Monday, July 30, 2018

INDY 500: Random Musings from Another enjoyable visit to the Wonderful IMS Museum

Did "Uncle Bobby" let the air outta his Brother Al's 1987 Indy 500 Winner? Which Eagle Eyed No Fenders Photographer CARPETS' spotted this May during our visit. (the Tomaso Collection)
As it's time for another enjoyable romp thru Mother Speedway's Fantastic time capsule" Garage of racing round it's Hallowed Grounds...

Otay, so much for another short story, Eh? As per Tipicali, my IMS Weekend Trip Notes rant simply keeps Mushrooming in length. As your Humble No Fenders Scribe Tomaso simply cannot manage the Art form of the short post' but I digress...

In what has become our long standing tradition on the Monday following the race, Dave drove us over to the IMS Museum for my yearly visit.

Guessing we must have been somewheres' near Downtown? Since Dave noted how that's Odd? What's  the Penske Racing Team's Semi-hauler doing pulling out of the J.D. Marriot? Hmm? May be they're dropping off Will Power's Indy 500 winning mount for the Banquet? Which is exactly what was happening.

IMS Museum
As it's always funny to Mwah, how from year-to-year, you never know what you'll get as a blind visitor to the museum. As I've gone from Free Admission to our personally Guided Tour allowing me to touch three racing cars  to absolute nothing, not even giving me the slightest nod...

As this year's exhibit features the legendary Unser's, presumably the only Family to have three multi-Indianapolis 500 winners in its ranks, with the amazing tally of nine Indy 500 victories!

As I swear All nine of the Unser's Indy 500 winners were On-hand, although Jim Ayello's article notes that just eight of the nine were present. But then again, Hmm? Cannot seem to remember if 'lil Al's Galmer chassis  was there?

With three of B-I-G AL's four winners grouped together, while the other PJ Colt Johnny Lightning chassis was off in an original Gasoline Alley Garage diorama.

Thought 'Ol "Uncle bobby's" three winners were side-by-side?  Since all I remember is CARPETS' telling me the cars were autographed - before asking me what's Olsonite? Which is funny since I've got a 1:18 Diecast replica of that bone white Eagle chassis that Bobby Unser won the Pole at Mother Speedway aboard.

And I really liked the new Display Cases, which apparently were recondition from the 1930's? Even if I couldn't see anything inside them. As there's countless great trinkets, trophies, helmets, etc spread all about the museum.

Not to mention much of Thar' winnings from "Unser Mountain," aka Pikes Peak, which I think bobby won an astounding 13 times? Along with a 1946 "tow" truck pulling a racer behind it.

While I'd just learned about Ma Unser's chili cook-offs during a recent Speed Freaks interview with Uncle Bobby on Mother's Day, for which the giant cook pot and canoe sized stirring paddle were on display, or pictures of said cooking implements? Although I'm pretty sure at least the paddle was Thar.

As I guess the two cars that made the most impression upon your blind Word Butcher were the following non-IndyCar related, since I've seen many of the Unser's Indy 500 machinery either in the past IMS Hall of Fame museum, or at the Penske Racing Museum in Arizona...

1993 Chevrolet Lumina Stock Car
Sadly, due to my constantly faltering eyesight, this was one of the only vehicles I could see at the museum. Well actually it was just the giant numbers 46 jumping out to me, thanks to the contrasting starkly white paint job. Since I couldn't see any Valvoline Deckles...

this was 'lil Al's single foray into the Dark Side 'O Taxicab Land; Err Bombers, or better known simply as Stock Cars. As Al Unser, Jr. was persuaded by his "good Friend, The Intimidator," or as I prefer 'Ol Ironhead! To race in the 1993 Daytona 500 for Rick Hendrick.

Junior got Spun Out during Qualifying and wrecked his primary car, whilst noting his team-mates were a rookie named Jeff Gordon, and Ken Schrader.

Yet Hendrick elected to put 'lil Al into Schrader's Backup Car, hence the unusual monotone paint scheme, since Thar simply wasn't time to repaint his ride for Day-Toner.

Then after Unser Jnr had wheeled the Chevy Lumina up front from 40th position; which 'lil Al claims this chassis was way Faster then his primary car!

Ironically, He got the Chrome Horn treatment from Dale Earnhardt Sr., causing him to spin and be collected by other Drivers behind him - in his one 'N only NASCAR race.

A.J. Foyt started his Porsche 962 from the fifth Row at Daytona in 1988, before the car finished sixth Overall. (Image source:
1987 Copenhagen Porsche 962
This iconic Porsche Endurance Sports Car, which obliterated North America's IMSA competition in the mid-1980's was purchased by A.J. Foyt enterprises, and led to much curiosity for Mwah. Especially since I'd seen other 962's raced in anger at Portland International Raceway in their waning years.

