Dan's 2006 Race Journals
                               INDY 500

Thursday May 18th 2006 - PRACTICE DAY

Brian got suite passes for today compliments of
University Place - conference Center & Hotel - IUPUI

Our suite #156 was above the F1 Garages.  It is the first one
nearest the Bombardier Pagoda.  Sweet suite.  It said
Andretti-Green on the door.  There are nice bathrooms for each
 This is the first time anyone has invited me to a suite at
the speedway.

It had rained before our arrival.  No cars had taken the track
yet, but the track was almost ready for Indycar practice.
Suddenly, thunder storm clouds rolled in!
People were running for cover!

The rain came down.
Peering at the rain running down the green glass of the suite with
the scoring pylon  in the background.

Sitting inside the suite watching the lightning to the west was cool.
Fortunately, the storm passed over quickly and the sun soon came
out!  It would only take a couple of hours to dry the track.
Crowded garage area
Max Papis (with a suspicous Target bag!)
They brought out Danica Patrick's car and ran the engine to
make sure it was in tune and ready for practice.
           Roger Yasukawa in Playa del Racing garage

He's spotting for now.
A peek inside a corner of the paramedic center reveals firesuits
and extinguishers.
Dan Wheldon crossing Gasoline Alley toward the track.
Jaques Lazier driving for Playa del Racing
with sponsor
Max Papis leaving the Cheever Racing pits while Scott Dixon
whizzes by on the track.
Ed Carpenter - Vision Racing
Scott Sharp pulled on his balaclava (baclava is food), fastened
down his helmet, attached the Hans Device and is about to climb
into his car, when nature calls!  He runs through Gasoline Alley
and to the closest john.  Then, he has to wait in line.  Too funny!   

Then to make matters worse, some guy comes over asking for an
This race fan was styling with a custom racing purse!
Tomas Scheckter peeling out of the pits!

Did I mention its loud?  Am i just getting old or are the cars louder?
Stefan Gregoire
Cheever Racing
Brian and I enjoyed catering by Juggs at the suite today as well as
free Budweisers.  They even gave us a gift bag to take home.  But
the nicest perk were the Pit Passes.  Cooooool.

When we drove in today, we were planning on coming in on the
south entrance on 16th Street.   I was surprised to find a huge line
on 16th Street for a rainy Thursday.

I decided to drive away to 10th Street and circle back around to
Georgetown where I was able to drive into the track with relative
ease.  We opted to park in the 1st turn, which was kind of muddy
due to the recent rain.

We left just as the rain was returning.  Good timing once again!
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