Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Month of May Commences

While I’m certainly not the first to echo those sentiments above, especially since I spent my formative youth earning my IndyCar rookie stripes at Portland International Raceway instead - during what Ye ‘Ol Timers call thee glory Days ‘O CART and Open Wheel Racing, nevertheless I believe my first infatuation with motor racing came from my childhood memories of Jim McKay and Chris Shenkel stoically calling the action from the fabled Brickyard upon ABC’s Wide World of Sports.


I also tend to denote in my memory banks that I rekindled watching the Indy 500 in 1985 as I can still somewhat vividly recall ‘Ol Hollywood’s improvable Spin ‘N Win - which for Mwah was great, since I’ve never truly been a fan ‘O thee Andretti’s, first Mario and then especially “Mikey,” as unlike Geo. Phillips who’s a Gynormous Foyt fan, I was an Unser devotee - beginning with BIG AL and then ‘lil Al, before he crashed ‘N burned figuratively. As I grew up in the land ‘O Championship auto Racing Teams when you were either a Mario & Michael or Al Unser Jr. fan, since the first Al and ‘Uncle Bobby had faded from competition, albeit Al Senior made a glorious renaissance in 1987!

And I was gonna try scribbling ‘Somme-thun riveting about this past weekend’s Sao Paolo IndyCar race, but needed a break away from Zed Keyboard upon simply having just been too overwhelmed trying to put together this month’s stories in order to be able to go ‘N play at Indy in less then three weeks  time; CRIKEYS!

As I’m sure that the fine folks at IMS and IndyCar will wish to downplay the significance of this year’s race which marks the 40th Anniversary of what is probably the saddest Indy 500 in recent memory? Of which I won’t try recapping other than to say that the month’s activities took the life’s of two drivers, first Art Pollard in practice and then Swede Savage’s, whilst another casualty of that race occurred when a crew member was fatally struck by an errant emergency vehicle - not to mention a driver named Salt being involved in a horrific looking first lap shunt.


As I find it funny that I’d began scribblin’ this ramble prior to Messer Phillips lamenting over just how horrible that ’73 race was. Yet I suppose I was intrigued by the intense talent it requires of both man or woman and machine to hurtle themselves about the confines of Mother Speedway at such prodigious speed - knowing Y’all gotta make a left into Turn-1 cleanly...

Thus I still recall when I could actually S-E-E the crawl strip on the bottom of the TV along with all of the onscreen graphics and making hand drawn charts of the Indianapolis 2.5-mile oval broken down into all four straightaways plus corners and jotting down A-L-L of the corresponding speeds comprising each laps performance - which for reasons unknown I still recollect this most strongly for Robby ‘Dirtman Gordon, before he became “gordoun” in my mental notebook for his helmet tossing shenanigans...

As I recall guffawing GLEEFULLY when learning after the fact (since I tend to think I watch I-T on Sportscentrr?) Robby ran outta fuel whilst leading the 1999 Indy 500 with two laps remaining - as Gordon had slipped over to thee DARK side by then as OOPS! There’s that nasty thingy called The Split surfacing again...

Fast forward a further decade-plus to when we STUPIDLY lost Dan Wheldon in an era of remarkably “Safe” racing cars - it seems fitting that two drivers who’ve overcome the adversity of being upside down and on fire will be contesting this year’s Indy 500, no less being two-thirds of this year’s Female quotient - that being “Symona-symona” (de Silvestro) and Pippa Mann.

Thus it only seems fitting that forty years later we’re running the race in what most seemingly call a very safe racecar, as in the Dallara DW12, albeit its legacy I suppose is still unwritten, not to mention who’ll drink this year’s buttermilk...

And while I suppose many will be going GaGa over the possibility of either Dario or Castroneves joining the pantheon of revered four-time winners - which I’d personally wish to see NOT happen, with victory going instead to somebody like Oriel Servia, Justin Wilson, Alex Tagliani, Tony Kanaan, Ed Carpenter or Takuma Sato. Nonetheless, I’d still rather be seeing ‘Ol DannyBoy ‘SPIKE Wheldon aiming for his third Indianapolis victory instead!

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