May 16, 2015
Hanging with Hinch
Dan & Graham Rahal
As my week in Indianapolis
continued, the actual reason that I was there, to attend the practice at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the upcoming Indy 500 gathered steam as the
time ticked away and the race drew ever closer. As I have done, most of my life
I spent many long days at the track, taking in the practice sessions in what is
something of an Indianapolis ritual.
Practice days at the Speedway are
filled with businessmen skipping out on work, high school students ditching
class and thousands of younger kids taking field trips to check out the action.
The weather this year cooperated with beautiful, comfortable sunny spring days
that had plenty of action on the track as teams prepared for the qualifying
Dan & John
This was the first extended test
sessions with the newly mandated aero kits and questions were soon raised as a
number of the Chevy entrants wrecked in spectacular fashion, hitting the wall,
turning backwards then getting air-born in spectacular fashion in scary looking
accidents where thankfully no one was seriously injured or worse.
Pagenaud & Power watch replay of crash.
It started with Helio Castroneves,
followed by Josef Newgarden and finally Ed Carpenter who each hit the wall,
then got upside down in wicked looking wrecks that had the crowds hushed and
most of the participants anxious about what was causing this and if it had anything
to do with the new aero packages.
Newgarden's car after
In spite of the wrecks, teams
continued practicing and finding more and more speed as the qualifying approached
with several teams topping the 230 mph speed. It was pretty exciting to watch
and I managed to have the opportunity to hang out with some of my best friends
who happen to share my love of the speedway including my friends John and Dan,
Danny Wild and my buddies Ted and Kevin. Kevin’s son Tony just happened to be
on a field trip on the day we were there, which was pretty cool.
Oriol Servia & John
In addition my friend Brent once
again hooked me up with passes to his Pit Lane Suite and I had the opportunity
again to meet and hang out with driver James Hinchcliffe who has a craft beer
named after him by Flat 12 Brewery of Indianapolis called Hinchtown Hammerdown.
The suite hosted the unveiling of the new style of cans and had the beer on tap
during the week along with yummy Jug’s catering.
Hinch & Brent
It was a pretty special week,
hanging with old friends, meeting new ones and just enjoying one my absolute
favorite things to do, spend afternoons hanging out at the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway. It is something that I have
been doing as long as I can remember and the place holds so many incredible
memories of time spent there with my grandfather, my father, family and
Dan & John