Pit Pass USA debuts June 2 on the Power Up Channel!

promo_henry Because the world was clamoring for it, Pit Pass USA is moving to the new Power UP Channel at www.PowerUpChannel.com starting on June 2nd.  The program will be on the air at 7PM ET, 4PM PT each Tuesday.

Pit Pass USA will not change from what I currently am doing.  It will mostly consistent of interviews with drivers, owners, crew members, media members, and at times, even fans each week.

The show is not just a Nasser show, or an Indy Car show, or a sports car show.  I try and cover everything.  Think of me as the online version of the old ABC Wide World of Sports without the budget.

One hallmark of the program has always been bringing the stories of more than big name racers.  You’ll hear from ARCA drivers, Nasser Camping World East & West drivers, USAC, World of Outlaws, go-karts, anyone I can find that I feel has an interesting story to tell about pursuing their passion to race.

I’ve been around big time racing since the mid 70’s and was part of the Indianapolis 500 Radio Network from 1980 through 1995 before joining CART and doing their broadcasts all over the world.  I currently am a track announcer at several venues such as Michigan International Speedway and Daytona Speedway.  I do weekly freelance work for Ford Racing online.

 

Because of all of that experience, I have built a reputation in the business with wide access to many people.

My hope is to bring you as man different people from different series as I possibly can.

I even would like your help in finding deserving drivers or teams with great stories at your local short track across America.  Drop me an email and briefly tell me their story and why they deserve to be interviewed on Pit Pass USA.  If I am convinced, they’ll get about 12 minutes of fame on the program.  Just email me at LarryHenry@PitPassUSA.co.

I’m also looking for sponsors for the program.  We’re not looking to break the bank but we also have opportunities to do marketing campaigns within the program.  Just get in touch with Stefani Paul us at Stefani@PowerUpChannel.com.

I hope you enjoy the program each week.  I’ll do my best to bring you interesting conversations.  Again, we kick off Tuesday June 2nd, 7pm ET at www.powerupchannel.com.

Indianapolis just isn’t Indianapolis to me

Okay, I’m a Neanderthal.  I openly admit that which I’ve done previously.  I’m stuck in the past, especially when it comes to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500.  (BTW..it is not the Indy 500..it’s the INDIANAPOLIS 500! Mr. Hulman always pointed that out!)

It’s nice with all the new garages, and pagoda, and stands, and big screens that are around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but to me, that has just caused it to lose its charm.

I’m old school.  I remember the wooden garages, the Snake Pit, 25,000 cars parked in the infield on race day.  I also badly miss the old White Castle that was on the corner of 16th and Georgetown where many a media person, crew member, and driver had a sack or two of those little square burgers.

I’m am not a fan of this getting three chances to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 every qualifying day.  Three for the month is enough! If you can’t make it into the field with 12 tries, find a new day job!

I was talking with Donald Davidson while I was at IMS last weekend.  Our discussion was on the “old” stories of not only the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but Indy Car racing itself.  They were great stories and that’s my problem today. There are no great stories.

Racing everywhere has gone so corporate that the characters have been shut out.  Almost everything that is uttered is not just politically correct, but sponsor correct.

Racing to me is more than just the cars on the track.  It’s the trials and tribulations, the shoe-string budgets, the tears that come with finally succeeding against all odds.  That is what has made the Indianapolis 500 the legend it is along with drivers whose personas were bigger than life.  A.J. Foyt, LLoyd Ruby, Mario Andretti, Johnny Rutherford, Al Unser, Sr, Bobby Unser, Gordon Johncock, Roger Ward, Mark Donahue, Jim Clark, Dan Gurney,the list goes on and on.

I miss it all and that’s why Indianapolis is not as special to me as it once was.  Yes, it’s still the same track, but it’s not the same race, at least to me.

A return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

I’m not sure I should admit this.  When I arrive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Wednesday, it will be just the second time I’ve stepped on the grounds at 16th and Georgetown since doing my last IMS Radio Network broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 in 1995.  I haven’t attended the race since that time either.

For many years, I was involved with CART as a broadcaster and that precluded my “visitation.”  In 1996, I was at Michigan International Speedway for what became a disaster with the start to the U.S. 500.  (I was a pit reporter on radio and had to help fill over an hour of a red flag.)

It’s really amazing I haven’t been back to Indianapolis more.

Growing up in southern Indiana, my family would always make the 70 mile drive to Indy for Pole Day every year.  We’d sit in the upper grandstands across from the pits and watch all the action.  Memorial Day, we’d be around the radio to listen to the race. (No TV back then.)

My older brothers took me to my first Indianapolis 500 in 1966, where I saw Graham Hill win, and Jimmy Clark spin right in front of me in the north short chute and hit nothing!

I remember the Lotus cars coming to Indy.  The roar of the Novi machines. The silence of the turbine cars of Andy Granatelli.

Somehow though, after  many years of spending every day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway whenever the track was open, I’ve faded away, or should I say my rabid interest has faded.

I have a very hard time of letting go of the past.  I enjoyed my “traditional” Indianapolis 500 month of May. I liked the best drivers in the world coming to the track on 16th street to see if they could tame the 2.5 mile oval.  Nascar stars, Formula 1 stars, USAC stars, anyone that was anyone in racing came to Indy in May.

I also saw different chassis, different engines, even different drivers.  I still remember Emerson Fittipaldi coming to Indianapolis and racing in a pink car.  Good God, it was Emerson Fittipaldi!

I miss the likes of Jim Hurtubise always putting up his “Gone fishing” sign on the shop.  I loved him trying to keep a roadster in the field, and finally giving in and turning the engine compartment into a giant ice chest full of beer in the garage.

I guess what I miss are the great stories and the even better racing lies that flowed during May.

It will be great seeing old friends like Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Unser, Mario Andretti, and so many more from my history at the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar racing in general.

However, I know it will never feel exactly right no matter what the racing is like to me.   I’m stuck in the past when “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” was exactly that, the premiere racing event in the world and the only one to be run on what I believe is sacred ground at 16th and Georgetown. 

I’m a Neanderthal when it comes to the Indianapolis 500, I know it.  I’ll enjoy myself this weekend at the Speedway but I’ll be thinking a lot about all the history I saw and was a part of at Mr. Tony Hulman’s greatest accomplishment the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Maybe my burning desire to be there each May will be reborn, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.