The 100th Running of the Indy 500

The mystic and allure of the Indy 500 has now celebrated one hundred running’s. It has captivated the imagination of just about every automotive mind in the world and has always been coveted as the must attend automotive event for every true racing fan. While the unassuming fan or casual spectator may think the five hundred mile race is what it’s all about, anyone that’s ever been knows it’s much, much more. It’s a celebration of mans evolution and dedication to speed, power and safety. While every year the bar is raised to see who can build the best and most durable machine capable of running over two hundred miles an hour with the durability to sustain the seemingly impossibility task. The real soul of what is simply known as “Indy” is its history. Both making and honoring those that have both won and lost, dedicated and devoted all they have including their lives to just be a part of this amazing place.

For me, watching the Indy 500 on Memorial Day is a tradition that I have to admit, I’ve taken for granted. It’s always been there and presumed always will be. This past year I was granted an opportunity to go and be a part of the real event, not just any year but the one hundredth running of the Indianapolis five hundred. I was overwhelmed to say the least. I had no idea just how dedicated so many were to honoring the history and perpetuating the future. For me, the most exciting and prestigious part of the event was the show within the show. Legends Day, Carb Day, the large collection of restored race vehicles that have had the distinct honor of having been actually raced on this hollowed track. Everything from early Miller’s, Kurtis, and Epperly built cars that are magnificent pieces of automotive art that are actually allowed to come alive and make parade laps at some amazing speeds. I was the guest of legendary owner / builder Bill Akin who brought is amazing collection that he built, maintains and drives that have won several Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance first place honors. He unveiled his newest restoration, the 1961 Epperly “Bryant Heating and Cooling” #54 that was originally driven by Bobby Marshman.

I was invited to join Mr. Akin and his crew at the Historic Indycar Exhibition Reception held at the Speedway Museum where we had dinner and several hours of visiting with legendary builders and drivers and for just a few moments, be a part of something historic and meaningful. It was so overwhelming I found myself just standing in the middle of the crowd trying to absorb the energy. 

So, if you think it’s just another race, well, obviously you’ve never truly experienced it. It’s unlike any other automotive event in the world. While you can visit the manufactures midway, tour the museum, spend hours looking at one of the most unique car exhibits of vehicles that represent every era of Indy cars and have the opportunity to actually see them roll out and come alive on the track only to cap off the day watching and listening to the current contenders run practice laps at full speeds around the track. Don’t just make plans to go watch the Indy 500, make sure you make room (at the top) of your bucket list to go and take in the complete experience and only then will you fully appreciate why this is without a doubt the greatest performance exhibition and celebration of speed on earth. 

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