Monday, May 25, 2009

Part 28- My Fantastic Supreme 2009 Indy 500 Photo Diary Blog Type Thang: Race Day And The End

My day at the Indy 500 was cool and spine tingling, but it started with a bit of unpleasantness.

A long time ago, I distributed a memo about proper conduct and behavior at the Indy 500 in general, and the world-famous J Stand in particular.

Hell…I even wear a T-shirt proclaiming those hallowed values!


Apparently, some folks did not get the memo.

There was an incident that you should know about.

Sitting next to my son and I in J Stand were a couple of older white guys…I’d say middle 50s or older…graying beards and both wearing Milwaukee Brewers hats.


During Taps, the flyover, the Invocation Prayer by the Most Right Reverend Archbishop of Canterbury O’Mara, and the military parade of heroes thing, the guy sitting next to Willie wouldn’t shut up.

I overheard parts of it, but Willie heard all of it, and I could tell Willie was shocked and hurt by what he was hearing.

The guy kept talking, and I paid closer attention.

He was saying things like, “This is all bullshit. Screw these military assholes, etc...”

They were also saying all kinds of racist bullshit about Mexicans, etc…and shaking their heads in disgust and contempt with the entire proceedings…Memorial Day Weekend…at the Indy 500!

I would have none of it!

I leaned over behind Willie and gave the guy a sharp poke on the shoulder and said loudly so that everyone around us could hear, “Look, pal. I’m not gonna sit here listen to your shit!”

He shut up, and, a few moments later, he offered his hand and stated he meant no offense. (a little late for that)

Then, I said, “Look…you have every right to voice your opinion, but there’s a time and a place for everything. This is neither the time nor the place.”

He then said, “Let’s just have a good race, OK?”

I agreed, and nothing else was said the remainder of our time in the stands.

I really wanted to knock this asshole’s teeth out, but I didn’t because of my inner-peace, love-of-my-fellow-man thing I got going on now.

I’m kinda like Gandhi, or Mandela, or something.

Sorta.

Plus, I was stone cold sober, and didn’t have a drink all day.

I suppose if I’d been liquored up, things would have been different.

Maybe.

This incident almost ruined my Race Day. Almost…

Anyhoo…thought you should know.


The race was fun and exciting.

Helio won his third Indy 500!

He cried a lot and climbed the fence again!

Congratulations Helio!


As a part-time sub-contract labor person for the Penske Organization, I bet this means I’ll get a bonus.

Or something.

Sorta.

I will not rehash the race for you. You can get that information from many sources.

Post-Race pit stop competition

Anyhoo….This concludes my blog type mess for the 2009 version of the Indy 500.

I hope you all have enjoyed it, but I have to go back to work now and make money for my needful family.

I’d like to thank some people and things for making my vacation possible and so enjoyable.

My thanks are not in order of importance, and if I forget somebody or something it’s not because I hate you or anything…it’s because I’m getting old and forgetful.

Thanks to my wife and family for your understanding and generosity.

Thanks also to TrackForum, Curt, Marc, Tommy, Glenn, Barb, Brie, RacingPortaJohn, Ziggy and his crew, Plymouth, Chrysler, Paul Tracy, Grover, Roach, New Castle Ale, Coors, Coca-Cola, Camp ‘N’ Brew, Kodak, Olympus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Bronze Badge Program, Tony George, The Alley Cats, BlogSpot.com, ImageShack, Hewlitt Packard, Dell, Microsoft, Motorola, Ray-Bans, Pepsi-Cola, the Yellow Shirts, T13, Rev-ed, CuC, Reebok, Avia, Bayer Aspirin, Smith & Wesson, Coppertone Sports Sunscreen 50SPF, Rubbermaid, my beloved USMC and all other members of the US armed forces, members of Indiana law enforcement, gass, pdalbey, plec, lotuspoweredbyford, zenman, my boss Mike and all the guys at work for understanding and leaving the vacation schedule open, the convenient stores of Speedway, the kind soul who gave me his pit pass (Indy 500 karma is real), Trevor, Shane, Canon, Epson, Linksys, FaceBookPlant, Twatter, AOL, Yahoo!, Zazzle, INGO, all the folks at those private websites (you know who you are), the drivers and crews for Indy Lites and IndyCar for giving us a great show…your hard work and dedication is appreciated, anyone who has clicked and read my foolishness and gets it and knows what Indy means.

No thanks to the two commie jerkoffs in J Stand.

Dedicated to my dad, Rick Johnson.
Also to Uncle Dave, Lloyd Ruby, Larry Rice, Mack, RailBird, Eddie Bussing, and Sandy.

