Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back at the Indianapolis 500 as a Media Blogger

Every sport has its own sounds, whether it's the CRACK of the bat, the grunts and hard plastic smack of football pads, and the nnnNNNNNNOOOWWWWWWWWW!! of the Indianapolis 500.

I'm back up in my seat in the media center of the the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, listening to the high-pitched whine of the race cars whizzing past at 200+ miles an hour — I just saw Danica Patrick go by in Pit Row, rookie Simona De Silvestro is on the track, and A.J. Foyt IV is sitting in the pit.

It's smaller this year. The whole month of May is smaller. They've had some problems with money at the Speedway, the teams were suffering last year, and so the month has been shortened by nearly two weeks. The most telling sign is this year's media guides are all online, instead of being printed out this year. (And like an idiot, I dumped mine last week in a cleaning fit. Maybe I can still rescue them.)

But the passion is still here. It's just been distilled. Howdy Bell, one of the voices of the 500 from my youth is two rows behind me. The photographers are still out on the track, straining to catch every shot with their giant lenses, and the die-hard fans are out here, ruining their hearing with every nnnNNNNNNOOOWWWWWWWWW!! that screams by.

It's just not May without that sound.



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