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Old 02-20-2005, 10:08 PM   #1
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Indy 500 Rally

Just signed up for the (last ever) WBCCI Indy 500 Rally to be held May 20-30, 2005. We're excited (well, at least I'm excited and Lorrie's being a good sport) to see "The Greatest Spactacle in Racing" and all of the related events and sights.

I was just wondering if any other Forum members are signed up for this event. It sounded like they might have had room for a couple more units when we signed up. If interested but not signed up, act fast. Registration might already be closed - at least full payment was due by Feb. 15th.
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Old 02-21-2005, 05:40 AM   #2
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Your gonna have a great time. We were so torn this year, Indy 500, Coca Cola 600 or the World of Outlaws @ Lebanon Valley Speedway.... World of Outlaws won out, wanted to see some thrashig!
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Old 02-21-2005, 07:50 PM   #3
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It's my annual race

I go to the Indy 500 every year, but I will not be trailing my still to be fixed up Airstream. For the time being I still have lots of relatives to crash with--mainly my sister in Carmel. Maybe one day after I retire I will do the Airstream trek and park in the muddy parking lot across from the track.

My Indy 500 race experience dates back to 1949 when it was actually televised locally and I watched it briefly through the screen door at the Shaws. They had the only TV on our block at the time. Most of my preteen races were listening to it on the radio. Then in my teen years I lived in Speedway and became a track rat every afternoon during the month of May and lived to sit with AJ Foyt at the lunch counter at the drugstore on Main Street. Roger Ward was my neighbor. I picked up Parnelli Jones hitchhiking the year before he raced at Indy--at least he said he was. He took me and my buddy into a bar set us down bought us a beer and then walked away to talk to the ladies. We were 16 at the time, drank up as fast as we could and scooted out. Of we stayed out all night before the race in our high school days. Since we knew everyone that worked at the track we arranged for a fire truck to park against the infield fence on snake pit turn 2 until we showed up with our pickup just before the start. The fire truck pulled out to go get in emergency position and we pulled in to the boos of the entire 2nd turn. I almost missed my high school graduation because I forgot and I was marshaling the Indy 500 PGA golf tournament protecting the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. I had to rush off the infield holes when a neighbor questioned why I was there.

We have a high school reunion every year the Friday night before the race. Many like me return every year from Minnesota (me), California, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, Nevada, Indiana (of course) and elsewhere; and we get a pretty fair turnout of about 40 people out of a class of 125.

It was unique and memorable growing up during the greatest spectacle years of racing in the shadows of the Indy 500 track.
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Old 02-21-2005, 08:32 PM   #4
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Davy--You taking of the Ind 500 brought back many memorys for me. Grew up in cincinnati and went to the first day of qualifying and race days for years. Here are some of the things that remain in my memory. The fabulous Novi's--Jackie Steward in the first rear engine Green car.----Jim Hurtabees breaking the 150 MPH mark in a front engine roadster that He owned---The attempt to qualify a gas turbin car---Roger Wards tears the last time he attempted to qualify and couldn't make the field---2 huge first lap crashes , can't remember the driver that was killed in the first one the happened on turn 4---When the entire front straight was brick--when Offenhauser was king of the speedway---when it was concidered bad luck for a women to enter the garage area---The original Pagoda scoring tower was there---when the race took all day to complete---eating chcken out of a metal Coke-a-cola cooler in the back of our !953 Buick. This list could like your's could go on forever but this is an Airstream forum. It is my hope that some day I'll be able to do the Airstream Caravn to the race.----pieman
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Old 02-22-2005, 08:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis
can't remember the driver that was killed in the first one the happened on turn 4---When the entire front straight was brick--
It was Eddie Sachs, one of the most popular drivers at the time. I was sitting in the first turn with a view down the front straight away to the fourth turn.
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Old 02-22-2005, 09:52 PM   #6
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1964.. Sachs & McDonald

The big fiery crash was in 1964 early in the race in the fourth turn.. I was a teenager with my Dad, whose company sponsored the first rear-engine aluminum chassis car driven by Dave McDonald... With large fuel tanks and gasoline instead of alchohol, when Eddie Sachs and Mcdonald bumped and hit the wall, it was a mess... As a sponsor, we had "President's Passes" valid anywhere at the racetrack, and could stand on pit walls or next to fence on outside wall by start/finish... Seeing melted hulk of McDonald's car go by pit area on tow truck cable after race stopped for an hour or so was sobering for a 16 year-old... Both of them killed, and safety rules changed fuel processes and content, and European Formula cars became dominant rear-engine designs.. Jim Clark drove a Lotus in the race, but it was non-competitive that year...

I'd keep encouraging Forum members to join, and look forward to the Rally... Most of the long time Rally's are well organized and efficient, and the hosts seem to know what they're doing... These are a good way to experience the WBCCI events without committing to weeks at a time... Airtstreams actually at disadvantage to sob campers with viewing platforms on roof at some of these events, but should still be worth it..

