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.  ( is not the Indy’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.


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