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Unread 05-14-2007, 01:34 PM
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2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

Less than two weeks until the Indy 500! Who will be at the track and who will be watching from home?

We are finalizing our travel plans and should be at the track in the Penthouse Paddock along pit row!

We don't get much of the pre-race hype out here in Western NY so I'd love to hear predictions - who is going to take the pole and who is going to win?
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Unread 05-14-2007, 02:19 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

I won't be going to the race, but I did get a chance to go to a practice session last Wednesday. We had garage and pit passes, so that was cool.

This is probably the deepest field of drivers for the Indy 500 since the CART/IRL split back in the early 90's. The Ganassi and Penske teams look very strong, with Rahal / Letterman (R/L) giving them a run for their money.

I would like to see Scott Sharp win. This year, he seems to have another good ride and crew. He is in the R/L stable.

During last week's visit, I saw some interesting things.

Along pit row, each team has about 5-6 laptops assembled onto a computer kiosk. I suppose that most of these laptops are monitoring car performance, while 1 or 2 may be watching weather. Each pit had their own Honda engine guy glued to his own laptop, monitoring engine performance.

Also, there were Firestone guys monitoring wheel usage on each driver's car. From what I heard, each driver gets 35 sets of tires for the entire month of May at Indy. Those tires are assigned to that driver, and they cannot share, even among team members. Each tire has its own bar code, and some cool screen-printed graphics on the sidewall. Also, the Firestone guy was reading tire temp after each car would come in for adjustments. These are new tires for Indy, and I heard that they were fine tuned by Tony Kanaan's team last fall. He said that they were perfect, and Firestone agreed.

In the garage, it was interesting seeing teams and cars go through inspections. Being a long-time FIRST robot inspector, I found inspecting Indy cars interesting. There were 2 main types: tech inspection and safety inspection.

Tech inspection took place in a garage bay. The crew would push the car into the bay, up on this 80/20-looking structure. They would use custom calipers (about 6 feet wide), gauge finders and feelers to check various dimensions of the car frame and body. There were about 6-7 official inspectors looking at each car. Bar codes seemed to be on many of the parts they were looking at, and they had a portable reader scanning the codes.

Safety inspection was just as interesting. The stuff that the driver sits in and around is impressive. The tub, the form-fitting foam stuff, the neck support... all of this stuff could easily be pulled out, bar code scanned, and checked. The 2 inspections we saw included the driver and the sponsors (probably) standing next to the car as the crew and safety inspectors removed panels and parts to get to what they wanted to see. It seemed to be a casual affair with little pressure.

Some drivers and owners (and other important people) seem more approachable than others. I saw Chip Ganassi hanging out with his crew, and casually signing autographs to spectators. Al Unser was driving around on a golf cart, in a hurry all the time. Vitor Miera was hanging out, chatting with fans. Al Unser Jr. seemed casual and relaxed. Davey Hamilton, who is back after a nasty wreck 6 years ago, seemed to be VERY happy to be there, and he has a good ride. Tony George was in his pit on pit row, seeing how he was doing.

It should be a good month of May.

Andy B.
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Unread 05-14-2007, 02:20 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

I'm guessing that Castroneves will take the pole at 225.817mph.
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Unread 05-14-2007, 02:37 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

I'll be there in my FIRST turn seat like always, all day on carb day too.

I'm hoping for a third Andretti in the field.
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Unread 05-16-2007, 02:03 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

I recently received two Indy 500 tickets FREE.
They are in turn 4. Andy Baker, want to go?
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Unread 05-16-2007, 02:22 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

Eh Indy's not really my thing. NASCAR is where it's at
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Unread 05-20-2007, 05:07 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Doenges View Post
I recently received two Indy 500 tickets FREE.
They are in turn 4. Andy Baker, want to go?
Did you win the tickets, or have a very good friend give them to you? Has Andy responded to your offer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeForce View Post
Eh Indy's not really my thing. NASCAR is where it's at
Now if an Indy fan said NASCAR was not his thing, them would be fightin' words! (bad grammar intentional) But those of us who prefer Indy Racing are a much more dignified sort. So to each his own! Hey! Pass me another cold one!
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Unread 05-20-2007, 05:27 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

Some amazing Bump Day action as Jimmy Kite tried to bump in with a 214 MPH Average and an aborted run. Looks like PDM will have to wait for next year. Good that Moreno made the field along with Marty Roth. Bump day for some reason is as action packed as pole day.
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Unread 05-20-2007, 05:32 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeForce View Post
Eh Indy's not really my thing. NASCAR is where it's at
"Real men don't need bumpers to race." -Al Unser Sr.

I have went about four times now this month, and I will be at the beginning of pit road on race day. WooHOO
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Unread 05-20-2007, 07:20 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

Quote:
Did you win the tickets, or have a very good friend give them to you? Has Andy responded to your offer?
Andy can't go, prior commitment
I'm taking one of our mentors with me.
I received the tickets from a friend of my wife. She is in the Air Guard and was given the tickets. She didn't want to go, so she gave them to me
Quote:
I will be at the beginning of pit road on race day
Which side ot the track will you be Kyle, Infield or outfield
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Unread 05-20-2007, 07:41 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Doenges View Post
Which side ot the track will you be Kyle, Infield or outfield
I'm on the outside of the track, in stand H.
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Unread 05-20-2007, 09:46 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeForce View Post
Eh Indy's not really my thing. NASCAR is where it's at
NASCAR is great, but there is nothing like the Indy 500. You have to be there to understand.
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Unread 05-20-2007, 09:49 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Love View Post
I'm on the outside of the track, in stand H.
I'll be in the E stand. Pat and Greigh will be marching in the scout band and sitting in the North Vista.
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Unread 05-22-2007, 09:16 AM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

I'm in the northwest vista
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Unread 05-22-2007, 12:54 PM
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Re: 2007 Indy 500 - Who is going and who will be watching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Doenges View Post
I'm in the northwest vista
That's where my seats have been the past 4 years, they are really good.
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