Christmas In May
May 27, 2001 | 12:00 A.M. EST
Don’t tell me that Indy isn't as big as it used to be and there’s no interest in open wheel racing. While the CART-IRL war has without a doubt eroded the Indy Car audience, Indianapolis is a different animal.
Believe everything you’ve ever heard about the mystique and majesty of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway because it is all absolutely true. I’ve driven through the tunnel to enter the mammoth facility hundreds of times and the same chill runs down my spine with each trip.
I can feel your eyes rolling as you read this, but if you’ve never been to Indy you are missing one of the jewels of the sports world. It’s Wrigley Field, Wimbledon and the Rose Bowl all rolled into one place. It has charm, magic and history dripping from every inch of its nearly 90 year old body. And on race morning of the Indianapolis 500, there is a feeling of electricity in the air that you have to feel to believe.
As you look around the massive grounds it’s as if you’ve walked into a motorsports museum. There’s the famous “Gasoline Alley,” which has hosted every legend in the annals of history; the “Pagoda,” newly remodeled but still a symbol of motorsports history; the renowned scoring tower, which soars high into the Indiana sky listing the car numbers of all 33 starters; and the double decked grandstands, which stretch down the entire main straightaway and engulf the track like no other in auto racing.
Indianapolis is nothing short of a treasure and the 500 is an American classic. Yes, it’s Christmas time once again.