Saturday, May 23, 2015
Day Before the 500 Recap
So after arriving at my sister's house in Elwood at about 2 a.m. -- Kevin had graduated from 8th grade on Friday night -- we were up at 9 to make drive down to LOR. It wasn't too bad of a trip, traffic was nothing compared to what it will be on Sunday, and we breezed down there in about an hour.
I ended up getting the pit pass tickets for both of us, which include admission to the grounds and a green wristband so that we could enter the pits. In the end, we were glad we got those, but more on that later.
Believe it or not, Saturday was my first trip ever to Lucas Oil Raceway. Back when I lived in Indy in the early 1990s, I'd watch the racing out there on ESPN, and while I kept saying over and over I should go out there, I never did.
Needless to say, I was really impressed with the facility. The grandstands are very nice and from pretty much everywhere you have a nice view all the way around the track. There is a grassy hill in Turn 1 that looks like it offers some pretty nice sight lines, but we didn't make it over there.
We sat in the grandstands for the USF2000 race, which was won by Jake Eidson, who turns 20 years old on Sunday. There wasn't much racing up front as Eidson won flag to flag (in fact, all three races had that same result), but there was some good racing going on in the pack, and Eidson was fun to watch because he was so smooth working his way through traffic.
Nico Jamin finished second and kept that all important points lead, while Aaron Telitz was third to put two Americans on the podium.
Then it was on to the Silver Crown race, where Tanner Swanson was without peer, winning the pole and leading every lap to win by 16 seconds over his brother Kody. Both Swansons were on top of their game as they were the only two drivers on the lead lap at the end.
What was really fun about that race is that Kevin and I watched it from the pit wall. When we first went into the pits we saw some other people with green wristbands standing behind a yellow line, so we parked there too. But as the race was starting I saw some other people walking towards the pit wall, so we headed there too. Ask for forgiveness instead of permission, right? Nobody seemed to mind too much, which means a green wristband is a little like flying first class, they pretty much let you do whatever you want.
(Yes, that's a Wedding Singer reference, in case you were wondering)
We ended up standing next to Eddie Sachs, Jr., whose No. 25 car driven by Davey Ray dropped out early with engine problems. I didn't know that he owned a team, so that was kind of interesting.
After the Silver Crown race ended, the day started to drag a bit. With the USF2000 race going green the entire way, and the Silver Crown race having just a quick caution early on, we were way ahead of time, and it was going to be about an hour before the Pro Mazda race began.
Kev was getting a little bored and wanted to go home, but I gave him a nudge to stick it out, and he said at the end of the day the Pro Mazda race was his favorite. Good thing!
In that race, Weiron Tan jumped out to an early lead and never looked back to pick up his third win in the series. Will Owen was second while Neil Alberico was third. With Tan doing work up front, most of the good racing was back in the field as several drivers had some great battles, and there was even some three-wide racing in places. Good stuff!
All-in-all it was a really fun day. We got to see some racing and get some up-close action, and it definitely whetted our appetites for the big race!
No doubt that it will more than likely be on our schedule next year as well. It should be on yours too!
Below are the starts and first laps of each race!
Posted by Mike Knapp at 9:21 PM