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RAINOUT ANECDOTES
"Knoxville in particular, and Iowa in general, is known for its wicked weather during the summer
season, and the time I visited two years ago was no different.  I had not ever been to the
world-famous Knoxville Raceway, and being a huge midget racing fan, I thought I'd try the Knoxville
Midget Nationals event - it seemed like a bonanza of some of the best midget drivers and racing of
the summer.  I had to travel for two states, but thought it would be worth it.   Arriving in Knoxville, the
weather was stormy, but what's new about that during that time of year?  I was hanging out with
some friends on a midget team and it was pouring as we were trying to set up.  We actually didn't
unload at all that night - I think it was the first night of the Nationals.  It didn't take long after the race
night was "called" for weather that the beer was out, the motorhomes were lit up and the parties
were started.  Wow!  I love racing, but this wasn't too bad, either.  It gave me a bit of a feel of what it
might be like to be at the Knoxville Nationals in August - the sprint-car kind - also a dream of mine to
attend.  This night was pure fun!  Although I had a twinge of regret for the hotel expense and the
missed night of racing, the fun and partying made up for it!  Although the teams are dead serious
when unloading their equipment for a race, and mean business all night long, after a race (from
what I've "observed" at past events), they like to cut loose and have some fun.  Well, this same fun
commenced the minute the race was cancelled for that night.  Margaritas, laughter, fun, beer, and -
to my delight - sliding through the mud on your ass, feet, face, or any other body part, was part of
the festivities!  When it rains, the track may be junk, but that mud is a perfect amusement park for a
lot of mischief and made for an unforgettable night in Knoxville, even without the roar of the magical
midget engines."
                                                                                                                                 
Carl F.
                                                                                                                                 Denver, CO
                                                                                        

"I was a guest of a friend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May of 2003, and couldn't think of a better place to be during that month
than at that world-famous track.  I was just happy to get inside the gates, let alone be let into the grandstands for a practice session.  My
friend was not a special guy, and he did not have any special connections, but he was a guest of a guest who had a corporate day there that
day.  Someone didn't show up, and we got the magic tickets.  I had no idea what a day I would have.  Within an hour after we got there, the
skies got an eerie dark, and the rains came - pretty typical for this time of year in Indianapolis.  The on-track activity for the day was
cancelled.  I was bummed, initially.  But, strangely,  the bad weather opened up some neat stuff for me.  We got a call from our host that
offered us an opportunity to go up into the Media Center after the track was closed (that day, it was about 3:00 PM).  Our connections
allowed us to travel up the elevator to the fourth level of the Media Center - a spectacular building that has many layers of working rooms for
media and other VIPs.  What struck me, though, as I exited the fourth-floor elevator, was the VIEW of the surrounding areas I had.  What an
amazing vantage point!  Who knew this was here?  Almost a 360 degree view of not only the Speedway and its amazing grounds (including
the mecca:  The Brickyard golf course), but all of Indianapolis - including an incredible view of downtown!  I was so struck with this view that
I simply twitted from window to window to window, ignoring that I was actually in the midst of some of the best journalists in the world (the
4th floor of the Media Center at IMS is for deadline media).  But then...then...oh...my...gosh..what did I see?  Was that a storm?  No.  Not just a
storm gathering.  A HUGE storm.  A MASSIVE storm.  A tornado?  Me - in the Media Center - surrounded by 360 degrees of glass?  Gee,
couldn't my friend have picked a better day?  But I was riveted!  This storm rolled in and it was not a tornado, but it might have been.  We
were high enough to see it from afar as it slowly approached the massive IMS compound.  Would I be safe?  Watching this spectacle, at the
time, I didn't care - I just wanted to watch from that vantage point.  It was spectacular!  It surrounded us and the rains came, but no real
danger.  There was talk circulating that a tornado warning was issued because a tornado had been seen somewhere outside of the track,
but still on IMS property - a chilling thought, but one that gives you an idea of how massive this property is.  No one moved (journalists are
really dedicated), and I wasn't too concerned.  It was a day I'll never
forget.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
 Roger S.
                                                                                                                                 Peoria, IL


"The best, BEST rainout story I have is when I was at the Belleville Midget Nationals and it rained out
one of the nights.  There's not much to do there on a good day, or even a racing day, and especially
a rained-out day, but drink beer and try to get in trouble (hard to do in Belleville).  No one wants to
talk about it, but the banks at Belleville are good for things other than racing - how about belly slides
in the mud at sunrise (that beer did come in handy)!"  
                                                                                                                                 N
ame withheld for fear of
                                                                                                                                 prosecution - they
know                                                                                                                                               who  you are...
                                                                                                                                 LA-ish, CA


"One of the best memories of a rained-out race is actually a blur of many days I've spent at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Anyone who has attempted to spend the true "month of May" in
Indianapolis at The Speedway knows that a good portion of that month will be spent in rained out
conditions - some welcome (to get caught up from work) - and some agonizing (a precious
qualifying day or, God forbid, Race Day).  However, the optimist that I am, I always look for
something wonderful to take from these days.  And it's easy when you spend even one day at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Many people are known for weeping from just driving under the
track on their way to the Museum on a snowy January day, just because they are "on the
grounds."   Me too.  I do it every time I enter the Speedway for the first time each year.  But I also get
a special feeling on days when no one else is there, but I have a reason to be.  Specifically, rain-out
days.  I'm usually flat-out covering all of the activities at the track and other racing activities during
that month (and loving it), but it's inevitable that a day or two (or 10) are rained out.  Occasionally I
may take the opportunity to get caught up on sleep and laundry.  MOST days, I choose to be at the
track.  It's a draw I can't explain.  I want to be there on the very first day it's possible to work in the
Media Center, and I guarantee I'm one of the only ones working from the Media Center on the
Monday after the race, Memorial Day.  Just ask the housekeeping staff.  I love my spot in slot N1
right by the water cooler (and Robin Miller - Ha!)- it's my May home.  One of the best things I like
about that magical month of May is being on the grounds during a completely active Indy 500
practice/qualifying time...and it rains out.  That's normally horrible for most people.  But,
nevertheless, there's an amazing feel that I get walking around that massive structure on a "down"
day - either a day when the track is technically closed during May (although the garages are buzzing
with activity) or a total rain-out.  I usually set out with appropriate rain gear and just walk and walk
and walk and observe.  It's quiet.  It's peaceful.  It's reflective.  It's haunting...and the ghosts of past
Indy 500s are still alive and wanting to talk."      
                                                                                                                               
  Your Publisher
                                                                                                                                 Bay Village, OH




To submit a rainout anecdote (or something you heard of even if you weren't there in person),
e-mail the note
HERE and include your full name, real e-mail address, city and state where you live
(We can withhold your name if you wish; Everything else will be verified before posting).