Ten Questions With Indianapolis 500 Festival Princess Adrienne Runge

7 May
Festival Princess Adrienne Runge

Festival Princess Adrienne Runge

 

It’s is not too often that I get to write on subject matter that is outside of the norm for motorsports blogging. From time to time, I enjoy digging into the background and getting away from the wheel spin. Last week, I promised a divergence and I am here to tell you, this article has been a lot of fun to produce. Now, let me be clear, I LOVE all things Indianapolis 500. Some folks say it and yet they still just want wheel spin. I enjoy digging in and relaying to you some gems that I come across. With an event such as the Indianapolis 500, there is a ton of subject matter to choose from! My preference is still to talk to the wrenches, to learn about the “all things digital”, or the web basing of the brand called Indy 500. To that point, I had a wonderful opportunity to conduct a brief, yet enlightening interview with a real live princess. No, this is not the story of the princess and the frog…….

I came to know a little about the 500 festival from a gent I work with. It seems that his step-daughter was selected from a field of nearly 230 applicants to become one of the 33 women chosen as 500 festival princesses. She was chosen based on criteria that includes academic performance, community service involvement, poise and leadership skills. The program itself is a scholarship and ambassador program and not a beauty pageant. From the 500 Festival website, I found that the specific selection process includes:

Strong desire to serve others through community service – Volunteerism
Team player with the ability to work well with others
Maturity and responsibility
Exceptional poise and professionalism
Academic achievement
Hard worker
Patience and flexibility
Great sense of humor
High energy level
Unselfish and willing to give of herself to others –

Should this hold interest, please rush over to the 500 Festival website and see more at: http://www.500festival.com/programs/princess-program/eligibility-requirements#sthash.0ATgILYl.dpuf

 

2014 Indianapolis 500 Festival Princesses

2014 Indianapolis 500 Festival Princesses

 

So, without further ado, it is with great pleasure that I present Ms. Adrienne Runge, 500 Festival Princess for 2014.

1. What is on your I-Pod or music playing device?

I listen to all kinds of music. There isn’t a whole genre that I won’t listen to. I like to listen to Pandora on my phone or computer because it gives me access to all the music I haven’t downloaded, and I like not knowing what song will play next. Which station I listen to depends on what I’m doing. If I’m at the gym I’ll listen to hip-hop. If I need background music I’ll play something more folksy, and I also love listening to stand-up comedy.

2. What is your college major and how will this help you achieve some of your goals in life?

I graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Italian and pre-Health studies, and I’m currently working on an MS in Biology. With the Italian major, I was able to study abroad in Italy and learn the Italian language and culture, and all of my science courses helped me toward my goal of going to dental school, which I will start in July at IU School of Dentistry.

3. How did you become a 500 festival princess?

I’ve known about the program forever because I was born and raised in Speedway, and it’s something I have always wanted to do. I finally got the chance when I moved back home to work on my MS degree. The application for the program is online, and it is followed by two rounds of interviews that narrow down the approximately 230 applicants this year to the final 33 princesses.

4. Who had the most influence on your life to this point and why?

My mom. We have a really close mother-daughter relationship, and she always encourages me to do the next big thing. She pushes me to do things I maybe don’t want to do, and she supports me in anything I want to do but am maybe too nervous or scared.

5. What do you think you will do to promote and or at least live by the values gained from this experience?

For me, this program has taught me to be even more proud of my community. I’ve grown up watching the race and seeing people from all over the country and the world come here every year, so I always knew my town was special. This program has given me the opportunity to finally be on the inside of all of the festivities, and so I now have an incredibly unique perspective on how extraordinary this place is, and that is something I will always carry with me and try to share with the world.

6. Do you have any siblings? What is the meanest thing you did to them as a kid?

Yes I have four brothers, three older and one younger. Once I decided to scare my little brother while he was sleeping so I crept into his room wearing a scary painted mask that I got in China Town. I snuck up to his bunk bed and yelled. He woke up, cried, and needless to say I got in trouble.

7. What has been the most difficult obstacle in your life that you still wish to overcome?

I’m in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend of three years, which is incredibly hard. Our lives are taking us on different paths right now, so we unfortunately have to be apart. We both know that we need to try to succeed individually before we can succeed together though, and I’m very hopeful that it will all work out in the end.
8. Chocolate brownies or strawberry shortcake and why?

