Saturday, May 27, 2023

Some of My Countless Indy 500 recollections

Dan Wheldon standing on the Yard of Bricks by the Pace car following His victory lap after winning the 2011 Indianapolis 500. (The Tomaso Collection)


Be they from Ye ‘Ol Memorex or being Thar live…


Not really sure why the 1973 Indianapolis 500 stands out so strongly for Mwah as the worst Indy 500. For which we’re celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary this year…


As what makes it worse than say the 1964 Indy 500? When Eddie Sachs and Dave macDonald both lost their lives in the race. Or what about the 1955 event that we All know saw the demise of “Vukie”, aka Bill vukovich.


What makes this even more strange for Mwah, is that although I know I’ve scribbled about it here before on No Fenders many, many Moons ago. That being a Wee lad’ riding in the back of my Grandfather’s Buick Riviera over to the family’s summer vacation cottage on Hood Canal. (WA) And getting to watch the ABC Wide World of Sports tape delayed TV Broadcasts of the Indianapolis 500. Surely I wouldn’t have been allowed to watch the carnage of 1973? Not to mention that the race didn’t actually finish until Tuesday, May 30, 1973.


Don’t wish to belabour how Bad the ’73 event was, for which others on Ye blogosphere have written about. As I’m just Happy that Borg Warner and IMS gave ‘Ol Gordie’ Johncock a Baby Borg’ trophy this year to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of His first Indy 500 victory that He didn’t get to celebrate!


My current memories are that the first 500 I remember watching when I still had relatively “full” vision, is the legendous’ 1985 “Spin ‘N Win” of ‘ol Hollywood’, aka Danny Sullivan’s!


Whilst I know for certain I watched Bobby Rahal pass poor ‘Ol Coogan’, nee Kevin Cogan and Big Al’s (Unser) epic wins the following two years…


But what’s funny to Mwah is how much the 1982-83 races stand out to me for different reasons, albeit they’ve just become Folklore for Mwah having watched various snippets via Youtube over the years.


As the 1982 race stands out for being one of the Best ever for the fantastic duel between Johncock and Rick Mears. With ‘83’s race being special since it was local Boy Done good Tom “The Gasman” Sneva of Spokane, WA being victorious! For which I still recall Goofy of Walt Disney being Hired to inject some “looseness” into that Bignotti-Cotter campaign.


While it’s most certainly a poor memory of how vehemently I was opposed to ‘Lil Napoleon’, aka TG’ or the man I used to call Ronnie’ George! As thinking now how much of a wasted decade-plus, or as the past RUSH song Between the Wheels comes sweeping across my radar; “Another Lost Generation!”


“You know How that Rabbit Feels Underneath your Spinning wheels

But the Wheels of Time just Pass You by!”


As I still fondly recall the QFC Grocery store cashier Bob bellowing Eddie Who? When asking me who’d won the 1998 Indy 500? Or reveling over Robby DirtMann’ Gordoun’s running out of Methanol in 1999 after Defecting to the Dark Side!


Or Juan Pablo Montoya kicking everybody’s Arse in 2000, when CART drivers took the first seven finishing positions, Yada-Yada-Yada…


And although I wasn’t thrilled over who won my very first ever Indianapolis 500 attended in person, that being Helio Castroneves who I much prefer calling Hulio’ in ’09. It was fun witnessing History and the fact that “The Band” was back together again, i.e.; the 2008 Mergification.


As I still like to believe in my mind’s “Eye” that I “Saw” a Hapless J.R. Holdebrand’s car sparking down the front straight as Dannyboy Spike’ Weldon flashed by for an improvable win! Or that’s just the collage I’ve painted into my memory…


Or Hearing for the only time ever Fans Booing Dario REO Speedwagon Franchitti on His cool-down victory lap in 2012! Not to mention the crowd erupting over TK’, aka Tony Kanaan’s victory a year later!


Or the total shock of rookie Alexander Rossi winning the 100th running in 2016. Along with Will Power’s emphatic Show Me Some Respect Motha Fokkers! Upon crossing the Yard of Bricks in 2018! Since it’s hard to believe that it’s been five years now since my last 500…


Whilst I still enjoy the memory of Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary ellen’s rendition of listening to the final laps in 2019 from our local Bumfiddle’ Florence Grocery Outlet parking lot and Who’s It gonna Be? Pagenaud, Rossi?


For which I felt something slightly akin to Jack Harvey this year. Since I was Happy for Symone’, aka Pageantry’, nee Simon Pagenaud who once was my favourite IndyCar driver after Justin Big Unit’ Wilson’s demise. But I had wanted Rossi to win His second Indy 500 that year, just to Shut Up the Neysayers!


Or reveling over Taku-san’, nee Takuma Sato’s two Indianapolis 500 victories. Doin’ my Takuma Sato You’re the Man Ickey Shuffle victory Dance after Defeating Castroneves in 2017! Along with His second win over a seemingly stumped Scott Dixon! Along with weirdly rooting against my current Numero Uno IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward last year, wanting Marcus Ericsson to win.


And now being “totally” Blind! Have I mentioned I’m Blind lately? My yearly tradition is to spend the Month of May listening to first the “Guns ‘N Roses” (GMR) Indy GP. The week of practice and Qualifying, and then the race all via the IndyCar Radio Network thru my Confuzer’s very impressive Soundbar!


Since being on radio, for which I always Hear Ye Curmudgeon ‘O Indy Cars, nee ‘Ol R’, aka the late robin Miller writing me: Why would Anybody wish to listen to an IndyCar race  on the Radio?


Yet being Blind, this is far superior for Mwah! Since they actually have to call the action vs. Leigh Diffey and Company Arse-suming the TV Viewer can See what’s going on!


As it’ll be one year exactly since I was forced to “watch,” Err listen to my last IndyCar race on NBC this Sunday, after a Lightning storm the evening before knocked my Interwoods’ service Offline…


Photo C/O No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’