This Memorial Day weekend has me thinking about one thing and one thing only, auto racing. Every year since I have lived in AZ (except for a few) it has been a Memorial Day tradition that my father and I go to the Indianapolis 500.
As a kid I always remember going to the 500 qualifications instead of the race. The qualifications for Indy are a pretty big deal (they used to be anyway), especially on pole day (the only day you can receive the pole position). A fond memory that I have about the 500 qualifications were the sounds. It is an amazing thing to see and especially hear a car go by you at 230+mph. The engine noises are something that can’t really be described. When I was growing up there were many different motor manufactures and sizes (V-6 and V-8). It was fun to try and guess the type and size of the motor that the car had just by the sound it made. Also, when a car is going that fast any bump in the road makes a sound. We used to always sit near the start/finish line. At Indy, the start/finish line is the only remaining part of the track today that is still made of bricks (the original track when it opened was made of bricks instead of asphalt – hence the phrase Brickyard). It is a 3 ft. long section of the track and when the cars go over it at 230 mph it makes an odd sound. For many years I didn’t know what it was. As I got older I finally figured it out.
Now as I am in my adult years my dad and I go to the race every Memorial weekend. Every time I see and feel (and you can feel it) the roar of the engines the 33 cars make as they come by on that first full speed green lap always brings a smile to my face and sometimes a tear. I never really know if its because of the cars, the race, the awe-inspiring site that is the Indianapolis Motor speedway, or that I get to spend time with my dad and family. Regardless of which it is, they are memories that I will always have and memories that I will always cherish.