Indy 500 Winning race engineer Tim Wardrop. And I really enjoyed my prolonged chat with him about various facets of Formula 1.

Mr. Interscope could also be called the Flying Hawaiian. As I’ve just read that he was a tire buster in the early ‘60’s prior to getting his shot as a racing driver. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? His name is Danny Ongais.

Unfortunately when I hear his name I can only recite the fact that his crash at Indy in 1987 opened the door for Al Unser Sr. as his replacement at Penske Racing. “Big Al” went on to win his fourth Indy 500 that year behind the wheel of a year old Penske show car. Wow, it just hit me. This is the 20th anniversary of that most forgettable saga.

And lastly, not to be confused with Robin Miller’s Double D. Nope, not “Milk ‘N Doughnuts.” Nor Derr-Wreck Daily. The REAL “Double D” is none other than official track historian Donald Davidson. Whom I’m now calling D-Squared…

The affable Englishman came abroad in 1964 before immigrating in 1965 to work for USAC and has been here ever since. Davidson is a walking computer as he simply rambled off answer after answer to us in the Photo Shop…