26. May 2006 · Comments Off on Lady and gentlemen, start your engines · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun and Games, General, That's Entertainment!

Since our company got involved in torque sensing for F1 racing a few years ago and the divorce between Champ cars and Indy cars played itself out, the only open wheel racing that I follow outside of F1 is the Indy 500. Before it was televised, I remember listening to it on the radio even as a child, having lived in a family with a long history of involvement in stock and super-modified racing throughout NY, PA and New England in the fifties and sixties. Women drivers have been an on and off presence at Indy since 1976 (previously Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, and Sarah Fisher), but, in my view, were more of a novelty than a serious trend.

Last year’s Indy 500 was absolutely GREAT because Danica Patrick showed, finally, that a woman driver could mix it up with the best the IRL had to offer. Although finishing fourth, she led for several laps and showed a degree of cool fierceness that was lacking in those of the fairer sex who preceded her (Sgt Mom and Cpl Blondie, I am being careful here). This year she starts somewhat lower in the field (inside row 4), but I am confident she will put on a great show. Check it out (Sun. 1:00 CST)

Next week the Indy teams will race at Watkins Glenn, former home of the U.S. Grand Prix. Back in my day, I worked a food concession there all through high school and got to (sort of) see the Trans Am (Camaro, ‘Cuda, Mustang), Can Am (anybody remember Chaperral?) and F1 races from ’68 through ’72. What a dream job. After having been closed for a couple decades, Nascar has raced stockers and trucks at the Glen the last few years, but it will be great to see open wheel racing there again.

Also note that the Monaco F1 Grand Prix is Sunday morning – televised early on SpeedTV. I personally think that Monaco is the premier F1 event because of (a) the difficulty of the street course and (b) the decadent wealth that permeates the entire event (including the 100+ ft cruisers in the harbor).

See you at the track.


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