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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Friday, June 26, 2015

High Flying

May 16, 2015

 photo 905_zps5jokurhr.jpg Hanging with Hinch 

 photo 11220811_10206977627908100_8236324023871776749_n_zpsmnuowgbq.jpg Castroneves Wreck

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 photo 146_zpschwjpfom.jpg Dan & Graham Rahal

High Flying

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.

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 photo 003_zpsincdw3bz.jpg Simon Pageneaud

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 weekend.

 photo 846_zpsp2h7f5uj.jpg Kevin 

 photo 129_zpsafwfavyn.jpg Dan & John

 photo 106_zpsth3avx3w.jpg Conor Daly

 photo 079_zpskvisvq0a.jpg Helio

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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.

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 photo 015_zpsakynxixs.jpg Pagenaud & Power watch replay of crash.

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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.

 photo 148_zpsuem783nk.jpg Newgarden before

 photo 155_zpspohmcj9x.jpg Newgarden's car after

 photo 017_zpsl6hs1jvg.jpg Juan Montoya

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.

 photo 142_zps0mrvnn7u.jpg Oriol Servia & John

 photo 024_zpsidq3tezq.jpg Kevin 

 photo 019_zpsositcyba.jpg Tony

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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.

 photo 908_zpsmt6jdrvi.jpg Hinch & Brent

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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 friends. 

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 photo 132_zpspt9b0iip.jpg Dan & John 

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 photo 039_zps1sipcvxz.jpg J.R. Hildebrand

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