Saturday, May 24, 2014

INDY 500: 2013 Speedway Recollections - Fini!

Hiro Matsushita
Ah, although this has been my favourite activity the past few years since it was instituted, I wasn't quite sure how it'd outdo my five minutes of ecstasy with Alex Zanardi the day prior! Nevertheless, I have scribbled 'bout it before being the Top Banana for the I500 weekend for Mwah in;

Saturday, May 25
Legend’s Day - Tres
Funny, but for Mwah, this is typically thee Highlight of the weekend for me, especially since I CANNOT S-E-E the racecars on-track and thus this is typically the time I get to have the most fun interaction - even if with Driver's of the Past, as most of them seem to be pretty friendly, although the "Congo-line" of NOT so famous drivers in 2012 was without doubt my Bestest' experience of the three year's so far.

Think we went in 'Bass-ackwards formation, i.e.; going thru Group B first before making it thru the Group A line, as I primarily wanted to get the legendous' "King Hiro's John Hancock," as he garnered considerable Attenzione from our yearly "Rat Pack" each Father's Day weekend's CART race at Portland International Raceway, being a veritable Back-marker alongside Lyn St James, Scott Brayton, etc.

And what a year's difference makes, as Kenny Brack was totally cool and even cracking jokes with me - while I got a good laugh outta Derek Daly who returned to his seat "Justin-time" as  we approached the end of the line, where I told Derek I wanted to have a "Chin-wag" with him which not only made him laugh-out-loud but got  great curiosity outta thee 'Brackster...

Bob Lazier was very enjoyable and Tyce Carlson was a treat - having heard us talking about his Fan Force United team before we got to him, he was quick to point out that they were still in business and  in hopes of returning shortly.

And although Billy Roe had been the Court Jester to Mwah the year prior, when we asked if he remembered me he was  honest while drawing a blank, as I didn't expect him to, albeit he'd asked me how many fingers was he holding up the year before.

Drivers: Group B
Joe Saldana, Greg Leffler, Robby McGehee, “King Hiro,” aka Hiro Matsushita, “Balls,” (Bill uterbaugh) Billy Roe, Bill Simpson, . Eliseo Salazar, Johnny Parsons, Jaques Lazier, Kenny Brack and Derek Daly.

Drivers: Group A
Bob Lazier, Tyce Carlson, Buzz Calkins, John Mauhler, Spike Gelhausen, Herm Johnson, Phil Giebler, Scott Harriington and Max Papis.

As I'll attempt scribbling 'bout these drivers sometime in the future as a follow-up to my first two year's Legends Day's recaps, the first being the;

While the second year's fantastic outing was chronicled in;

Sunday, May 26
97th Indianapolis 500 Race
Although I suppose I should stop scribbling 'bout this, nevertheless, cannot say how B-A-D of a taste the CLUSTERFUCK of 2013's "Entry-Gate" fiasco left in my mouth, not to mention my cranium, obviously - if it still pisses me off a year later!

As I suppose we should have known that when IMS ran OUT of breakfast early that morning in the Flagroom's restaurant, it would be a sign of things to come, I mean WTF? How can you run out of food for a Buffet Breakfast at 9-FREAKIN' AM in the morning???

That said, things weren't all bad at Mother Speedway; Hey, how can it ever be bad being at the lady Speedway, unless I dunno, it's raining and you're not prepared for it, eh?

Thus my quickly jotted down notes from when I began this last June noted the following items on the plus side of the ledger.

  • Driver meetings - Carb Day
  • Legends Day Autograph session
  • Mrs. Brady’s Pneumonia
  • Jimmy Neighbors
  • Pre-race Fly-over
  • The Race
  • Free Admission to HOF Museo

The above listing is in order of events, while I've already given a pretty good description over the Carb Day drivers I met previously, I've just given a very brief expose on Legends Day: Round-3, as that's still a work in progress, like many stories basking in the cellars 'O Nofendersville.

Obviously I do NOT wish Pneumonia upon anybody, especially Mrs. Brady, it's just that Florence Henderson really-really-really shouldn't be allowed to sing America the Beautiful at the Speedway anymore!

When Bobby Unser was on the Speed Freaks recently and asked what was the first thing that came to mind when he heard the word Indianapolis, for Mwah its always been Jimmy Neighbors singing Back Home Again in Indiana, and thus, I'm a 'Wee bit sad I won't get to hear his final singing of his signature song live at the Speedway this May...

And while I won't' belabour the BULLSHIT over thy Sequester, which is the excuse; Err reason why the military can no longer provide flyover's at live sporting events, nevertheless I found the soothing sounds of six vintage piston powered Aeroplanes far more enjoyable for my auditory senses.