John McG
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Old 02-23-2005, 10:14 AM   #7
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John this was the crash I was trying to remember. We were sitting in what was bleachers on the inside of the track above the pits. The thing lasted so long I couldn't believe my eyes. I stood up and took 4 or 5 pictures as the thing was happening. Have never seen such a firey crash in my life. If I remember there was another 1st or 2nd lap crash the following year at the end of the main straight.----Pieman
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Old 02-23-2005, 07:54 PM   #8
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The Other Crash

Mike, that other crash you remember was at the start on the first turn. I had seats at that race too in Grandstand E, Row 2 with the Chevrolet brass. My dad worked for for Chevrolet and they brought a truck trailer in and parked it under the grandstand stocked with beverages and food.

Knowing no fear I stepped right up to the fence and started snapping way with my SLR camera. I didn't realize until later that I caught A.J. Foyt climbing the fence just as he was swinging his leg over the top to get out of the melee.

I'll probably never work my way back to Grandstand E though I put in for it or the NorthWest Vista every year as an upgrade request. I'm anxiously waiting to see what I do get this year because they added an extra charge to my Visa in December which means I might be upgrading to one of those requested locations.

After I graduated from college, put a tour in with the Navy, moved away, married, had kids, and got broke, my string of Indy 500s ended in 1968 and I didn't pick it back up again until the late 90s.

John, so there is a disadvantage to Airstream vs. SOB after all, eh? No way to build a platform up there? I do remember the tall infield construction scaffolds of the 50s. That practice ended the year one toppled and killed a couple of fans.
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Old 02-23-2005, 08:16 PM   #9
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My high school sweet heart baby sat for some of the driver's families during the Month of May. In '66, Jim Hurtabees and his wife asked Tana to sit with their kids while they spent a night out. I'll never forget meeting and shaking hands with Hurtabees that night........His hand had been burnt in a crash. The doctor knew that Jim's hand would be deforemed after healing. Jim chose to have his hand shaped in a way that would allow him to grip the steering wheel.
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Old 02-23-2005, 09:35 PM   #10
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Ironically, that remains only Indy 500 I've ever been to... The Alcoa team was so shaken they never went back as sponsors, and living in Calif makes it hard to drop in with good seats.. Dad had met Roger Ward elsewhere, and Roger Penske had worked for him as an aluminum salesman before leaving to race cars and sell Chevy racing parts in 1967, but both of us decided car racing might not be the hobby to pursue.. (GM Made Roger Penske promise to stop driving in exchange for setting him up with dealership and parts franchise in Philadelphia, which worked out well for Roger over the years...).

And Airstream does have a solution to race viewing, in new Motorhome with viewing platform on roof, but at $350K+ it's not terribly practical for a few weekends a year..
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Old 02-23-2005, 09:59 PM   #11
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Well, for those of us participating in the WBCCI Indy 500 Rally, we need not stand atop our Aistream's. We are staying off site and will be bussed to the track for the race, with "straightaway" seats somewhere in the stands. No matter where they are, I'm sure it'll be great. I've never been to the track before, let alone a race, so this will be exciting.

As a part of the Rally we'll also have the opportunity to check out some of the Qualifying, Gasoline Alley, the Indy 500 Festival Parade, the Museum, a 100 Mile Sprint Car race at the Fairgrounds, and a golf outing among other events. I am not certain, however, if the golf outing is on the golf course that is partly inside the track.

About the only thing missing is the opportunity to drive the track "at speed" with something like the "Richard Petty Driving Experience". I know I'm crossing racing types here, but I do know RPDE runs events at Indy. It was great when I ran laps at Michigan International Speedway with RPDE a couple years ago. Nothing like feeling a four wheel drift at 150 mph!
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Old 02-24-2005, 08:40 PM   #12
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200 MPH on the Straightaway!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander
About the only thing missing is the opportunity to drive the track "at speed" with something like the "Richard Petty Driving Experience". I know I'm crossing racing types here, but I do know RPDE runs events at Indy. It was great when I ran laps at Michigan International Speedway with RPDE a couple years ago. Nothing like feeling a four wheel drift at 150 mph!
Joe,

I took that opportunity two years ago in an Indy 2 Seater. Sinden Racing runs them at the Indy track. My driver was Davey Hamilton. They guaranteed you an average of 180 MPH and over 200 MPH on the main straightaways. That's the speed NASCAR runs at that track. Yes, you do feel the drift right into the concrete wall just a few feet away.

I doubt your golf outing will be at track--at least not on the racetrack infield portion because it will be in use for parking and other stuff. Wednesday before the race is Community Day. On that day you can enter the track from the 30th Street North Entrance and be routed around the actual track for a full lap in your own car before you park in the infield. That is exciting in itself. You have access to the garage area where drivers sign autographs and you can see and touch the cars close up. Also there are a lot of other events going on.

Friday is Carb Day. All the cars are on the track at the same time for practice. They also have a pitstop competition and again it is just a fun time.

I got my tickets today in the mail. I was upgraded to the Northwest Vista seats on the 4th turn. I hope they are good enough to see down the front straightaway and the north chute.

Here's me.
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Old 02-24-2005, 09:27 PM   #13
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Since we're tradin' photo's, here's a couple of me at MIS with RPDE . . .

It was quite a Birthday present!
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Old 02-24-2005, 09:57 PM   #14
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Cool!!

I can imagine you were thrilled beyond belief behind the wheel on that car. Mario Andretti has a similar open wheel drive your own race car but no one does it at Indy--just the 2 seater deal there. Until you do it, words really cannot describe the feelings you have going around a track at those speeds.
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