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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!