And what a race, eh? As I'll get to that shortly, whilst for some reason on the day after the race, I was once again given free admittance into the Hall of Fame museum - which sadly, for the first time I can recall ever, didn't have any new racing cars on display...

Going Four-for-Four, once again I was sitting somewhere new in the Coliseum 'O Speed, with this year's seats being in the veritable nose bleed section of Turn-4, as I believe  we were situated in Row SS, TT or WW? As it was a creakingly INSANE amount of stairs for a blind person to be climbing!

Having missed the entire Pre-race festivities due to that Entry-Gate CLUSTERFUCK! We barely sat down "Justin-time" to see the 33-starters begin their warm-up laps, as I think this was the only time I could see the miniscule blurbs 'O colour along with discerning some different engine note noises, as I cannot remember who sounded sickly when hustling into the Pits, although I believe it was Charlie Kimball?

And I'm NOT going to try recapping the whole race, especially when its already been done, as I'll leave the Heavy Lifting to thee Dom 'O IndyCar Bloggers Pressdog below...

But what a difference a year made, as I ended up wearing my windbreaker the entire day vs. the oven roasting HEATWAVE we experienced in 2012!

As to try giving some idea of how FREAKIN' FAR AWAY we were from the track, as I started wunderin' if I'd end up getting vertigo? As I've never sat up so high before needing to constantly crank my head forwards and D-O-W-N to attempt seeing what appeared to me to being nothing more then miniature-ish Slot Car blurs 'O colour continuously going around on their grooves in the track, which just appeared to be a shiny 'lil sliver of black ribbon-top to Mwah...

Unfortunately I really don't remember a whole lot about the race, other than Dave keeping tabs upon his gal Pippa (Mann) who'd end up having troubles with another of 'CARPETS favourite's, nee Buddy Lazier, as it's an interesting thought of how I've become exposed to several of the "lesser" driver's for lack of better word, as our Roll Call included the likes of Pippa, Joseph Newgarden, Lazier, Conor Daly and Ed Carpenter, while naturally our 'Kuhnadiun trio from Toronto were rootin' for James Hinchcliffe. While I myself was most interested in the progress of A.J. Allmendinger and Carlos Munoz - naturally along with my Top-3 'Dawgs, nee Justin 'B-I-G UNIT Wilson, Will Power and "Symone Pagenoe." (Simon Pagenaud)

And although I didn't expect Allmendinger to win the race, I recall being pleasantly surprised when he moved into the lead, as I'd earlier speculated that this was his audition for a fulltime ride at Penske in 2014, although apparently the lure of 'RASSCAR was too great, as AJ's gone back to being a fulltime Taxicab driver instead.

Nevertheless, it was a gutsy performance by the rookie driver who I'd witness win his debutant Champ Car victory at Portland International Raceway all those years ago, ultimately finishing a very respectable seventh, splitting his more esteemed Penske team-mates 'HULIO (Castroneves) and Will Power.

One of the things I still most vividly recall now is chanting profusely with both hands having fingers crossed doing fist-pumps while shouting TK! TK! TK! As Tony Kanaan had flirted with the lead all day long and with just a handful of laps remaining was looking very racy indeed... As what struck me most was how I wasn't alone in this chanting TK's name, as it seemed like a veritable ground swell of voices in unison doing The Wave! As the electricity of the crowd was mind boggling, as could Kanaan pull it off?

And then with just three laps remaining? 'TK "Follow-your-Schnoz!" Kanaan pounced the Andretti Autosport team-mates of Ryan Hunter-Reay and rookie phenom Carlos Munoz to a thunderous ovation from the stands slotting into the lead before his good buddy Dario Franchitti sealed the win for the crowd  darling by crashing into the wall with two-laps remaining...

And finally adding further salt to my wounds, was the fact that I'd managed to permanently delete this pages final paragraph noting how it was a good thingy that "Hoser #3," aka Simon had very politely read to me both the qualifying and race reports from the Monaco Grand Prix whilst at Carpets Manor, which in the year's past I've forbid the Boyz from doing so, since I record the Formula 1 race for viewing upon my return from Indy.

Needless to say all I could do was grimace out loud upon returning home and discovering I had some  three-plus hours of "Infomercial" gobbly-gook upon my 'Ol School recordin' device, as I must have been on autopilot since I'd selected NBCSN instead of Duh Peacock, nee NBC as the Principality's race was on the B-I-G Network, just like it  will be again this year with 'Ol 'Hobbo even cavorting how nice it'll be being live on-scene once again...