Contact             About              Site Map            Privacy                          Copyright © 2012   IndySpeedway.com    All Rights Reserved   
DAN'S PHOTO JOURNALS
Patrick Carpentier
Patrick Carpentier
Indy 500 ~ Opening Day ~ Rookie Orientation Day
Sunday May 8, 2005
I re-read these online diaries of mine a few days ago and
discovered something. I noticed that often I was late getting
to the Speedway because of household chores. Vowing to
learn by my mistakes, I thought it best that I do no chores
in May.

Thinking twice, I decided to just get them done on Friday.

I love May. Most of all because it means going to the Speedway,
partying and hanging out in the sun with music and fun and
excitement.  Of course I love race cars too.  I could feel my

pulse quicken and my mood elevate just by turning onto 16th
Street as I got closer to the track.

I stopped by the IMS credential office and got my bronze garage

pass pin. It got me in the gate for free. They parked me way out
in the 3rd turn. Some people were getting out grills and moving
up to the viewing hills to sit. I caught the trolley up to the pagoda
tower. I caught it on the way back too. They have four of these
trams running. I recommend using them.

The first thing I did was run into Patrick Carpentier. This long-

time CART driver is competing in his first Indy which means he's
a rookie. While only the rookies would be on the track today,
there was enough of them that there was a lot of action on the
track all day. What I mean is there was often someone on the
track and often 3 or 4.
I was standing in front of the pagoda tower by
the pits when someone's mom waived the green
flag for the first time this month. I believe Danica
Patrick was the first out. I never saw her out of

her car today. I'm looking forward to it  :-)
Pagoda Tower
Jeff Bucknum
Bruno
Jeff Bucknum
I headed over to the Alley Cats to say Hi to Mike.
He's always there. I strolled into the garage area
and saw CART driver Bruno Junquiera and his
press agent. (That's a lollipop in his mouth, not a
cigarette.) They were just hanging out and she

came over and talked to me.

She said that like last year, they needed to qualify

this weekend as they would have to leave for the
CART Mexican Race. His CART champioin team
mate, Sebastian Bourdais, was competing in his
first Indy and was busy trying to pass his Rookie
test. Bruno has competed in 4 Indy 500's and had
some excellent finishes.
Sebastian Bourdais
Foyt Photo Shoot
Sebastien Bourdais
Here is A.J. Foyt supervising the photo-shoot of his
grandson in a makeshift studio setup in one of his garages.
Jeff Bucknum
Danika Patrick
Later I moved out toward the track to get
some photos.

I bought a coke on the way. Evidently Coca-

Cola is the new soft drink of choice.

I noticed that the Pepsi stage is now called

the Coca-Cola stage.

Anyway, some yellow shirts were blocking

the entrance to the far south Pit Road
Terrace where I wanted to go. I talked the
guy into letting me up there to take a photo.
Jeff Bucknum
Danica Patrick
Paul Dana
Tomas Enge
Ryan Briscoe
Patrick Carpentier
View behind Pitt Terrace
Arie Luyendyk
Larry Foyt
tanks
Paul Dana
Tomas Enge
Ryan Briscoe
Patrick Carpentier
I move up to the top of the stands. Some dude
was sitting up there next to me with headphones
on spotting for Ryan Briscoe.

I took some photos and then got my flask out

and started doing some shots.

About this time someone came up and gave this
spotter some water.

The spotter was amused at my flask and asked

if it contained whiskey.

I said it did.

I realized with a start that it was none other

than Arie Luyendyk!

I was sitting next to a two-time winner!

I wonder if he wanted a shot?

I asked him if he was surprised by Danika

Patrick's good performance in Japan last week.
He said he wasn't.

I asked him if he would drive this month and

he said he would not.

I wanted to ask him questions and talk, but he

was busy watching Briscoe and giving feedback,
so I did my best to leave him alone.

Before I left the area, I got him to sign the bill of

my Scott Goodyear hat. I also gave him my
business card. Maybe he'll stop by this web page one
day.
I returned to the garage area and checked
out the east end of it. There was the usual
number of motorcycles lined up. Also there
were these fuel tanks all lined up and ready.
Arie Luyendyk
Larry Foyt's car
Jeff Ward
Living Proof
Rice - Rahal
Darren's chick
fastest time
billboard
Newman-Haas car
Jeff Ward
I went out to the plaza and found some shade
and listened to this great band that was playing.
Within a half-hour they were done and I moved
up to the stage as Tom Carnegie, Dave
Colabro, Buddy Rice and his team-owner,
Bobby Rahal took the stage.

They had a question and answer session with

the audience. Nothing much, kids asking for
autographs and people giving praise instead

of asking questions. I wanted to ask them why
they weren't wearing their Indy 500 rings.

Afterward, Buddy came down to sign some

autographs, so I had him sign my hat too.
Wow, two Indy 500 champs on my hat!
If I'd been thinking, I might have gotten Rahal's
too.
Then I headed over to get in line to get some
autographs.

Normally I don't worry about getting

autographs, but I had a friend ask me today
to get him some for his "race wall".

An hour later, after standing in the hot sun

with no drinks, I got Jeff Ward, Scott Dixon
and Darren Manning's.

There was also another line for of A.J. Foyt

IV and Ed Carpenter who were also giving out
autographs.
If you stare at this photo long enough, you
will see Darren Manning
My whisky gone, I bought a big beer and headed over to
watch race cars from the tower terrace.

The only cars on the track today were the rookies, that is

drivers who had not raced in the Indy 500 before. Today
and tomorrow are "Rookie Orientation", an event that is
normally ran in April. IMS decided to move it back to
Opening Day. I think perhaps doing this and not having
the normal opening day ceremonies resulted in a light
crowd at the track today. It certainly wasn't because of the
weather as it was 82 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

The rookies have to run laps at certain speeds. It was after

4 o'clock and the test would be closed for the day at 5.
I saw Danica Patrick run the fastest time of the day -
221 mph.
On the way home, I snapped a picture of
this large billboard
Rookie Orientation Times
Date
2005-05-08
Pos
Car
Driver
Chassis-Engine
Speed
1.
16
Danica Patrick
Panoz-Honda
221.463
2.
33
Ryan Briscoe
Panoz-Toyota
220.546
3.
83
Patrick Carpentier
Dallara-Toyota
219.010
4.
2
Tomas Enge
Dallara-Chevrolet
218.219
5.
41
Larry Foyt
Dallara-Toyota
216.141
6.
44
Jeff Bucknum
Dallara-Honda
214.657
7.
91
Paul Dana
Dallara-Toyota
211.786
8.
41*
Scott Mayer
Dallara-Toyota
206.947
9.
37T
Sebastien Bourdais
Panoz-Honda
204.177
The Platypus
Patrick Carpentier