Thursday, December 23, 2010

Picking 3 Moments To Define Indy

Of course, you know and I know that the Indy 500 is way, wayyyyy too big to define, or even adequately express what it means to so many people. Sometimes, it’s best to start small and work your way up. So, with the holidays having me in a nostalgic and sentimental frame of mind, I thought I’d try to pick 3 moments that define Indy to me:


-Little Al winning in 1992. “You just don’t know what Indy means”. If you can personify the joy, heartache, and accomplishment of Indy in a statement, wouldn’t that have to be it? More importantly, I remember watching it with my dad. That makes it the most memorable of all.

-Sid Collins’ impromptu eulogy of Eddie Sachs. The greatest reminder of the mortality of those who challenge Indy, and the remembrance that these men and women who race can risk everything to do so.

-Paul Tracy breaking down after not qualifying in 2010. There are many moments of disappointment and frustration from teams not making the 500 I could name, such as the PCM effort in 2008, but I witnessed Tracy’s tears up close, and it turned me from not so much a fan of the guy to a definite well-wisher. It was purely the anguish of competition, of things not realized. I won’t soon forget it.  Tony Kanaan making it in after a nightmarish month was an amazing counter to it, as well.

I can remember hundreds of other moments, from taking my daughter to the track for the first time to the unusual peace of arriving at the Speedway at dawn to having Rick Mears wave at me in the 500 Festival Parade when I was just a kid, but those three jumped out at me.

So what about it? What would be your 3 moments to define what Indy means to you?


  1. Can't argue with Little Al. It sums up everything good about Indy.

    My number two would be Hornish passing Marco to keep the curse intact. Still bummed Michael didn't win that one.

    Number three would be seeing the Foyt Coyote in the winner's circle giving Super Tex his fourth Indy.

  2. Man, those are some good ones! Michael almost winning in '06 was pretty amazing, to be sure.

  3. Totally agree that Sid Collins impromptu eulogy is one of the greatest pieces of journalism ever. Brings tears to my eyes just reading it.

    I do like Mr. Analog's pick. That was an epic final lap! I was sitting in Stand J and watched in disbelieve as the Andretti Curse struck again.

    As cool as the Hornish/Andretti finish was, I'll never forget 1992. I was working that day at the RadioShack in the Muncie Mall, and in those final laps all business came to a halt as us workers, customers, and workers from neighboring stores came over to listen to the call of those final laps over the radio. It was a very special moment for me, and really exemplified how precious the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race really is.

  4. That is one awesome memory of '92, Doug. People don't stop work to listen to the end of any sport anymore. Cell phones, wireless internet, bigger TV coverage of, well, everything. Different world. I'm not going to say we're the poorer for it, but it does seem we've lost something in the translation!