The month of May in most places brings the thought of spring and flowers and the upcoming end of the school year. But here in Indiana it's something much more special.
When you say it's the month of May here Hoosiers know you mean the track is open. Yes it's Indy 500 time. While the "Grand Daddy" of them all may not be as spectacualar as it once was when all of open wheel participated in the race.Bump day was acutally a day where people were giving it everything they had to get into the show. And F1 Divers like Nigel Mansel came here to race at Indy.....but it is still oh so good....
As a kid growing up in Indiana the Indy 500 was a huge deal and to this Indiana kid it still is. I will always remember my first race at the track and my favorite number 14 AJ Foyt winning the Race. This year we celebrate 50 years of AJ being part of the 500 as a driver and an owner. And to throw even more nostalgia into this years race Little AL is racing for AJ....WOW.
I know today car racing is different then it was in the day.....NASCAR is the big event and I love that series and attend the Brickyard 400 every year to root for Tony Stewart in the number 20 car who is from Indiana and started his big career at the brickyard in open wheel. But the Indy 500 is where it all started for many the race fan.
I think the one time I was truley home sick in my entire life was in 1990. I was in my first year of a 4 year work stint in England and had not been home since Christmas. I got to watch the race live thanks to Sky TV and it was great. But during the opening ceremony when Jim Nabors sang "Back Home Again in Indiana" I really felt so far away from home.
So with all that said and as the big race draws closer on Memorial Day weekend I know that when Jim Sing's "Back Home Again" I will take a moment to remember that feeling I had when I was in England and know I was not near as homesick as our Hoosiers in uniform around the world are today. I will look to the sky and hope that each one of them can come home safely and once again hear those famous words " Gentlemen and Ladies, Start your engines".