Road Tripping


Today I headed off on a personal road trip.  I will drive for two days so that I can spend Mothers Day weekend with my parents.  They live in southwestern Minnesota and I just hope that the snow has stopped flying. 

About halfway is Indianapolis, Indiana, the home of the famous Memorial Day weekend race.  I won’t stop by Indy on the way out, but I might do so on the way back.  It is an interesting place as the teams prep for the big day.

Most of the fans I find disappointing as they seem to use the event as an excuse for a tailgate party and there is no indication that they have any appreciation for the technology.  I hope I am selling them short and that in actuality they know a lot more about the race cars, the teams, etc., but I don’t think so.

It will be a Danica event, but that’s okay, too.  She deserves it and so does the Indy series.  Now that CART is no more, IRL needs to learn from NASCAR and do what is required to suck in the fans and impress those that sponsor the cars.

Aside from that the road trip is going fine.  A state trooper did stop me to make sure that I knew that my speed exceeded the limit by nine miles an hour.  Just a warning, mind you.  Whew. Other than that, there are a whole lot of semi’s on the interstates and construction hasn’t been a pain.

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11 Responses to Road Tripping

  1. Jim says:

    Heh. I live in Indianapolis. I think most of the tailgaters couldn’t care less about the technology.

  2. Pingback: Nascar » Road Tripping

  3. Noel says:

    My guess is that 98% of the people at a NASCAR or Indy-car race are clueless about the technology. They go to party and see the whole dog and pony show of the race.

    It’s kinda interesting because you figure they are (probably) people that at least like cars, and a good proportion of them are gearheads… at some level. But as far as understanding the technology I don’t think many of them get it. I bet most couldn’t explain the difference between supercharging and turbocharging, how ground effects aerodynamics works, or even basic stuff like unsprung weight.

    Maybe I’m being uncharitable, but I think most are just “sports fans” who also go to truly boring events like baseball or football games. They know enough to be conversant on who is driving, how good a pit crew is, why one car might be faster than another, but that’s about it. The amazing technology is beyond them. And they don’t care.

    And at least half the men think they could beat Danica any day of the week.

  4. Gordon says:

    IMHO watching NASCAR is about like watching professional wrestling. I hope
    IRL doesn’t become like that.

  5. Noel says:

    That’s about right. IMHO, all large circle track racing is far from exciting to watch. The technology is cool, but the racing isn’t very good. IMHO, if you seen one race you’ve basically seen them all. Sadly, the shunts are all that make it interesting.

    I’d rather watch a Saturday night dirt track race at some unknown track with unknown drivers. It’s real racing and the drivers hang it all out. They swap leads and paint and really work for their final placings.

    I think the level of technology in modern, top-shelf race cars has taken something out of racing. Sure, the cars are faster, safer, etc., which is good, but the racing has become almost bland, partly because the cars are so similar. And the personality cults of the drivers (and most athletes) is over the top, IMHO.

    I’d rather watch a program on the technology and how the cars perform and why, with drivers talking about it and demonstrating the differences than watch a race.

  6. TBird says:

    I hope you have fun spending time with your parents. 😀

  7. Noel says:

    Jim, forgot to wish you well on your trip. Have a good time with your folks and take the time to do some other driving around and then tell us all about it. You do great travelogues.

    I’ll be off to Germany at the end of the month, and after my business stuff is done am taking 3 days to go to Switzerland. I’ll get in a drive on an autobahn, a day of hiking and a day of driving some pretty cool mountain roads. I’ll shoot some pix and probably some video, too. Will share once I get it all pulled together.

  8. jimsgarage says:

    Thanks Noel. I’ll see if I can’t get around some while I am in MN. Your own road trip sounds like a dream!

  9. markitude says:


    How is it that you manage to find a way to introduce yourself to at least one member of the constabulary on each of your road trips? Hopefully, you’ve filled your quota for this trip.


  10. jimsgarage says:

    Must be the wing 🙂

  11. Noel says:

    Yep, I figure the wing is a good reason to pull you over. Cops probably figure that if you have a big wing on the car there’s a pretty good chance they’ll see a few tickets when they check your record— and can be justified in giving you another. Just my theory.

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