David is the Wheels Events Mid America Regional Director.
Day one qualifying from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was interesting to say the least. Being born, bred and raised next to this world famous track and all the crazy things that go along with the month of May, (Don't ask, it would take a week), you think you've seen it all.
But never fear, just when you get comfortable, BAM right in the kisser! If you would have told me that after day one qualifying, an Andretti, a Penske driver and Danica Patrick would not be in the race, I would have suggested a trip to your family doctor, or a shot of prozac, either way your nuts. Not only did this come to be, but a small team, with limited funding, that was expected to be a bottom feeder, wins the Pole of the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500. Alex Tagliani had been pretty quick all month, but his pole qualifying run was flawless. Indy car officials had made a change in that the top 9 qualifiers then came back at 4:30pm and ran another four laps to determine the pole winner and the starting order of the top nine. And I will be honest, after Scott Dixons run that averaged just over 227.3, I felt as if the magical run for Tagliani and Sam Schmidt Motorsports was over. But as fate would have it, once again I was wrong, (that was hard to say), and Alex Tagliani proved he was a driver with talent, drive and the heart to win. His 227.472 pole winning average was one of the more emotional things I have witnessed in 40 years. The tears were flowing, smiles and hugs were common place and for Sam Schmidt, this was the moment he had been waiting for, albiet they still have to run the race next Sunday, but they had just tasted victory at the Greatest race in the world. Not only is this the 100th Anniversary Indy 500, but today was Tom Carnegie day at the Speedway. Tom was the public address announcer at the sppedway for over 60 years. I had the honor of interviewing Tom and writing a story for the local paper back in the early nineties. He was a gentleman, and a great announcer. Tom passed away in February of this year. I am pretty sure, that today, he was smiling......