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, April 17, 2015
March 30, 2015
Last year, Juan Pablo Montoya made big news in the world of
Indy Car when he returned to the series after 14 years away racing in Formula
One and NASCAR. He had dominated the old CART Indy Car series during his time
there capturing the championship as well as winning the Indianapolis 500 in
2000. Questions as to whether he would be able to live up to his previous glory
hounded him especially early in the season as success did not come right away.
By the end of the season, he was getting back in to form and
he won his first race back at Pocono in the fall. It remained to be seen if he
was fully back or if that win was an anomaly and this season on the powerhouse
Penske team would be the proof (or lack thereof) of his current ability.
Qualifying for the St. Pete race was good as he started in 4th place
until you consider that he was in last place among his four teammates.
Race day was warm and sunny and the excitement of starting
the 2015 Indy Car season was palpable in the air as the grid was set-up. My pit
pass enabled me to be on the starting grid prior to the start and it was a
festive atmosphere as they had the TV reporters scurrying about, the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers mascot and cheerleaders on the grid and the regular cast of Indy Car
celebrities such as David Letterman on hand.
The race got off to a clean start as Will Power moved to the
point, but soon drivers were knocking in to each other with frequency and the
seemingly obvious became a reality as the new aero-kits would disintegrate into
sharp pieces with each contact. Replacing nose cones and flat tires resulted
translating in to many laps run under the yellow flag. It made for a lot of
exciting re-starts but Power maintained his advantage until a poor pit-stop
dropped him to third place and Montoya inherited the lead.
Power would move to second and battle vigorously with
Montoya, even running in to him briefly on one pass attempt, but he could not
get by and Montoya scored his second win since returning to Indy Car. Power
snared second followed by Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud
giving Penske racing four of the top five.
My pass also allowed me access to Victory Lane and I was
able to enjoy watching the podium celebration as well as the many Columbian
fans who were on hand to celebrate their hero’s victory. It was cool getting to
watch the party as Montoya celebrated and to be so up close to the car and
drivers as they enjoyed their success.
” Me and my band, we all must agree, we like to get groovy with the sounds of the old time” -G. Love
March 29, 2015
” Me and my band, we all must agree,
we like to get groovy with the sounds
of the old time”-G.
The second day of the typical Indy Car weekend features a
number of support races as well as the Indy Car qualifying which sets the field
for the race. I always enjoy the second day because it is such a busy and
exciting day. At St. Pete the support races are always interesting. In the past
they have had drifting demonstations, Indy Lights, Mazda Pro series, sports car
racing and my favorite Robby Gordon’s Stadium Supertruck Series which was
thankfully back again this year.
The supertruck series features modified pick-ups racing over
a course that includes massive ramps which has the trucks flying through the
air, often in tandem and lots and lots of bumping and rubbing. The field
features divers such as Gordon, ex-Indy Car driver E.J. Viso and newcomers such
as Brody Jenner of the infamous Jenner family of tabloid fame.
The racing is spectacular and exciting and the crowd goes
crazy for it, it should be a required support event for every Indy Car race.
There were two races this weekend and both were thrill-packed down to the wire
finishes with all the excitement and drama that you would want in a race. I
have no idea who won, though I did make it to victory lane, but it hardly
matters, it was great fun.
The main event, the Indy Cars had their four rounds of
knockout qualifying to determine the starting line-up for the Grand Prix of St.
Petersburg as well. It was a team Penske sweep at the front of the field with
their four drivers picking up the first four starting spots led by Will Power
who grabbed the pole, followed by Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves and Juan
Pablo Montoya. Takuma Sato and Sebastian Bourdais rounded out the fast six,
which made for a disappointing day for Target Chip Ganassi racing and Andretti
Pippa Mann & Conor Daly
Dario Franchitti & Tony Kanaan
The qualifying was pretty uneventful, but enjoyable
nonetheless and being in the pits during the qualifying was pretty awesome. A
light rain began falling after the completion of qualifying, but it did not
deter me from my next mission, which was to compete in the annual Firestone 5K
race which utilizes the race track for much of the route.
Participating in the 5K is cool because you get to run
around the racing surface literally with-in an hour after the cars were
finished. Skid marks, chunks of rubber from the racing tires and other debris
are on the track and as a race fan it is pretty cool to see. The rain wasn’t
too bad and I did well in the race all things considered.
After the race and a quick shower, I was off to Jannus Live,
the outdoor courtyard concert venue in downtown St. Pete to see a double bill
of Matt Costa and G. Love and Special Sauce. I have seen both before, but it
was still a great diversion from the racing activities and a fun way to spend a
Saturday night. I really enjoy Matt Costa’s music and G. Love is an energetic
and exciting live performer.
G. Love & Matt
All in all it was a fantastic way to close out my second day
in St. Pete and the show was really great, a long, late night of some excellent
music as Costa played for close to ninety minutes and G. Love played at least
About Us- We are Kathy Kilroy and Michael Blades and this blog was created to document our summer travels around the nation in 2006 and we have opted to continue posting to keep our friends and family informed of our lives. We each have lived in Key West for over 20 years and met and were married here in October, 2003.