Chocolate brownies. Anything chocolate.

9. Was the final election process nerve wracking for you? Why or why not?

It was very nerve wracking. I’m a shy person by nature, so being interviewed by a panel of judges is intimidating. I also think everyone needs those kinds of experiences, though, and I’m so glad I did it (and made it out alive!)

10. If you are allowed to, who is your pick to win this year’s Indy 500? What gives them the ‘edge’ that makes you think they will win?

Ed Carpenter. I have to go with the hometown hero.

 

 

Adrienne and 2 future princesses

Adrienne and 2 future princesses

 

What a nice chance to finally point out something good going on in the world. Leave the politics, the fighting and arguing and the hate behind. This is what moves the ball forward; young people doing great things. Who can argue with that?

As always, thanks for stopping by! We will talk to you next time.

GForcePaul

My Unusual Prelude To This Year’s Indianapolis 500

1 May

Olympian n Simpson

 

Last week I had the pleasure of closely visiting the scene of this year’s Verizon IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the inaugural event of the 2014 schedule. Too bad IndyCar was racing at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. I again missed the race by a few weeks….I was, however, able to get close to the actual race course. By close, I mean, I got very VEWRY close to the circuit, I mean, I was actually riding my bicycle around the road course. Interestingly enough, the downtown city streets of St. Petersburg are still marked up with remnants of some of Firestone’s best work.

 

ExitTurn1StPete

I feel for my IndyCar diehards that work on the trackside product called motorsport during a long, rainy race day such as recently experienced at Barber Motor Sports Park. The weather this day was City Council picture perfect. It nicely set the mood for the upcoming Month of May at the Hallowed Grounds and I simply cannot wait for inaugural running of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

 

GPofIndy

While the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a very recognizable victory circle platform, St. Pete’s is more low key and visitor inviting during the off season. The backdrop for the victory circle there is pretty darn stunning on a sunny day. Nice touch and a good job by the Kim Green and company that promotes the event.

 

StPeteVictoryCircle

There is a small fly in pilots lounge near the exit of turn one that overlooks the airport runway straight. I found it to be a great place to have a Killer half pound burger AND piss off my doctor at the same time.
Yeah, you can still get Bi plane rides around the water front and downtown. If your pockets are deep enough you can get a flight out to the beach areas a few miles away.

 

ExitTurn1Airport

All of this pleasant riding around the historic section of the city street course named after Dan Wheldon made me think about some of the different aspects of the Indy 500 besides the actual race itself.

 

Wheldon Way

I am still fascinated by the behind the scenes activity that takes place to put on events such as motorsport. The fact that for every hour of racing you see on TV takes many, many man hours of support, preparation and just plain old skool set building. But beyond that, what about truly supportive activities and functions that support tradition?

I am talking about a specific feature every year of the entire Indy 500 Festival experience. Recently I was speaking with an associate at the salt mine and discovered that his step daughter had been selected to be an Indianapolis 500 Festival Princess. He shed a little light on the topic and I found it to be fascinating. So, next week we will be doing a retro visit to a blog style I LOVE to conjur up. We will be chatting and asking 10 questions with a real to life, by God, Indianapolis 500 Festival Princess. I cannot wait to see and share the next edition of:
10 QUESTIONS WITH INDIANAPOLIS 500 FESTIVAL PRINCESS ADRIENNE RUNGE

Thanks as always for stopping by and of course, we will talk to you next time!

GForcePaul

Eye Candy from Sonoma AND my love, the Delta Wing, Monica Hilton, Simon Pagenaud ; It is a Festival of Links!!

26 Feb
Love the Lines

Love the Lines

I will link all of this hot mess together by the end of this article, I promise!
I tend to get a tad antsy this time of year as we all await the wheels turning at the Grand Prix of St. Pete.
I mean, it is one thing to endure a long, miserable winter with record snow depths that extend back to when they started keeping records.

