High-octane anachronism



I went to the Indy 400 this last weekend with my friend Mike. It is located South-ish of the city (yes, past the “big-ass tire”) about an hour and a half. Mike and I had a running bet about how many “rednecks” might be there. I said 80%, he began with 40%, citing the sports European heritage. He later amended his guess, and agreed it would be the around 4 out of 5. So there was no more bet, but there was the satisfaction of both of us being right.

Marlboro sent me two tickets, worth about $40 a piece to watch a pack of cars twist around an oval track for two hours, like children on speed running around a maypole.

That’s another thing I thought was funny, as an outsider to the “sport” – “pole position.” Here’s what I noticed: with few exceptions, where you started as where you finished. I will go ahead and state a few obvious things now. First, it was hotter than hell on Sunday out on the bleachers. Second, it was amazingly loud. Third, there were lots of tattoos depicting skulls peaking out from behing sleaveless shirts staring at me as I watched the cars complete their orbits around the grassy lawn in the center of the track.

Now for the not so obvious. I was really pleasantly surprised at how well everyone got along. I mean with all of the beer and the muscles and the testosterone so thick that it practically pooled on the ground; I expected some fights or at the very least rudeness – none. Second, I was floored at the awesome displays of patriotism. There were two “fly-bys” overhead, complete with skydivers delivering a 30′ x 60′ (approximately) flag. The bumper stickers on the pickups (of which there were quite a few) shamelessly displayed American pride, right alongside other affiliations like F.O.P. or unions. The third thing that really surprised me was the “invocation” – essentially a prayer, complete with, “Dear Father,” and ending with, “Amen.” Wow. I felt like a time traveler going back to the 50’s. I have to say it was wuite a site to see a few thousand men that could doubtless kick my ass paused in reverence, if not to the God invoked, to the spirit of the invokation for safety and gratitude.

1 Comment so far

  1. brandon (unregistered) on August 4th, 2005 @ 11:05 pm

    That’d be west of the city, at Michigan International Speedway, actually. Okay, southwest. But mostly West.

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