A race day weather report predicted we were on track to be the hottest race ever. This didn’t stop Tom, Micah, and Caleb from starting the day at 9:00 am for the annual tramp to gasoline alley and a quick kiss of the strip of bricks.
Down on the track, nobody was preventing pedestrians from the pit area, and the boys grabbed a golden opportunity to stroll down and absorb some prerace preparations before heading for our seats.
A word about our seats; they are prime seats on the very top row (RR) of turn two! We have been there for at least 20 years, and there is nothing not nice about those seats – except the climb up! Doubly so for Micah, who works out all year long so that he can heave Caleb up on his back and haul him up to his seat!
A bit more about that weather prediction! At one point in the race, the radio announced that the temperature, at 93 degrees, was being declared the hottest race on record! Later, that pronouncement was retracted! I am not going to quibble about a couple degrees and will just say that it was plenty hot! The track temperature was reported to be 138 and going up! On top of row RR we were in the shade for all but the last hour of the race, and the breeze was constant and cooling.
We enjoyed all the prerace ritual and pageantry: the parade of the old-time cars, a tribute and procession of our armed services, “Back Home Again, in Indiana” by Jim Nabors (recorded this year because of health conflicts), The National Anthem wonderfully performed by Martina McBride, and a delightful prayer that included all spectators several times pronouncing “AMEN” right on que; just like an outdoor revival! Oh, and we also suffered through “God Bless America” by Florence Henderson – she needs to get on key or give it up!).
Finally, the drivers were ordered to their cars and the famous “ladies and gentlemen start your engines” rang out as the crowd stood and cheered. Three parade laps – and they were off.
These were all new Dallara car chaises with either a Honda, Chevy or Lotus engine and there was a lot of speculation on how the cars would perform. There was also concern about how the heat would affect the race. However, once the field settled down it was one of the best races ever for passing, lead changes, and 4 and 5 side-by-side face-offs.
Almost every accident and incident occurred within our view, helping us to easily keep track of who was still in, and who was taken out!
At the end of the race, the two Target cars driven by Dario Frankchitti and Scott Dixon traded leads almost every lap. Right behind was Takuma Sato, and Tony Kanaan who also both took turns leading the race.
But, in the end under a yellow flag occurring on the last lap, it was Dario Franchitti that crossed the line first, winning his 3rd victory at the Indianapolis 500.
Thus ended Tom's 38th Indianapolis 500, and Ella's 34th! As always, Memorial Day and Race Day signal the start of our summer camping; we headed for home with only one day to clean out the Airstream and repack and regroup for our next big adventure. Check back for details of our first Airstream Alumapalooza!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown