By Walter Zoomie
Since it’s going to rain for the next forty days and nights, I thought I’d get you all up to speed on some of the scuttlebutt I’ve heard in and around the paddock. Paddock is one of those cool words real racers, who are usually not from around here, like to use when talking about the garage area and pits.
I’ve heard a few people on the intardnets saying that certain teams at Indy will get special, souped-up Honda engines with nitrous injection and ported and polished racin’ heads.
I don’t think this is true, and I’ll tell you why (eventually).
I am sneaky. I walk through the paddock and I watch, listen, and observe. I am like a well-trained Marine sniper, except that it’s not a bullet that surprises you when it goes through your head. It’s a picture, or later on, a convoluted posting on the intardnets. I like to eavesdrop…
Anyhoo…I overheard Brian Barnhart, who is the brains and the heart and soul of the IRL, explain the engine thing to someone. He says that the IRL gets the engines from Honda, then the IRL gives each engine a unique serial number. Then the IRL puts the serial numbers into a big hopper, sorta like a bingo tournament. Then the race teams do a blind draw to get their engines.
It sounds fair to me.
Here is the AJ Foyt/ABC team, working on one of their cars. I bet they think the engine deal is fair too.
They had Toyota engines last year, I think. I would not own a Toyota.
I also heard an interesting tidbit from one of the smaller teams. I think it was Lil’ Al’s, but I can’t remember for sure because I’d had a few beers and it was hot that day.
Anyhoo… dude says he’s only got enough tires to run 60 laps, then they are done. This might explain why Al hasn’t been on the track much.
Roger Penske seems to have plenty of tires.
Maybe Roger could loan Al a few. After all, didn’t Al win a race or two for Roger a few years back? Help a brother out, man!
On opening day, they had a bunch of Corvettes out at the track.
Seems like the only people that can afford a Corvette these days are overweight old men in white car show T-shirts, and younger yuppie types who probably got their money by robbing our 401k’s.
I took pictures of all the 1953-1967 Corvettes because everybody knows that they are the real and best Corvettes ever made. The new Vettes are chick cars….chicks with lots of Benjamins…
My Dad liked Vettes too. This is his ‘66. Dad liked Cadillacs too, but I always loved the Corvette the most. Dad would let me wash it. Dad would let me ride in it, sometimes in the back if my big brother was with us. That would get you a seatbelt ticket today!!
Dad never let me drive it, though, because he sold it right before I got my driver’s license.
Sometimes, my dad was mean.
That’s about all I have for today, folks. Hope I didn’t offend anyone. But in case I did, I’ll be at the Flagroom tonight for the festivities, so you can explain things better to me if you want, or maybe we can fight or something too!
I’ll be hoisting one in Railbird’s honor…
Even though I didn’t know him as well as many of you, I still miss him, especially this time of year.
About Walter Zoomie's World: Walter Zoomie has kindly allowed a number of his entertaining tales of adventure to be published by IndianaRacing.net. You can read more at his official blog: Walter Zoomie's World. Also, be sure to check out the hundreds of fantastic vintage racing photos taken by his father Rick, a former Indianapolis newspaper reporter and photographer.
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