Gentlemen and ladies, start your engines!

Monologue from today’s Roderic Deane show:

I have a mea culpa for you. I’m pretty new at this BlogTalkRadio stuff and it’s been a real adventure so far. At first it was sound issues and Ivan was able to help me get those fixed.Next it was program content and that is where I still have a lot of work to do. I’ve been relying on a written script and last week proved to be a disaster. I made some changes to the script at the very last minute and deleted the lead-in to the theme of the show. Stupid me!

I really plan on working hard to make this a “talk show” and not just reading from a piece of paper. Last week my theme was “Spin, baby, spin” and I proved that I was not up to that task after I screwed up my monologue. I should have just fessed up right then and there and explained what happened. From now on, Ivan is going to be joining me on the show when he can as my trusted side-kick, to keep me on the up and up.

My theme this week was “Gentlemen and ladies, start your engines”, because I’m a big Indy 500 fan, and I thought that was how they’d announce the race, having done so in the past. I stand corrected and now have to refer to “Ladies and Gentlemen”. It seems that the Indy 500 has finally recognized that female drivers are no longer just a novelty. It was long overdue, but at least they recognized it in this, their centennial race.

No matter what, the race has always been a welcome diversion once a year that allows me to forget about politics and absorb everything leading up to and during the race. I’ve been to the race many times and it was always a blast. My first trip to the track was back when I was 10 years old and followed the race in which veteran Eddie Sachs and rookie Dave McDonald were killed in a fiery crash on the second lap of the race. I remember taking a tour around the track and saw the blackened wall along the inside where Dave McDonald had hit. You could see the scorched imprint of the front of his car, with two tires and the nose cone. I’ll never forget it.

Because of that accident, it was the very last time that gasoline was ever used again at Indy. Restrictions were put on the amount of fuel a car could carry and a minimum of two pit stops was mandated. Methanol or ethanol-based fuels have been used every since. Incredibly, Dave McDonald’s car was carrying 80 gallons of fuel when he crashed, as were all of the cars. I’ll link to a video of the crash on my blog. As a result of the crash, the race was stopped for the very first time in its history. Ultimately, the race was won by A.J. Foyt.

The Indy 500 race has been an ongoing laboratory for improving the safety features of the cars and improving the surrounding track barriers. Although the cars are safer than every, they continue to go faster and faster. Jimmy Clark was the pole-sitter for the 1964 race, averaging 158.820 mph. I think my daughter managed that a week after she got her driver’s license, but I digress again. This year’s pole sitter was Alex Tagliani, who averaged 227.472 mph during qualifications. Wow, that’s fast!

I’m sorry, I don’t mean to bore you with statistics from the Indy 500. I just think that what they say is true. They bill the Indy 500 as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and I concur. I only wish I’d done this show last week. I could have given you all my theories and predictions. Since the race was held yesterday, I can report to you that it was won by Dan Wheldon, a driver for team Penske. There was a different driver leading the race at the last lap, but he crashed into the outside wall coming out of the fourth turn and Dan Wheldon passed him for the checkered flag. It was a stunning turn of events, but a great race nonetheless. I can only hope you saw it as I did.

….and that’s my two-cents worth for the week.

Here is a video of that horrific crash in 1964.

The Indy 500 field is set!

I can only spend so much time on politics. I’ve been an Indy 500 watcher (and listener) since growing up in Indiana. I would guess that we have all established traditions surrounding the primary holidays honoring our nation: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. My Memorial Days were always spent listening to the Indy 500, which does an outstanding job of honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We must not forget that sacrifice, ever, as we prepare for the first big holiday weekend of the summer.

My theme for next week’s Roderic Deane show, to be broadcast on Monday instead of Sunday, is “Gentlemen and Ladies, start your engines!” My thoughts, in that regard, turn again to politics. Will we have a GOP field that includes a good dose of ladies this year? Time will tell. The Indy 500 will have 4 women in the field and I am pulling for Danica Patrick. Have I told you who I’m pulling for in politics? Take a wild guess.

In the meantime, let’s not forget to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to make sure that we could spend our summer weekends with family and friends. Burgers on the grill, a cold beer and the flag flying in the wind are part of my memories. These wonderful traditions and memories must never end and they are all worth defending.