after attending the Jane’s Addiction show on Friday night in South Beach, I
stayed out all night before catching a taxi to the Ft. Lauderdale airport to
catch a 5 AM flight to Indianapolis. With no sleep whatsoever, after landing
and getting my rental car, I was off straight to the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway to attend Pole Day qualifying for this year’s Indy 500 and the start
of a whirlwind week of fun in my hometown.
I get too far into my Indy adventure, I want to go back a couple of days to the
Walk on White the Thursday evening before I took off. The show at the Studios
of Key West featured young artists from Key West High school and we went over
to check it out and to see our friend Heather who was in town visiting her family
from her home in New York. It was a great night of visiting with old friends
and marveling at the young talent represented by local students.
Heather & Joyce
Bonnie, Kelly & Kathy
Alyah, Neal & Bonnie
arrival at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, I was greeted with
beautiful warm, sunny skies and the roar of Indy Cars as they finished up their
final practice before the start of the qualifying session. Pole day at
Indianapolis is all about one thing, speed, as the fastest twenty-four
qualifiers are locked in and the battle for the coveted Pole position comes
down to a nine car shoot-out in the final ninety minutes of the day.
usual I was happy to once again have passes that allowed me access to the
garage and pits during the activities and I was able to stop by and visit many
of my friends who work in and around the Indy Car series. My good friend Jason
just recently switched jobs moving from working on the Andretti Autosports car
of Marco Andretti to the Target Chip Ganassi team of driver Dario Franchitti.
He definitely seemed happy about his new situation and even though his driver struggled
somewhat qualifying 16th, Jason remained upbeat about the race.
access to the garage and pits allows for access to all of the drivers as well
as the occasional celebrity such as Dario’s wife, actress Ashley Judd who was
unusually chatty and friendly with fans, coming out and signing autographs and
posing for photos with fans. I was also able to meet model Elaine Irwin in
gasoline alley. I recognized her immediately and knew that she was good friends
with my employer’s ex-wife and struck up a nice conversation with her. She is a
huge Indy Car fan and was actually the first woman ever to drive the pace car
to start the race back in 2002.
Elaine Irwin & Michael
quest for speed can be costly to some teams as they push the envelope trying to
get the last little bit of speed out and end up in the wall. Sadly it caught a
couple of drivers on Saturday as both Ed Carpenter and Bryan Clauson found the
concrete, pushing back their efforts until Sunday and a starting place no
better than 25th.
the end of the day Team Penske driver won the pole over Andretti Autosports
driver James Hinchcliffe by the narrowest time ever only .0023 seconds or about
one foot after the ten mile run. Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the front row. It
was a great first day at the track and the start of a hopefully great week in
Kevin & Ted