I’ve heard a lot of jokes about racing.
“How do you outrun a race fan?” (Turn right…)
I’ve also seen racing first hand. Today I saw a belt made out of eight can coolers, a beer in each cooler and one in each hand. Today my camera was invited to a shirtless stranger’s “gun show.” (He was double fisting a beer, how could my camera say no to an invitation like that?)
I saw a tattoo of a six point buck with a big red crosshair on it. I saw teeny bikinis on, well, nothing that could be described as teeny.
(You’re welcome for not sharing the picture.)
But I also met the legendary Indy Car announcer Tom Carnegie.
I stood on the track of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
I witnessed the “kissing” tradition.
I stood close enough to smell the Borg Warner Trophy.
You could hear a pin drop during the performance of “Taps.” (300,000 people completely silent with nothing but a trumpet playing? Dude.)
My new favorite sound is that of an Indy Car starting up.
Dan Wheldon is a stand up fellow, and he sounds just like the Geico gecko.
I would be friends with Chip Ganassi.
There is a lot of strategy to racing. (Seriously.)
Dario Franchitti finished the race with 1.6 gallons of gas to spare.
I may not understand racing as much as the people I shared the press room with, but I understand a good human being and the look of a proud wife as her husband gets a little choked up as he admits that the real people who helped him win are the ones who are never going to get the real attention they deserve.
I saw a tweet from a lifelong local who had never been to the Indy 500, he said “I just don’t get the fascination.”
I wrote him back and said “Go once, you’ll get it.”