Please End Winter [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo4L-MEvcuM&feature=youtu.be ]

It is another to also endure the long off season, far away from my not so secret addiction: speed. Just mere weeks until things heat up and scheduled testing begins in earnest.
I thought I would take up some more blog space and opine on how one survives the off season. A good portion of my time is spent taking advantage of YouTube and the ability to review some highlights of the previous season. With lingering daylight and longer nights, I tend to get into the historical types of Indy Car videos. Recently, I came across both US and BBC produced copies of same year events and it is pretty interesting to see the different broadcast perspectives. If you have about 4 hours to kill and a good amount of tissue, I would suggest SKY Sports’ British broadcast of the 2012 Indy 500. A fabulous perspective awaits, but be warned; Dan Wheldon is highlighted in this broadcast and it will absolutely bring the [manly] tears.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Elt3GmA-P0

One of the early testing locations I look forward to is Sonoma because in the early spring the grounds are covered in green. I posted a similar video about this time last year and, again,the video for this year is presented by GoPro cameras. The cool thing about this yerar’s video is the placement of the camera. It never occurred to me to see the track from the perspective of Simon Pagenaud’s helmet. Now, I am usually familiar with ‘point of view’ shots and have grown accustomed to seeing racing portrayed from a camera hung off the car. The start of this video blows me away……and makes me chuckle as well. Look for a cameo appearance by none other than Davy Hamilton. Extra bonus points will be given.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmTOvnRfAJU

The bat mobile

The bat mobile

All of this leads me back to 2009 and while on a drive to my daily cubicle death, I encountered a AM radio drive time talking head that was interviewing a lady about none other than the Indy Car series and motor sport. I forget her name, but I seem to recall that it was Race Girl or something like that. I was pretty impressed as she stated her case against Indy Car adopting the Delta wing as the next generation of race car platform. I kind of snickered when it was referred to as the penis mobile and yet that moniker remains to this day. Go figure! Especially since the Delta wing has evolved into a potential class within the sports car and endurance racing disciplines. All that and a qualified female piloting the current iteration of the Delta wing makes for pretty good humor when I look back to that radio show. The recent accomplishments of the concepts first envisioned by Ben Bolby are pretty impressive as is evidenced by this cool video summary of an ALMS race in 20123 from Road America. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FppLCAUbt74

All of which brings me back to where it all began. You see, from that radio show I was listening to in my car, stuck in traffic, bored and mad as hell, I ran across Monica Hilton. Interesting person, very gifted writer and tireless worker on behalf of the sport she loves. It was nice to see fresh attitudes and unfailing charm in action and she went on to toil for HVM racing in Public Relations. As things always do, they change in Indy Car on almost a weekly basis and people switch, change, move on…..

All of which brings me to this link about a new venture called Snake Pit Customs. Back when I had a hankering to start an Indy Car blog, I had a chance encounter with the rcae gIRL and used her writing style as a guideline. Not because I wanted to be just like her, but because of the tenor and tone of her sarcasm. In fact, I believe that the blogosphere of Indy Car is quite awash in the use of sarcasm. I tend to enjoy that quite a bit! But I digress…..

Fast forward to today, or at least January 21, 2014. The times have changed and Monica has moved on to a different slant on the world of PR.

http://monicahilton.wordpress.com/

So, now to tie all of this blog posting up into a nice and tidy little package. There are a few clues, but to the untrained eye it appears to be mere rambling. Well, look no further and consider these hidden points:

Winter will never end in Indianapolis
Somewhere the folks at IMS are planning a killer snake pit event for the 2014 Indy 500
Simon Pagenaud can drive a GoPro like nobody else
Monica Hilton has a great new adventure
Snake Pit Customs is born (http://snakepitcustoms.com/ )
The first client of record for Snake Pit Customs is…drum roll please:
Simon Pagenaud!

So, now that you are all informed and are armed with KILLER INSIDE PERSPECTIVE, start getting excited about the upcoming series kickoff event in my favorite part of the world, St. Pete! And we all look forward to what the speedway has planned for this year’s Snake Pit!

As always, thanks for stopping by and we will talk to you next time!
GFGorcePaul

Finally, SOMETHING I Can Get My Head Around

17 Feb
KuBu at Indy 2013

KuBu at Indy 2013

I unashamedly follow Tony Dizinno, a writer for NBC Sports “Motor Sports Talk” as well as other outlets. This gent is a PROLIFIC producer of word count and not just for the sake of volume. He produces well written content across multiple racing platforms!