Not to mention being introduced to these iconic Porsche racing cars when given a large poster of my local racing team Bruce Leven's Bayside Disposal's #86 962 with a female model in Bathing Suit sporting Sun glasses in front of it!

The car  was raced by SuperTex', 'Ol Hollywood and Big Al', nee A.J. Foyt, Danny Sullivan and Al Unser to fourth place in the '87 24 Hours of Daytona.

The following year, 'lil Al, aka Al Unser, Jr. replaced his father and co-drove alongside Foyt and Elliot Forbes Robinson to sixth place overall in the Daytona 24hrs event.

The car is resplendent in the iconic black Copenhagen colours Foyt campaigned for years. But oddly, according to my personal museum Sherpa CARPETS', also strangely sports Hurley Haywood's name upon it's door sill, for reasons unknown.

Although it's not a Bad thingy' having Hurley's name adorn this beautiful Porsche 962 Customer example, especially since he's a legend of the 24 Hours of Daytona. Currently tied with Scotty Scooter' Pruett for most Overall victories, with five apiece.

Whilst some clever Hack's jibe of "Night Terrors and SuperTex" at Daytona certainly grabs one's Attenzione, Eh?

Which I playfully changed to Tremors 'N Night Sweats... As I'm sure 'Ol SuperTex was feared by many Drivers over the Years...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

INDY 500: More Meanderings Over My 2018 Weekend's Outing to Indianapolis

Autographed Will Power "Hero Card" from the 2014 Sonoma IndyCar race. (the Tomaso Collection)
As look Mwah, haven't even said how HOT it was at Indy, Yet...

Presumably everybody has a story about the eventual race's winner. And if My Name is; Err, Uhm One Lap Down's "Jeffie" can wax-on 'bout this year's Barber's race being akin to my Hometown's Seafair and its Unlimited Hydroplanes. Then I can Bloody well tells Yuhs my Will Power story, Righto?

Since Karmically, it occurred during my one 'N only outing in the vaunted IMS Media Center, which Jeff not only encouraged me applying for a credential. along with spending a very pleasant few hours with him on Carb Day that year...

Toowoomba Toranadoe' Flashback
First off, and surely you'll just think I'm sayin' I-T now, but. On Friday during this year's Carb Day I pronounced to Dave, my personal IMS Sherpa that Will Power would win, along with previously having scribbled how Danica would hit the Wall.

Thus I just sat Thar Bemusedly letting Dave tell me All of his Will Power wisecracks, like him calling him Whiney Will! And a bunch 'O others I'll refrain from, for which I just laughed off.

It was Wayback following my Debutante Indy 500 in 2009, when the "Racing Gods" struck me, again. As former Indianapolis Bureau Chief Daniel Baines Cooper had taken me to what then was the Hall of Fame museum inside Mother Speedway (IMS( the day after the race.

And having just learned of the Blue Crown Spark Plugs Racing Team earlier that year, naturally I had to ask the IMS Museum's Docent at the entryway if they had Mauri Rose’s 1947-48 INDY 500 winning Blue Crown chassis on display?

 Yes, it's right in there turn left at the first hallway, before Danny took off to blast thru the museum, while I decided to start at the end of the row after we’d briefly viewed Rose’s mount...

Thus as I stood admiring Parnelli Jones 1963 Indy 500 winner 'Ol Calhoun', Danny returned, looked behind me, did a double take and then asked; Do you want to meet Will Power? Uh Duh!

Hence amazingly, in a virtually empty IMS Museum, there were a group of three persons standing directly behind us. And as I turned around Danny introduced me to Will and before I knew it I was shaking hands; CRIKEYS!

Then I sheepishly asked him how far he’d gotten up to? (During the 500) Saying I think I heard third over the PA system, to which Power replied; I’ got up to second and was chasing down Helio.

Then I mentioned to him how I’d heard something about his insane training regimen? You’re doing a Triathlon shortly aren’t you? NO! All of that was my Trainer’s idea, but I did do the Mini 500 this month.

Any chance we’ll see you in anymore races this year? Well hopefully I’ll be doing about six more? And then we said our goodbyes as I overheard Will telling his party that an old friend had told him about the museum...

As recall this is the year Power had been Drafted into Team Penske as Helio Castroneves potential replacement, as HULIO' was on trial for Tax Evasion! And Will was driving a yellow & blue Penske Truck Rentals liveried car, as ultimately the third Shoe' at Penske that season.

