Saturday, May 10, 2008

Part 24-My 2008 Magnificent Colossal Indy 500 Photo Blog Thing: Pole Day Musings

I went to qualifications at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. I sat in the Northwest Vista with an old buddy of mine. We talked about the good old days and friends we've lost and how things change and there ain't a damn thing we can do about it.

I ate a tenderloin, and now my bowels are torn asunder. In fact, I started feeling so bad, I had to excuse myself from further participation in pole day activities and go home early.

This is a rare occurrence for me. I am getting old. Maybe.

I will not bore you with detailed reports of qualifications today as there were no real surprises. I suggest various forms of print or electronic news media for that.

This was something of interest I saw in the Vigoda Plaza. This is Bill Vukovich's 1973 2nd place finishing turbo-Offy powered Eagle sponsored by Sugaripe Prunes.

Prunes are the last thing I need right about now!

Back in the olden times of my youth, I saw this shiny and fast Indy racer in action, and it was cool too. In fact, I saw Bill Vukovich drive many times at IMS, and he was always a driver who impressed me.

Vuky at Indy, 1968

I remember one year Vuky was going down the front straight when one of his front wheels fell off, and he didn't even have a heinous racing incident because he was skilled and stuff.

I can also recall commenting to his son, Billy, how cool it was that his dad didn't wreck that day.

See, the Vukovich's would come to town every spring and live in Speedway the whole month of May, and they would enroll their son Billy in my school so he wouldn't get behind on his studies.

Billy was my same age, and we were in the same class. I can't say we were bestest buddies or anything, but I knew him well enough.

Back in those days, he and the Vuky family were no big deal to me. I had grown up around IMS and real Indy racing, so it was all just a natural thing and I didn't make a big deal out of I do now. At the time, it was just what we did in the sleepy town of of Speedway, and Billy was just another kid like me.

Also, I don't remember having any real appreciation for who Billy's grandfather was and how tragic his loss was for real Indy racing.

Many years would pass before I really started to delve in to the history and rich background of the Indy 500 and the Vuky family.

Anyhoo...Billy ended up racing in three Indy 500s, '88...when he was rookie of the year, '89, and '90... which was kinda cool.

Vuky III

Unfortunately, Billy died in a sprint car crash in California in 1990.

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say with all this babbling, but perhaps it is to say that we should all hold on to life and what it brings to you and try to see it and appreciate it for what it means now...instead of waxing nostalgic like some old drooling fool on the intardnets many years later when it means nothing.

Or something.


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Or something.