Monday, July 23, 2018

INDY 500: Eclectic Look Back at My 2018 Weekend's Trek to Indianapolis

Oriol Servia's car on Bump Day in Gasoline Alley looking down on side pod. Sponsorship is Manitowoc. Which CARPETS' knows it's a city in Wisconsin. As perhaps this was some clever Advert' for the upcoming Road America race? (the Tomaso Collection)
As I'll try to Not focus too much upon the H-E-A-T! Which was Hot-Hot-Hot...

Although I cannot say that the 2018 Indy 500 was a Boring race, especially since I was Trackside with 300,000+ of Queen Danica's Closest Friends...

But I also cannot say that it was the most Exciting Race I've attended at Mother Speedway, especially since it seemed to clearly be a case of "Follow-the-Leader."

Which surely was in some small part caused by the excessively warm Ash-fault', which I heard somewheres' over the weekend that IMS's four corners variated in Heat between 117-120 degrees Fahrenheit; SHEISA!

Although I was certainly excited when Stefan STORK" Wilson made a legitimate pass for the lead near the finish of Oriol "Suitcase" Servia, Y'all know the guy with the "Controversial" Helmet Design, Ci?

"That Italian Guy!"
Ah, where to begin with this year's Mother Speedway visit, as it was my seventh trip Thar' for the GURR-REATEST! Spectale in Racing.

One of my most enlightening moments came upon my Tuesday's Trek Home. When hearing my "Handler;" Err Airport Escort, a very friendly man named Jack raving on about how impressive that Italian Rossi was, like He Passed Six or Seven Cars Up Against the Wall!

As I couldn't let go, as I'm a H-U-G-E FAN of Rossi's, so I politely said that Alexander Rossi is actually from Nevada City, California. To which Jack seemed genuinely confused, as he replied, but he's a Formula 1 Driver.

Yes, Rossi's actually the last American to race in Formula 1 before coming to Indy Cars, to which Jack mused, what do you know? You learn something new every day.

Alexander Rossi's 2016 Indy 500 winner. (Sidepod reads Napa Auto Parts) With Marmon Wasp in background. (the Tomaso Collection)
As I suppose it was some sorta weird Karma, as the day before I'd asked CARPETS' to take a Pic' of Rossi's 2016 Indy 500 Winner on display inside the IMS Museum, for which they shortly wheeled away afterwards, with Dave saying I was lucky I got to see it; Hya!

As CARPETS' sez' that this year's Napa livery looks far better than the 2016 Napa Auto Parts script upon the Dallara's Sidepod...

The Dregs 'O Travel
Although as Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen always reminds Mwah, it makes for entertaining Blog Story material...

Having awoken at the unreasonable time of 12:30AM, for Fear of Sleeping thru Thy alarm Clock for my Shuttle Express's OBSCENE 1:50AM Pickup, for which Thar was a curt knock upon thou door exactly at 1:50AM.

I knew Somme-thun' was WRONG! Since Thar AIN'T NO Traffic in Seattle at that time 'O morning, since my flight wasn't due to  Depart until 5:25AM. And as we arrived at the Airport around 2:20-ish FREAKIN' AM at the other passengers Airline, my Driver asked me, the vehicles only Blind passenger if I wanted to walk down to United in the Dark?

So he drove me down to United Airlines, arriving some five minutes later and I asked if he could escort me to Check-in. As he somewhat tentively told me that not only was there nobody at Curbside, but the United Airlines Desk was also closed before Sheepishly telling me I'd only have to wait 'bout three minutes 'til they opened at 3:30AM, albeit when I checked my Talking Clock it chimed 2:32AM; FUCK!

Do you want me to take you to a seat in the waiting lounge? NO! 'Cause I'd have never been able to make it unassisted over to the Check-in counter, for which he'd NOT left me standing in front of as he claimed, although to his credit he informed a man at the nearby Jet Blue airlines Check-in counter of my situation.

Thus I just chuckled to myself the few times random people would walk by this Blind Man standing patiently with White Cane in hand like a Statue, staring directly Off into Neverland! As Nobody ever stopped and asked Do You Need Assistance?

A half-hour later the Jet Blue Desk Jockey came over and told me to follow him forward, probably some good 60-100  feet to form the eventual line for the United Airlines Check-in Kiosk', SWELL!

