2006.05.11 Two Days at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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Rain.  Cold.  Wind.  These words adequately describe the Friday and Saturday we spent at IMS (Indianapolis Motor Speedway).  The high temperatures hovered around 50 degrees both days.  With the cold temps, we never got to see a single car get on the racetrack.  Very disappointing.  But the company was great!

Oklahoma Race Gang staying dry in the Hospitality Tent.

We got to the track about mid-morning on Friday and headed to the Hospitality Tent.  Thank goodness we were in out of the cold.  We celebrated this fact by drinking some ice cold beer.  We had 3 tickets to the Suite this day, so 3 of the guys went on a mission to “check it out”.  We never heard back from them.  Around mid-afternoon, Curt showed up, visited a while, and said he could get us into the Suite.  He was right.  There we found our Scout Team, in balmy conditions, making sure the beer was cold and the snacks were tasty. Although I do not watch Survivor, I am not totally oblivious to Pop Culture, so when the Scout Team said that Rupert stopped by the Suite, I at least knew who they were talking about.  I do not remember why he stopped by, but he was sporting his patented tie-die shirt.

The Scout Team with Rupert

We spent several hours at the Suite that afternoon/evening hoping to see the sun peek through the clouds, but no such luck.  We completed our evening with a trip to a local Steakhouse that is visited every year by the Oklahoma Race Gang.  I wish I could remember it’s name.  What sets this place apart from the rest is their Onion Salad.  To our surprise the Onion Salad was no longer on the menu, but that didn’t stop us from ordering it and the kitchen putting it together for us.

On Saturday, we got to the track about mid-morning, and this time everybody had a Suite pass.  Again, rainy conditions and cold weather ruled the day.  We did enjoy walking around quite a bit of the park, and picking up some souvenirs.

During the afternoon, Al Unser Jr made a visit by the Suite.  He made some statements to the crowd about how the preparations were going, and answered a few questions from the crowd.  Then he very grasciously offered to shake hands, sign autographs, etc. of anybody who was interested.  Well, there were plenty of folks who were interested!  Some folks are very humble with thier abilities, and Al Unser Jr. would fit that description.  He seemed as “normal” as any other race fan in the room, and was very willing to visit and answer any question you might throw his way.  In this case, you were throwing your question to a 2 time Indy 500 winner!

The Oklahoma Race Gang with Honorary Member, Al Unser Jr.

We left the track by 5:00 on Saturday, and had dinner at the 106th Street Grill, which is a sponsor of the #5 car.  Good food.  Dad, Scott and I enjoyed a pitcher of Blue Moon beer.  This beer comes with an Orange Wedge, instead of a customary Lime or Lemon that you sometimes see.  It sounds awful, but it was quite tasty.

Scott throwing darts at Johnnie O’s.

Next, we moved on to Johnnie O’s for drinks.  It has probably been 15 years since I have been at a bar at closing time, but I can’t say that anymore!  We spent about 6 hours there drinking, visiting and playing darts.  It was a lot of fun.

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