One of the best things about having my own IndyCar blog is that I get to post when I want to post about what I want to post about. Quite honestly, the whole iRacing thing does pretty much nothing to scratch my itch, so I haven’t given it much attention. What I do love, though, is the Indianapolis 500. This very extended off season has given me plenty of opportunities to look forward to the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500, now set for August 23, 2020. More fun for me, however, has been to look back over many of my favorite races in the history of the 500.
As my good friend George Phillips has commented several times, we often exchange text messages about the most trivial and random pieces of Indianapolis 500 minutia we can find (such as “Which Indianapolis 500 winner was a fellow University of Illinois College of Engineering alumnus?”). We both very much enjoy looking back at days past, at the “Good Ol’ Days” as it were, because that’s apparently what people of advanced age such as us do.
I have long had the idea of developing a couple series here on Fieldof33.com specifically related to the history of the Indianapolis 500. The first would be a decade-by-decade look at the great moments of Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There are already dozens of books that broadly cover this topic, but I’d like to create something between “30,000-ft overview” and Donald Davidson’s and Rick Shaffer’s fantastically in-depth “Official History of the Indianapolis 500.” Think of these as posts that would be 10-15 minutes of reading covering the race highlights, important players in Speedway history, and how the institution of the race itself evolved during that time period.
The second project I have in mind is to pick random years and just spill my personal memories of those races. Enter today’s episode of “Two Sites Unite.” In 11 years of being involved with IndyCar blogs, this might be my most self-serving and most “I’m doing this because I want to do this” post I have ever done.
I happened to stumble across a YouTube video of Pole Day 1991, and a flood of memories came to mind throughout the rest of the day. That afternoon I shot George a text asking him about doing a video series in line with my second project, and he was on board with the idea. (He is particularly receptive to my ideas when he is getting low on topics to maintain his rigid, three-posts-per-week schedule.) Both of us had an affinity for the 1991 Indianapolis 500, the historic 75th Running of the Great Race, so that’s where we decided to start.
I honestly don’t know if this will turn into a series or just sit as a one-off post. I guess we’ll see how the reaction to us bloviating for nearly 90 minutes about a single Month of May turns out and if people seem interested in hearing us talk about another month. I would love to do more of these episodes if people seem interested.
So with that long introduction, George and I present to you our recollections of the Month of May 1991 and the 75th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Please do share your own personal memories in the comments below. Also please be sure to let us know what you think of this series. Are you interested in hearing us talk about other years of the race? If so, which races would you particularly enjoy (preferably after 1990)?
(The answer to my trivia above, by the way, is 1930 Indianapolis 500 winner, Billy Arnold.)