Nearing 45mins later, when United's Desk opened at 3-BLOODY 15AM! A polite couple behind me helped me to the front of the Queue, telling a Frumpy United employee I'd need Help.

As an unknown woman came 'N snatched my ID and walked away as everybody scurried to the various self-serve Kiosks', with the Frumpy employee asking me questions from far away - and barely audible before demanding my credit card to pay for my bag.

which at this point I became slightly agitated after standing for 45mins solid and Bellowed at her over the Din, I CANNOT SEE YOU, I'M BLIND! Which fortunately this snapped her to Attenzione for helping me. As she came and moved me closer to her station while taking my credit card for the obligatory $25 SCAM baggage fee...

Then she said it'll be a 20min wait until somebody can come to assist you to your gate, as there's nobody currently available. Twenty minutes later a "Handler" came up to me and said it'll be another 20mins wait Sir, 'cause Security (TSA) doesn't open until 4AM.

As she finally had me sit in a wheelchair and pushed me to the front of the growing line waiting anxiously for Security to open, which we were allowed to go to the front of the queue.

Originally, much to my chagrin, I'd had a 4hr layover in San Francisco, for which as we were on final approach, late, I heard a passenger behind me  say that SF has the worst On-time record, of 36% missed-connections, for which several people seated around me would miss their connecting flight to the Big Island of Hawaii.

But I didn't mind, since this shortened my layover considerably. Although it was still several hours before we did the whole Hurry Up and Wait Aeroplane samba-dance Boarding procedure again.

And then there was the RIP-OFF $9.99 "Chicken" barbeque sandwich I selected from United's anemic Hot Food for purchase choices. As I immediately thought of that 'Ol Wendy's "Where's The Beef!" Commercials, since the gigantic French-roll log; Err bun was hard as a brick and Thar wasn't any FREAKIN' Chicken in the sandwich, just cheese and some paper  thin strips of, Uhm? "Tastes like Chicken!"

And guess what? Gee Wally! As I'd selected this  flight solely in order to arrive around 7PM when my most gracious Host  Dave CARPETS' O'Brien could pick me up after work, but we were another half hour late, when we finally landed around 7:27PM Eastern time, all so I could simply G-O to the Indy 500; CRIKEYS!

Dave Carpets' O'Brien hugging the Preferred Freezer 8-ft' polar bear that's in the Fuzzy's garage. (the Tomaso Collection)
Carberation Day...
Rising at 5:30AM on Carb Day, which for Mwah was actually 2:30AM Body clock-wise, as I was definitely Rummy from my prior day's travel ordeal! We set off for IMS around a quarter to seven.

As we breezed into the track, as I'd never been that early to Carb Day, ever! After walking into the IMS building with NO lineups and purchasing my Carb Day ticket. We went searching for shade around a quarter to nine, giving us more than two hours to Doddle before the final IndyCar Warm-up prior to the race.

After the Freedom 100, which was an entertaining race, with the exception of the miniscule field, comprising of a Paltry eight competitors, I met a woman named Haley briefly, with NO clue who she was?

Afterwards I just laughed out loud when Dave informed Mwah that she was some Pageantry Dude's "Better  Half!" Uhm, she's Simon Pagenaud's girlfriend; Say What!

And she's Funny too. Saying Don't you just Hate It when people try talking to you when you're eating? Whilst I was mid-bite in my sandwich. But she was really nice & friendly.

And I was also briefly introduced to one of Simon's Spotter's.

As I marveled the rest of the evening, how that was the first time ever I hadn't met a single Driver or Media Personality Trackside; Aye Karumba!

Then again, it was also the first time ever we hadn't attempted to even go remotely near the front straight's "Fence-line" where many a Driver can be spotted 'N "Chatted Up" briefly.

Hmm? Perhaps Dave didn't wish to endure another round of my most riveting comments to Drivers he stops for Mwah. Last time having asked Servia How Many Cups of Espresso had He had that morning? Wayback in 2016...

And although it was overly warm for Mwah, only being some 30-degrees warmer than Seattle... Nevertheless, it's always a Good Day when you're at the Racetrack, which I hadn't been since last October's USGP at the Circuit Of The Americas in Austin, Texas.

(All Photos c/o No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer CARPETS')