My first experience with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was in 5thgrade. I attended practice as a class field trip and from that moment on I have always welcomed the month of May with open arms. For me there are three times of year that I absolutely cannot wait for: the holidays at the end of the year, the Formula 1 race that kicks off the season, and the month of May for the Indy 500. IMS during the month of May to me is better than Disney World. This year however, the race means even more than years past. Why might you ask? The answer is simple and can be summed up in one word: centennial.
This year starts the Centennial Era at IMS and we finally usher in 100 years of the greatest raceway on the planet. IMS has seen it all from IndyCars, Formula 1, NASCAR, and now finally Moto GP. Every major form of racing has graced the grounds in which history has been wrote year after year. Whether it was Michael Schumacher winning the first USGP at the track or Juan Montoya embarrassing the field in his TCGR entry in a race that would be the foundations of reunification, Indy has seen it. So many great names such as Foyt, Andretti, Unser, Jones, Gordon, Schumacher, and Rossi have put there respected machines on the yard of bricks. Now we enter the month in which the IndyCar series is molded around, where man and machine tackle the 2.5 mile oval for one month in what will be a life changing event for whoever comes out on top.
This week starts the on track action as we prepare for the run for pole position on Saturday. There are obvious favorites and some who are only there to continue to compete on a track that is part of their existence. Either way, numbers for Indianapolis double the usual ratings and fan attendance for most other events on the IndyCar series. It is a tradition that has ran for 92 years and prepares for its 93. It’s the Indy 500 and it my friends is the “greatest spectacle in racing”. Unlike hollow such statements from places like Kansas claiming to be the “best experience in racing” this statement about this race only 3 short weeks away is one I would take to the bank.
There will be extensive coverage of the month of May on Openpaddock.net with a few special features that will highlight the history and the future of this great speedway, and I invite you to visit this page and prepare with us the staff for the Indy 500.