from J.S.

"My first trip to the Snakepit in the infield occurred in 1974 - the
Year of the Streaker. During rain delays that year, streakers took
to the track to air all their hair. One man - an obvious drunkard -
climbed a fence, descended to the track pavement, dropped his
drawers, and with the advent of a first stymied step quickly found
his nose snuffing the greasy asphalt.

"But that was nothing compared to the Snakepit, somewhere
between Turns One and Two. My first venture there brought me to
a mob gathered three and four people deep, all chanting. Once a
sightline was gained, the discovery was somewhere between
Joni Mitchell's Woodstock poolside garden and the smudgepot
fires that marked the rolling, hellish mayhem of Altamont. There
was a partially dressed man and a nude woman screwing in a
mud pit. Others were lining up. To my knowledge, there were no
arrests.  "Twenty years later, I would have observed that this was
not safe sex. In '74, my jaw simply dropped.

"My friend Dan recalled a rainy day in the Snakepit back in the
80's when a lack of action on the track found the gathered race
vipers diving into mud pits, some leaving with massive cuts and
contusions, thanks to submerged brick and glass. Beer spilled
into the collected brainpans and a fight broke out. At first it was
a fist fight. 'Then I saw a guy take an ax and throw it at the other
guy. The second guy picked up the ax and threw it back. I knew
it was time to leave when I saw an ax fight.'

The craziest thing we saw on Pole Day '97 occurred at the
beginning of our journey...As we passed 16th Street Speedway
all six of us jerked our heads to the left at an amazing sight: A
sheriff cop was standing on the seat of his motorcycle, gunning
his machine to the tune of at least 40 mph. He nearly picked off
another officer on the sidewalk, who had to arch his back during
a quick skip to miss this official projectile. The motorcycle cop
then spread his legs, his butt hitting the leather of his seat just in
time to stop the bike from streaking out onto 16th Street."