A Day at the Indy 500: 2003


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Indy 500: [2002] [2003] [2005] [2008]

Sunday, May 25, 2003: Another Memorial Day weekend, another Indy 500 race! Our day at the Brickyard began with a walk around the pits and by Gasoline Alley. Here are some of the cars preparing for the big race.
My father (right) and his friend Dave (left) flew down from Minnesota to attend the race with me.
Our walking tour continued as we walked past the main stage.
Here are two race day classics: the Borg-Warner trophy, and the Purdue University drum, captured as it circled the track before the race.
A brand new Corvette was the pace car for this year's running of the Indy 500.
Dave and Dad posed for a shot on the strip of bricks retained from the days when the entire track was paved with brick.
We've owned Indy 500 tickets since 1989, but since we only get three each year, Tom couldn't join us. This photo is for him.
Part of the pre-race entertainment consists of a mini-airshow. Here are some cool planes. Perhaps someone will let me know what type of planes these are.
It's always fun trying to spot the celebrities as they walk through the pits. Here's TV and movie actor, Neal McDonough. I had to look up his name, but his distinctive looks made him easy to recognize as he toured the pits.
I was very excited to spot Avery Brooks, who played Captain Sisko on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." After Scott Bakula as Captain Archer on "Star Trek: Enterprise," he's my favorite Star Trek captain. (Just for the record, I rank them in this order from best to worst: Archer, Sisko, Picard, Kirk, Janeway.)
While taking a shot of the mascot, Spike, for the Indiana Firebirds, I accidentally got a shot of Michael Andretti at the same time.
It was hard to get good shots of the celebrities parading around the track in pace cars, so you'll just have to take my word for it that this is George Hamilton ...
... and that this is Muhammed Ali.
Members of the military were also part of the parade.
Oooh! My favorite part! The B-2 Stealth bomber heads our way ...
... and looks surreal flying over our heads.
It turns to fly off and is so flat that it is nearly invisible. I guess that's the whole point, huh?
The balloons are released, featuring the race's colors (I think they were red, grey, and black).
Our seats are in the second row behind the pits, and we never know which drivers will be in the two pits directly in front of us. Racing great Eddie Cheever was a car owner this year, and we were lucky to be behind his driver's pit, Buddy Rice.
A driver comes in for a pit stop to our left, and there is great excitement for a few seconds as the crew refuels the car, changes the tires, and pushes the car back out.
After the race was over and Gil de Ferran was declared the winner, we slowly made our way back to the buses to get home. We crossed the track ...
... and Dad and I patiently waited our turn for a photo opportunity in front of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway logo on the outer wall of the track.
Indianapolis had dozens of race car statues on display all over the city during the month of May, so we went out to see them the day after the race.

Indy 500: [2002] [2003] [2005] [2008]

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