Something he recently had written caught my eye and actually left me with that tilted head, confused dog look. Imagine an Indy 500 that followed the “path” laid out by BCG or whatever moniker du jour is used today to describe the plan to move THE Hallowed Grounds forward. A page out of that playbook called for adding a star from another series to the entry list. The most recent tome on the topic from Tony can be found here:

http://motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/14/more-possible-suitors-for-a-kurt-busch-indy-500-run/

Now, to most commonly educated folks, that would mean add a NASCAR star to the entry list. Actually, the Indycar Series DOES try to cross pollinate from other so called open wheel series to complete the field of 33. I believe what the Consultant du Jour meant was a NASCAR star.

Enter Kurt Busch.

Such a fanfare of tweets were proffered by the plethora of pandering bloggers! Oh my…… Did you see that Kurt was in Indy last summer and actually passed his ROPE in ONE DAY they screamed in unison. While, in unison I mean they screamed this talking point in many different flavors but you get my drift.

In all fairness, Kurt handled himself quite well in a borrowed car that I am sure came with the caveat, bring her home….please. Bring her home…..UNBROKEN! He enjoyed the experience so much that he delayed his IND departure to complete all phases of ROPE. I am not the best judge of talent behind an Indy Car steering wheel, but I have seen enough of the lines these cars take entering turn one  to know who is puckering and who is seeing it all IN-S L O W-M O T I O N.

Enter ‘Dinger.

The Dinger Knows Indy

The Dinger Knows Indy

From a man totally disgraced by NASCAR for an indiscretion of their vaunted “actions detrimental to NASCAR” and violations of their substance abuse policy to a man on a holy terror mission of redemption, at one point in the race, AJ kicked everyone’s ass in the 2013 Indy 500. Who in the class recalls where Dinger finished in that race? Anybody?…Class….class…Buheler….

He finished 7th in a race with too many lead changes to count let alone keep up. I used to be able to score Indy 500 races in my head without a pylon and then came the lead changeapalooza of last year. Emotional win for T.K. to be sure but; who came in second, let alone seventh?

Enter Chevrolet (or as Uncle Bobby calls them, cheverlayzzz).

What is the common theme here? Well, if you followed Tony Dizinno, you would be well informed but if you just follow me, well then, you would not be so informed. The common thread and talking points are these:

-Chevy had 13 teams last year. They have 11 now and are looking to share the love some more
-KuBu is a Chevy man
-‘Dinger is a Chevy man

So, my premonition is not one, but possibly TWO tin top drivers doing the daily double. My supposition is that ‘Dinger is pretty capable, his team uses Chevrolet power and therefore my conclusion is:
(Fill in your best cross pollination wish here).

The link to thought provoking wordsmithy by Jerry Bobkowski can be found here:

http://motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/14/could-chevrolet-be-part-of-kurt-buschs-and-aj-allmendingers-indy-500-plans/

So now, while you chew on that thought a little while and pray for Spring to finally arrive in Indianapolis, contemplate what it would mean for a double double to take place. Does this put more butts in seats? I am gravitating towards a yes vote!

As always, thanks for stopping by to read and rest your feet a few. We will talk to you next time!

GForcePaul

Back in the saddle again…..Really!

17 Jan

KananFamily2014DTW

 

After an extremely long hiatus, basically doing what one does to keep up with the speed of life, it begins again. Time to saddle up and as they say in Denver these days, time to ride. Taking some time off to learn to look at things differently just might not be so bad an idea unless it means taking time off from your job. I doubt your employer would give you as much time off as I have taken. But I digress……

The long layoff after the season ending show at Autoclub Speedway has left a deafening silence. Thank goodness that Trackside with @KevinLee23 returned on January 15th. You need to bookmark

http://www.1070thefan.com/listen/

and keep up with what really is happening in the open wheel world. If you did then you would know the name Action Jackson. Combine that with the name Dillon Welch and you can see kids following Daly and Veach’s foot steps. Who really worries about a long off season anyway? There is so much ‘content’ out there when the motors go silent that the winter doldrums pass pretty much at the same rate every year.