See you next year.

Maybe.

Part 27- My Fantastic Supreme 2009 Indy 500 Photo Diary Blog Type Thang: The Night Before The Indy 500

My last couple of days have been fun and exciting.

I will describe for you now why I think so.

Night-Before-The-Race festivities were a hoot.

My youngest son Willie and I arrived at my mom’s house in Speedway Saturday evening and set up our base of operations there.

Mom took care of us and fed us and did all those great things Moms do to make their children/grandchildren feel warm and welcomed.

Thanks, Mom!

Then, I took Willie on a little walkabout down Georgetown Road to witness all the debauchery because he’s old enough now, and I thought he should see the greatest collection of drunken fools in one place in the entire world.

I explained to Willie many of life’s mysteries and lessons during this time.

Here are a few selected tidbits of knowledge I shared with my young son:

1—If one is cool is these types of situations, one will not visit the county jail.
2—If one’s buddies act like fools, and you don’t stop the shenanigans or excuse yourself FROM them, you will go to jail WITH them.
3—Don’t mess with police officers. They are on our side.
4—If you don’t start nuthin,’ there won’t be nuthin.’
5—Jail is neither fun nor cool.
6—Do not pee out in public.
7—Be courteous to everyone until such time as it is required to stand your ground.
8—Trips to the hospital/emergency room are below average and should be avoided.
9—Over-consumption of alcohol can lead one to doing things one would not normally do.
10—It’s a big world, and one must know how to get along with different types of people.

Yes…it was a teaching opportunity, and Willie is a good student.

We stopped at Ziggy’s house and watched the idiots pee in his yard.


Willie played with Ziggy’s puppy, and then we took a thrilling joyride in Ziggy’s hotrod Plymouth Barracuda… which is just about the coolest car ever created by human hands!

video

It was hot and noisy and violent and it made Willie and I have feces-consuming grins!

When we were done thrashing the classic American muscle car, I told Ziggy that he had just used up all of his Carbon Credits for the next year or so.

Our beloved President would be sad and disappointed.

Maybe.

Then, Willie and I went to Camp 'N' Brew, and we watched more besotted individuals.

I explained the proper procedures and customs for the handing out of Mardi Gras beads, and Willie got his first glance ever at mature female breast assemblies!

I am a bad dad.

Willie and I spoke at length with Shane Rogers, who is a young and legendary racing insider from Australia.

Shane was amazed with the scope of all things Indy, and was eagerly anticipating the race the next day.

Shane is a cool dude, and he now knows what Indy means.

Cheers, mate!

Then, Willie and I stumbled back to Mom’s house, got a good night’s sleep, and prepared for the next day…my Christmas…the Indy 500 baby!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Part 26- My Fantastic Supreme 2009 Indy 500 Photo Diary Blog Type Thang: Pre-Race Ramblings

During the last couple of days, I went to IMS and watched the smaller Indy-type cars perform.

Although I’m not really into the Indy Light Pro Series, I enjoyed it because it was real and shiny and somewhat fast open wheeled machines on my beloved racing surface!

Who am I to complain?


It has been a good couple of days, because I had cold imported New Castle Ale from England, and a pit pass which fell into my lap because of cosmically cool Indy karma.

Anyhoo..Indy Lights are driven by disgruntled and enthusiastic youth of today who at some point in their careers want to be Indy racing legends.

They have a lot to learn, and they will readily admit that fact.

They like to go 4 wide into Turn 1 and dive bomb one another.

Here, we see James Hinchcliffe thoughtlessly throwing a tear-away visor shield thingy onto my sacred pit lane surface.


I had a stern sit-down with Jimmy and explained the nuances of real and shiny and fast Indy racing, and he promised to never be so recalcitrant and malingering again.

Next, I’d like to show you the nose cone of one Wade Cunningham.


He won the pole for the Freedom 100 race, and the actual race, but, still, the slacker image is not something I think he wants to perpetuate.

These Indy Lights toolboxes are other objects of interest I saw on pit lane.



These toolbox images support my assessment that the Indy Pro Series is in need of some violently applied discipline.

The hoses used at Indy are big.

Some hoses are bigger than others.

You know when you take out your hose and lay it on top of your tool box and it drapes over both ends that you have a pretty long hose.


I guess it’s just Mother Nature, or something, and no amount of over-the-counter or over-the-TV-commercial products will help change things in that department.

Here are a few more pictures of Indy Lites cars I took.





I also went to Carbonation Day.

