Pancho, It was unlike anything I've ever experienced in racing!!!
Wednesday, I drove the Smart around "the big track", met the guys from Indiana Gas at the Lincoln Electric place in Gasoline Alley, ate at the Mug and Bun. Left the iPad and several tickets on the back of the Smart as we're leaving the M&B and came back later to find a few of the tickets and what was left of the the iPad in the road at 10th and Witcomb (I think that's right...)
Thursday, got shoe'd out of line by the Speedway cops at 5:15 in the morning but got our camping spot in lot 4 anyway with 43 year camping veterans welcoming us. The Yellow Shirts were FANTASTIC the entire time!!
On Friday we experienced Carb Day in the seats along Georgetown as if we'd had the seats willed to us thru generations. (thanks for the advice Pancho...) That afternoon we got on a tour bus as part of a package. Bryan Clauson joined us and we made our way to the fairgrounds for the Hoosier 100. Bryan was G*R*E*A*T in the old sense of Al Unser or Parnelli Jones as here was an Indiana kid that was racing a USAC dirt racing in Friday night and in the big show on Sunday. The 100 was fabulous!
Saturday it was the Museum and the Lincoln Welding Virtual welding truck at the midway. That night we found our way to IRP (or what ever Racyway Park is called now) for the f2000, Mazda Star and USAC Midget races. I sat next to a painter for AAS (Rook), and a row over from Danica's dad and we saw one of the best finished I have ever seen in my life as Tracey Hines came from 7th to win on the last turn of the last lap.
On Sunday, Rook promised us pit passes. He came thru but we were too tired from the heat and the night before to take him up on the offer (thanks anyway, Rook).
I cried when I heard Taps echoing thru the giant meadow that the Speedway had become. I cried again when EVERYONE around me sang "Back Home Again" with Jim.
And then there was this race. At over 200 MPH.
Pancho, my hat's off to you, as I heard the street sweepers cleaning up last night and the morning at the same spot some one go and someone else got shot the night before, 25th and Georgetown. 400,000 people and 92 degree heat will do that to you.
But here's the bottom line.
I now know why people come to Indiana to race. Racing is everywhere there.
I know I can watch the race better at home in Iowa on ABC, but I could never experience the race in any way close to the experience of being there.
There is no experience that prepares you for the moment when you realize the other end of "the big track" is way * down * there, and this , is what 215 MPH looks like.
Thank you. Thank you Indiana, race fans, Speedway real-town Midwest people and racers for making this old diet track gopher's experience more than I could ever have hoped for.
Like JA said on Bump Day, when you go thru the tunnel and you're THERE, it's all worth it.
(P.S. The Iowa T-bone on the charcoal grill at the campground in Lot 4 was GREAT last night!)
And John, (Mr. Andretti, that is) I hope you or your son is in the show next year.
Thank you everyone.