Let’s check the tic box, shall we?
-Penske team is virtually in lock step again even with adding a former F-1 driver to their ranks
-Ganassi team is in l;ock step again, even with the hiring of a former Penske driver
-Andretti Autosport is answering the question “Is there life after Go Daddy?”
-Will changes from/to Honda solve a mileage problem?
-Should Ed Carpenter give up his seat on twistys? (Yeah, perhaps so)
-Will that other race in May cannibalize or add to the number of butts in seats?
-Should Mr. Miles even invite another blogger into his lair for a conversation with a real fan?
-How soon will the international part of the race schedule be developed?
-Will Pressdog return to IndyCar blogging?

This is going to be a long season and an even longer off season going forward. Of that I have no doubt! But more to my point, there is still a TON of content out there even before one starts to read opinion fluff pieces. Here is one bit of news that I watched unfold on Twitter in real time: Talk to me about a mini baby Borg. Tell me all you know about this trophy and describe its inception. Use the margin and of course, show all of your work. Enjoy the helpful photos and bask in the warmth of a father’s love for his son.

Make it a productive weekend and of course, we will talk to you next time!
GForcePaul

 

TKnLeoBabyBorg

Post: POST Indy 500 V2.013 Wrap Up Post

28 May
TK Rocket Prep credit Gforcepaul

TK Rocket Prep credit Gforcepaul

Gonna be a short post, folks; back a few years none other than Alex Lloyd made the show at Indy and drove a pink car while wearing a pink fire suite. Now that …. Takes …. Stones. His run that year was summed up in two words in the Indianapolis Star the next day; “Pink Lloyd”. I remember it as clear as if it were yesterday. I still chuckle today at the images in my mind. Believe me, this is in no way a discredit to one whom I consider a heckauva shoe.

Kanaan's nose,perhaps credit gforcepaul

Kanaan’s nose,perhaps credit gforcepaul

Fast forward to a post today on Motoramic by none other than the esteemed Alex. He completely hit it on the head in dissecting the Indy Car TV ratings over the weekend, while keeping in the spirit of Indy still being the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. I am pretty sure that phrase is trademarked somewhere.

Not This Year Ryan credit GForcePaul

Not This Year Ryan
credit GForcePaul

Was I ecstatic that TK gets his face on the Borg? Hell yeah! Was I among the folks in line waiting one hour plus to get my joke of a cooler examined by the cooler police at IMS? Oh heavens yes! But all in all, the spectacle that is Indy shown through on this year’s running of the auto-mo-bee-lee Daahhh- Lhaarrr- Ah extravangaza I love and know as the Indianapolis 500.

But it needs to be noted that Alex Lloyd’s observations and musings ring so very true, so very spot on. The Indianapolis 500 remains the greatest spectacle, she just needs a few repairs. You go, Mr. Mark Miles. You can bring a super bowl to a town like Indianapolis, you can surely fix this.

The Alex Lloyd story can be found   Here

So, if you missed the multiple ways to view the summary of the 97th running of the Indy 500 then you now have multiple ways to view this phenomenal rendition of the greatest spectacle in racing! Check out this link and if you do not have tears flowing from your eyes then you just do NOT know what Indy means.

TK; Finally!

Thanks and we will talk to you next time once we get past the two fer taking place at Belle Island this weekend. Thanks Roger!

Less Than 48 Hours To Launch; If THIS Don’t Whet Your Appetite for Indy V2.013, Then Get a Life

24 May

FILrace2013INDY

On Carb day at the ‘Hallowed Grounds’ that comprise the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, FIL history was made on this date. With a gap of 0.026 seconds, Ireland’s Patrick Dempsey pulled off the tightest finish EVAH at the Motor Speedway. Forget the fact that local up and comer Kyle O’ kissed something besides the famed yard O’ Bricks.

The real story was the last lap. The BIG SHOW that will be running on Sunday should hope for such an unscripted, drama filled last 2.5 miles around the O’ Brickyard. Young Mr. Conor Daly should hope for such a finish one day…..

While I toiled away at my day gig and monitored the Twitter stream I remembered why this weekend means so much across all of the big three Modus Operendi de Speed; from Monaco to Indianapolis to Charlotte, every promoter drools over an unscripted finish like this. Do you hear me, Mr. Gossage?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp1klmtsWQA&feature=youtu.be

Thanks for hitting the blog, continue using the hash tag #Indy500orBust and we will talk to you next time!

GForcePaul

The Twitterverse Take on Indy V2.013

The Twitterverse Take on Indy V2.013

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