2019 Indy GP Race Day

The boys and I headed over to the track around 11:00. It was a beautiful morning but the weather man said rain was coming. I went out in the morning and purchased some additional rain ponchos to make sure we would stay dry. We brought some but when you are out for an extended time we might need extras to keep our things dry or have a dry place to sit. We parked in our usual spot and walked in.

We usually sit with our friend Mark but Mark didn’t make it this year. We decided we would still sit in the same spot though on the mounds by turns 7,8,9. We walked over to set our chairs down. When we got to the mounds it was obvious that the crowds were down this year. The spots on the top of the mounds were full but just inside the top row was plenty of spots to put our things. The boys decided they would just hang out by our seats since they are too old for the kids zone and didn’t want to walk over to Pagoda plaza. However, before I walked over to the Pagoda we realized we left all the rain gear in the car. I hiked back to our car because I was fairly certain we would need it before the day was over.

When I reentered the track I went past the garages and the Pagoda. Met up with Lisa and Joan there. Couldn’t convince them that the mounds by turn 8 were a great place to watch the race from and they chose the mounds by turn 1. The skies were growing darker so I went back to the boys to make sure we had the rain gear to keep dry. By that time they were ready to venture out and grab a snack. They returned just before the start of the race.

As the race began so did the excitement. Alexander Rossi was out before it even began. Rossi was clipped by Pato O’Ward and then hit the wall. The race stayed green. A couple laps later yellow came out when Marcus Ericsson hit the wall. When we returned to green Colton Herta was spun and Ryan Hunter-Reay clipped Herta. Herta was my fantasy pick. I had just taken over the top spot on a Facebook fantasy league I’m a part of. I’m sure I dropped way down now.

Eventually the rain picked up at Indy. Our rain ponchos were on and everyone was guessing when the best time to get on rain tires was. Some got them on too early and some waited. As the race neared the end, Scott Dixon was struggling with his tires. Simon Pagenaud looked like he was unstoppable. Pagenaud was able to get around Matheus Leist and Jack Harvey. While neither one of those drivers are rookies they are both newer to full time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series. I wasn’t surprised Pagenaud got around them. Dixon would be another story and there were not many laps left. Pagenaud neared Dixon with two laps to go and then made an amazing pass right in front of our seats. I could hear he was coming in my headset and was already yelling. That was enough to make Zach peek out from his rain poncho and he saw the great pass too. Simon Pagenaud won the sixth running of the Indy GP, his third win at this track, tied with Will Power.

Prior to the weekend I would have said I’m fine with anyone winning except Will Power or Simon Pagenaud as between the two of them they had won all previous races. That’s the fun thing about IndyCar though, as a race advances you find yourself rooting one way or another. I didn’t really want Scott Dixon to win even though he would have been a new winner at the GP so I was cheering for Pagenaud to get around Dixie. He did and I loved it. So in all other scenarios where a Penske car might win I wouldn’t be thrilled but Pagenaud needed that win. Simon hasn’t won since 2017 and rumor is he won’t continue at Penske. Maybe this will help him keep his position. He is such a fun and talented driver. I hope he is racing for many years to come.

Scott Dixon finished second- again. I don’t recall the exact number but he has quite a few second places at this race. Jack Harvey finished third. It was a great race by Harvey. I was so close to picking him for my fantasy pick over Herta. Oh well. Love seeing Jack and the Michael Shank team on the podium. A shout out to Matheus Leist and AJ Foyt Racing for their fourth place finish. Matt started way in the back of the field and moved his way up to fourth. Tony Kanaan started last but the team took a gamble and put rain tires on early. Turned out to be a bit too early and Tony didn’t do so well.

We packed up our things and joined the track invasion before the boys headed for the car and I took one last trip past the garages. Since Matthew can drive he got the car and pulled it up as I exited the Speedway. We stopped at the Foyt Vault post race. I had a glass of wine and the boys enjoyed a soda. The main reason for our stop though was to buy the new 103 wine featuring Tony Kanaan. It’s a $60 bottle of wine, much more than I’ve ever spent on a bottle but this bottle is three of May favorite things- AJ Foyt, Tony Kanaan and wine! Steve said to pick one up as a Mother’s Day gift and I didn’t thing twice. The boys then played shuffleboard so I looked through some of the books they have and was reading while I waited for them. We had a simple meal at Culver’s and ended our evening in the hot tub at the hotel. Another fun race day!

A couple posts ago I discussed if the GP was a good race weekend. I can safely say it once again was a wonderful time.


Mixing Indycar and Pleasure

Yesterday I was able to enjoy two of my favorite things-Indycar and wine. My husband and I were able to escape for a short getaway to San Francisco. We spent our first day at Muir Woods but yesterday ventured into wine country. The visitor center was right next to Meadowcroft tasting room. Tom Meadowcroft makes the wine for Foyt Family Wines. Unfortunately the tasting room wasn’t open yet so we left Sonoma and drove to Napa. First stop there was Andretti Winery. I got a history lesson on Mario Andretti and enjoyed a tasting. Steve was enjoying learning about the process and did try one sip. The pourer was very gracious and allowed me to talk Indycar even though he was not a fan. Another employee went the extra step though and gave me two corks and four wine labels. I felt like I won the lottery.

Lunch was eaten at Subway but I didn’t argue as Steve had already endured wine, Indycar and antiquing. We drove back to Sonoma and went directly to Meadowcroft. After the first taste (I planned to try all of the Foyt wines) Steve excused himself to take a nap in the car. Fortunately other tasters were there and I did make some small talk with them. After finishing my tasting I ordered a glass of the Foyt Chardonnay and perused the Foyt cork key chains which were brought out specifically for me. I made my purchase and sat outside enjoying a fire also started just for me. I promptly tweeted my location and enjoyment of the day. However while on twitter I made a shocking although somewhat expected discovery. Dario Franchitti would be retiring from Indycar. Dario’s accident in Houston was so horrific and terrifying. It was way to reminiscent of Dan Weldon’s tragic and fatal accident. I held my breath until I learned he was ok and even then faithfully followed the news and twitter for updates on his condition. While I am heartbroken to see him leave this sport he loves- especially just as he and TK were to be teammates- I am eternally thankful that he is able to walk away and am eager to see what his next role in Indycar will be.

So as I sat down to enjoy my Foyt wine this what not the news I was expecting. I continued to sip my wine and read dozens of tributes to Dario and enjoyed reminiscing over his career. A bit ironic that as I read all the well wishes I was reminded of the booing heard for him in Milwaukee in 2012 and the frequent butchering of his name but was glad that so many have put that behind them and acknowledge the amazing career he had and give him the respect he deserves. I always have been and will remain a fan of Dario Franchitti. I hope this next chapter in his life is full of exciting ventures and new challenges and that he is grateful everyday for what he has.

Steve woke up from his nap and joined me by the fire pit. We took some pictures by the Foyt pictures and ventured on to a non Indycar winery. I think Steve was relived but my mind would linger on the sport I love so much and prayers were said for the safety of all the drivers and the new ventures in Dario’s career.