Early during the first practice session, I was in the garage area when I heard what sounded like a large metal dumpster hitting the ground. It was not a dumpster, but it was Conway biffing it hard into the First Turn wall.
At the time of this writing, it was reported that Conway was suffering from a possible bruised lung. Whatever the extent of his injuries, I wish him a speedy recovery.
It wasn’t long before Al Tagliani committed a similar wrong mistake at Indy, but he wasn’t injured.
Indy’s dreaded hurt locker is getting a lot of visits, which is never a good thing.
Eleven more positions were filled, but it really wasn’t very dramatic at all.
However, one dramatic incident stands out.
See…John Andretti was on the track practicing for his umpteenth qualifying attempt. Entering Turn One, John ran out of interest in pursuing a safe and prudent line through the turn. John’s sled pitched violently out of control and careened into the wall, distributing multiple shards of his shattered racer about the area.
Close behind was IndyCar hotshoe GrahamCracker Rahal (GCR). GCR was minding his own damned business, when he was suddenly faced with the spinning, disintegrating remnants of John Andretti’s racer.
This is John’s sled before…
This is bits of it later…
If a lesser driver had been in GCR’s rig, John Andretti could have been skewered in a dreadful manner.
Luckily for Andretti, GCR is a young and real Indy racing stud with quick reflexes. In an exhibition of professional driving expertise, GCR spun his Newman/Hause/Flannigan racer safely past the forlorn Andretti.
GCR’s machine was apparently undamaged in the incident.
It was amazing and spectacular. Myself and the five other people in the grandstands applauded and cheered wildly.
It was as good of a display of driving prowess as I had seen in my 40 years of Indy 500 attendance. It was a beautiful thing to witness, and I wanted to shake GCR’s hand and hug him and congratulate him for it.
I would like to see GrahamCracker Rahal win the race. That would be cool. He is a badass.
Anyhoo…as I said before, my day today trackside was enjoyable. I met and conversed with cool and real Indy racing insider fanatics, one of whom purchased a large frosty draft beer for me in order to assuage my unfortunate and real or imagined Indy post Pole Day Depression.
Another attractive young female version of a real racing team insider provided me a cool soft drink compliments of her employer and spoke to me as if my appearance didn’t totally repel her. She is groovy and not aloof and doesn’t come across like many of the poseurs flitting about the garage area as if they are Christ arriving to cleanse the temple.
I felt much better talking and bullshitting with these fine folks, and I do appreciate them pretending to enjoy my company.
This is something I saw today which also made me feel a little more better.
This is a young youth of today, who was at the track with his dad, dressed in an authentic reproduction youth-sized race driver fire suit type thang. It is cute beyond reasonable belief… except for the unfortunate references to Little Dale and NASCAR.
I also ignored his Crocks, which are improper, imprudent, and totally inappropriate footwear…and took the picture because of his overall adorableness.
I also saw racing journalism legend Robin Miller running in circles and cursing. I know I’m not supposed to, but I gotta admire this guy. Maybe it’s because he’s an ass…just like me.
Today at IMS was a good day.