And simple as that, I instantly became a Fan of Will Power's, even going so far as having Dave help me procure a Will Power T-Shirt between 2011-12 at the Brickyard, now somewheres' buried in Tomaso Manor.

Not to mention the torment of Power causing me to G-O Berserk Yearly upon his eventual Title Meltdown's, usually to that Dastardly Dario "REO Speedwagon" Franchitti.

Whilst I realize it's a Stir-retch', but Will Power has a nebulous connection to the Pacific Northwest and one of my past Hometown Racing Teams. As KV Racing Technology, the team he was driving for during the IndyCar Reunification, prior to being signed by Penske, was supposedly founded out of the Ashes of PacWest Racing...

Speedway Sauna'
Otay, so I cannot say I was looking forward to the Day's outing in the Blazing Heat. Although having been to another Scorcher Wayback in 2013, somehow this year's race-day felt Hotter; ZOINKS!

As I knew it was gonna be a H-O-T one, when sometime between 5:30-6AM, when trying to apply a layer of Suntan lotion, I began pourin' buckets 'O sweat whilst trying to apply a liberal coating for the Day's outing; SHEISA! Musing to Thyself I Don't think you're supposed to apply it to wet skin, Eh?

But it's a pleasure to ride with a local who knows All the short-cuts, Back routes and Secret ways to the racetrack, not to mention the luxury of just being a Passenger and NOT having to deal with the stress of Driving...

Not to mention CARPETS' packing 'N schlepping multiple waters and an always tasty lunch for Us!

Think we left sometime before 7AM and were parked around 8AM? About a half mile's Trek away from the track, and after putting a second coat of Shellac; Err Suntan lotion on a now relatively "Dry" body due to our windows rolled-down AC, and with my world renown famous "Floppy Hat" secured upon thou Noggin', we set off towards Mother Speedway.

Ingress thru Security and Ticketing seemed like a Breeze, compared to year's past. As we were situated underneath our Grandstand's Bleachers prior to 9AM, with nearly some three an
a-half hours remaining until going Green!

As Dave playfully asked me if I wanted to go to our seats? HELL NO! And Bake upon those world famous Shiny Hard-pan silver aluminum bleachers, in the Sun!

Around 10AM we meandered over to the IMS Museum to meet some friends, as it was just plain H-O-T in the Sun without a Cloud in the Sky, before we departed back to our shady respite beneath our seats in the Short Chute between Turns 1-2, now our favourite vantage point for the race.

As finally Dave decided it was time for us to amble up to our seats, for which I was overly surprised how the grandstands were nearly full as we situated ourselves topside around 11AM-ish, as I only recall Dave telling me one hour to G-O!

As funniest part for Mwah, was that the man, who Dave thought was a local, had purchased two seats, with one being for his Cooler, I kid Yuhs Not!

And for most of the race, all I could hear was the constant roar of the racecars, and the only time I could totally understand what "The voice," nee Dave Calabro or bob Jenkins were saying over the Public Address was when the track went eerily "Quiet" during one of the multiple Yellow Flag periods.

As I heard Calabro say "It's A New Track Record!" Uhm, Heat Record at 1:45PM Eastern, but He never said what that was, or how Hot it was, before the roar of engines under the Green Flag Drowned him Out again.

Whilst I was most tickled over hearing Bob Jenkins voice live once again, as he's such a true Gentleman! And his soothing voice and Humbleness brings a Smile to My Face...

And I have to say I was Happy with the Fans Applause for HULIO', whom I've never been a H-U-G-E Fan of, in case Y'all cannot tell.

but I was happy hearing him during Monday Night's Victory Banquet broadcast on local TV that he'd be back for another try, since He said I cannot go out that way.

And then I roared in Glee over the man Jeff Iannucci of One Lap Down named DJ WillyP' a long time ago, when Will Power triumphantly swept to a well deserved maiden Indy 500 victory! Yelling vociferously, and Hooting 'N Hollerin' next to Dave that Will Power had Won!

As I especially enjoyed Power's Victory Parade Lap afterwards, and chuckled inwardly to myself when I asked Dave if he could take a picture of Power, to which he responded, He's too Far Away. Which to Mwah, perfectly Sums up Power's In-car Radio retort upon taking the Checkered Flag.

"Show Me some Respect Mother Fuckers!"

And as I type this now nearly a month's time later, although I know who "first Loser," Uhm runner-up was, and know Alexander Rossi finished a fine fourth place. But I already cannot remember who finished third? And does it really matter...

Uhm, was it Scott Dixon?

For the third and final portion of this ever growing story, see; INDY 500: Random Musings from Another enjoyable visit to the Wonderful IMS Museum