Tony celebrates 1st 500 win!
Every year as we prepare for the Indy 500 each fan in our little group chooses a driver for the win. Tom, Micah, and Caleb compare practice and qualification speeds and keep informed about engine performance and other such vital indicators and then choose their winners based on the facts! I tend to stick with my current fave year after year – through thick and thin. With Tony Kanaan as my current chosen driver, I have seen some good runs, but have never won the pool -- with a whopping pay-off of $1 for each participant! Arriving at the track in 2002, Brazilian Tony Kanaan experienced a notable streak of bad luck for eleven seasons, before winning the 500 this year!
Our stadium is empty at 10:30 a.m.
At 5:30 AM the cannon booms on race day announcing the opening of the track gates. An advantage of camping in the parking lot across from our seats is that we can all sleep late and leisurely head out without the hassle of the legendary traffic snarl. For Tom, Micah, and Caleb, this means leaving the camper at 8:00 to visit the strip of bricks on the track, call on the drivers in the garage area, and stroll through other areas of the famous speedway. Tink and I choose to spend a slow morning of preparation in the parking lot followed by a quick walk to the track – putting in an appearance at our seats by 10:30.
From our seats high above is a view looking across the track towards the infield. Behind us is the Silvermine in the parking lot, as seen from our seats. In case you can't see her in this picture . . . . . .
. . . I zoomed in for a close-up view!
From my seat, through my telephoto lens, I was able to see Tom, Micah, and Caleb as they left the infield and crossed under the track tunnel, on their way to join us in the stadium.
Every year I anxiously await their climb to the top. Micah works out all year long on a stair-stepper machine to keep in shape so he can help Caleb to the top. I stand at the top of the stairs and try for several pictures on the way up!
And once on top, I give Micah a chance to rest for a minute and then take the annual, traditional picture of my three boys!
And, here we all are -- me with the boys, and Tink, whose seat is right in front of us.
As the cars made their first parade laps, everyone stood up. Tom and Micah each put a foot on the seat and lifted Caleb up to sit on their knees for a good view.
Here was our view of the cars coming out of turn 1 and the short shoot, and into turn 2!
It was one of the most exciting races that we have ever seen -- a day of records!
Hometown boy Ed Carpenter was on the pole -- the first American-born pole-sitter since 2006, and the first owner/driver to sit on the pole since 1975.
For the first time since 1987, two drivers in the field entered the race attempting to win a fourth Indianapolis 500 -- Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti.
The average speed of the race, 187.433 mph, was the fastest Indianapolis 500, breaking the record set in 1990 by Arie Luyendyk.
There were a record 68 lead changes and 14 different leaders!
The race boasted the most cars running at the finish (26), the fewest caution laps (21), as well as a 133-lap caution-free segment from lap 61 through 193.
All of this added up for one exciting race. Up in turn 2 we were in on all of the action.
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