It was fun to stroll the pits while the big cars ran for the last time before the all important 500 Memorial Sweepstakes Speed competition on Sunday.

The teams were all decked out in their fire suits and helmets, trying out race setups and practicing pit stops.






The activity was frenzied and frantic, and it made me smile.

Carbonation Day also means lots of drunken teenyboppers, with various oily and glistening body parts hanging out, converge on my racetrack to see evil rock music performed for their amusement.

This year’s musical host was the band known worldwide as 3WhorzDown, or something, and they performed for an enthusiastic happy crowd of some 40 million on part of the road course somewhere.

I bet they left behind all kinds of litter and bits of clothing and puddles of curdled hurl too.

Since I’m old and curmudgeonly, I did not attend the rock concert.

No.

I instead preferred to visit my good racin’ friends at places like Camp N Brew.


I spent quality time with them because real Indy racing is more about good friends and meeting cool people and drinking their cold draft beer than anything else.

So…that’s what I’ve been doing the last couple of days.

I’ll be back soon after the race to give you some more insight to the Greatest Spectacle In Racing.

Be safe, have a good race, and be cool.

Later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Part 25- My Fantastic Supreme 2009 Indy 500 Photo Diary Blog Type Thang: Family Fun Day At IMS

Family Fun Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway always brings out some groovy rides because it is also Bring Your Sled To IMS Day.

Here’s an example, however, of somebody who didn’t get the memo.


The memo clearly states that the personal vehicle you bring to IMS on this special day is supposed to be cool.

The above-pictured car is not cool. It is worlds away from cool. I would go so far to say that it is neither “smart” nor a “car,” and that its presence on my sacred racetrack is a travesty…and I don’t care how many checkered flags are festooned upon it.

The only place it should be at my racetrack is in the infield, after the race, burning fiercely and merrily to the ground in a hellish Viking funeral pyre type ceremony.

Yes. That scenario would make me smile.

This is the rig of an owner who did get the memo.



Yes…it has a ubiquitous small-block Chevrolet engine, but this machine is noteworthy for a number of reasons.

If you look closely, you will notice that it is equipped with a Triple-Deuce carburetion system atop a compatible aluminum Edelbrock intake manifold.


All three 2-barrel Stromberg carburetors, manufactured in South Bend, are linked together with a complicated series of rods and pulleys that could make a Purdue engineer scratch his head!

Interestingly, please note that all three of these rare Stromberg carburetors are fed by translucent red gas lines, so that one may watch with horror as they consume massive quantities of fossil fuels!


I would also like to point out the translucent red ignition wires coming off the distributor cap, and the witches' hats on the ends of the muffler-less exhaust!

This, my friends, is a politically incorrect hotrod owned by a guy who pays attention to important details.

…And I like it!

Part 24- My Fantastic Supreme 2009 Indy 500 Photo Diary Blog Type Thang: A Lap With Zoomie At Indy

Before I went to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, I had to take the Paul Tracy Commemorative Cruiser Beer Wagon to the car wash.

See…it would be improper and imprudent to drive one’s dirty personal vehicle on the world’s most renown racing surface!


Here, I have just entered the track in the middle of the backstretch. At this point in time I am vibrating like a MOPAR pushrod!


Here, I am entering Turn 3. I took it high and close to the wall, leaving about an inch of clearance.


Here I am in the North Chute…taking the Milk ‘n’ Donuts Memorial Groove!


This is me entering Turn 4…kicking up a ton of flotsam and jetsam due to my high line. At this point, my driving goggles are covered with petroleum products! I must have screwed something up when I changed the oil yesterday!


Next, I exit Turn 4, mash the gas, and prepare to dive-bomb the front straight as if I am a rookie qualifier!


These are my experiences as I near the yard of brick. I can feel it twitching a little…the car, I mean! Maybe.




It was similar to something like this probably felt. Sorta.



Now, I've crossed the start-finish line, and I’m setting up for Turn 1. The lateral G-forces are almost spilling my beer!


Going through Turn 1! My Michelin tires are just about at the limit of their adhesion! Damned Michelins…


South Chute, and I’m taking a line that is so high that the color of my car is reflecting off the wall!


Nearing Turn 2 and the Tom Sneva Commemorative Suites! I stay out of the grater!


I have exited Turn 2 and have entered the backstretch. I have arrived…in more ways than one!


Driving a lap at Indianapolis was fun and cool and exciting!

I heartily recommend this activity!

You should try it sometime.

Pretty much.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Part 23- My Fantastic Supreme 2009 Indy 500 Photo Diary Blog Type Thang: Photos Of My Father

You all are probably tired of hearing about my dad, but I discovered something earlier this week that is kind of interesting.

I often look for Dad in the backgrounds of old Indy 500 Memorial Sweepstakes photos and films.

Earlier this week, my uncle, (Dad’s youngest brother, and the same uncle who used to rightly thump me on my gourd with his Indiana University class ring when I misbehaved), loaned me the book Team Lotus-The Indianapolis Years, by Andrew Ferguson.

As I was quickly leafing through the book, I found this photo.

It immediately grabbed my attention.

stolen photo


There…on the right and indicated with a red arrow…I swear that’s the old man!

It appears to me that he is looking down and fiddling with his camera, and that he has just shot, or is getting ready to shoot, this great photo of Dad’s I have shown you all before.

Dad's photo


In the background of the above photo, just behind and to the right of Clark’s head, are the dark colored pants Colin Chapman was/is wearing in the photo I stole from the book.

Having done my quick detective work and analysis, I emailed the two above photos to my mom and my uncle.

Uncle says it very well could be the old man, because Dad was at Indy that day Team Lotus rolled out Clark’s rig.

Mom says she doesn’t think it is Dad, because she doesn’t recognize the pants…46 years later!

Now…I know I can’t remember the pants I was wearing 30 years ago, but if anybody could recognize Dad’s backside in a 46-year-old photo, I guess Mom could!

Plus…back in those days, Mom did all the laundry, and often ironed a bunch of it by hand using a damp hot stone, therefore, she was intimately familiar with her family's clothing.

So…maybe Mom is right.

But…The body style and height is right for his age at the time, and he was a tall guy…6’6’’…so…

Maybe it’s not Dad in the picture.

I will continue to believe that it is my father.

Please allow me to dream.

Miss you, Dad.

Part 22- My Fantastic Supreme 2009 Indy 500 Photo Diary Blog Type Thang: Photo Philosophy 101

I think that getting good photos requires an eye for an event, or a quick moment, and reacting fast to what you see and quickly getting that special image.

One must have an eye for something that is different, and maybe a little out of the ordinary.

One must always be ready and alert, if one is going to get a super groovy image that will make everybody go, "Whoa! Wow! Nice! Cool!"

Or Something.


Then again, some folks owe it all to simple dumb luck.

Maybe.

Anyhoo...this photo would be really cool if the stands weren't empty...and the lighting was better...and better equipment was used....and...

That's probably what the haters would have to say about it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Part 21- My Fantastic Supreme 2009 Indy 500 Photo Diary Blog Type Thang: Dangerous Horseplay At Indy

An interested reader asks:

I've noticed no photos this year of dangerous horseplay. I'd take it that teams have heeded your advice on tomfoolery. Maybe?

Brilliant deduction Watson, but you would be wrong!

I think Brain Barnhard is overwhelmed by the childish acts of tomfoolery committed by his charges at Indy this year.

Maybe Mr. Barnhard has the “I don’t care anymore” attitude parents sometimes get when they no longer have any effect on the discipline of their kids.

He’s letting the teams and drivers do whatever they want, and if they get hurt while perpetrating their shenanigans…oh friggin’ well…he’s not paying the hospital bills!

Sucks to be them, I guess.

Anyhoo…here are some of the acts of dangerous horseplay and safety violations I have documented so far this May:

-Unauthorized use of a side pod as a seating device without safety restraints.
-Overloaded pit car/golf cart.

-Unauthorized use of a side pod as a seating device without safety restraints.
-Overloaded pit car/golf cart.

-Unauthorized use of a side pod as a seating device without safety restraints.

-Unauthorized use of a side pod as a seating device without safety restraints.

-Unauthorized use of a side pod as a seating device without safety restraints.

-Unauthorized use of a side pod as a seating device without safety restraints.

-Unauthorized alteration and attachment of IndyCar nose cone.

-Unauthorized use of a side pod as a seating device without safety restraints.

-Unauthorized use of a side pod as a seating device without safety restraints.

-Overloaded pit car/golf cart.
-Both hands not on the wheel.
-Cell phone.

-Overloaded pit car/golf cart.

-Overloaded pit car/golf cart.

-Conspiring to instigate or take part in an unsafe speed contest in an unapproved area.


__________



And probably the worst thing I've witnessed this month...

This is not only a blatant safety violation, but it should also offend the delicate sensitivities of all real and fast race fans world wide!

This person is performing some kind of sick and twisted real Indy racing proctological exam!

Hells bells....he's got his whole entire arm up in there...all the way to his elbow!

Filthy stinking molesting pervert!