Last year I got a call from Brett and Thom from BorgWarner. They were actually looking for Ken, but Ken was on one of his sales trips somewhere on the other side of the planet slanging some Cossie goods. So Brett says, “Well I might as well ask you then: how would you and Ken like to come to the Indy 500 this year? On us of course.” I'm not used to getting super cool offers like that so I paused for a bit while grapling for words. Brett goes, “You still there?” And then said, “Uh…you serious? Of course!”
Fast forward a couple months and Ken and I are in a Taxi on the way to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the day before the Indy 500. The neighborhood immediately around the track is mostly residential and there are signs all over the place that say “PARKING $XX”. The closer to the track, the higher the price of course. There are already people hanging out on their large front lawns with their grilles and smokers on. The beer is flowing and people are already having a good time. It's like a giant pre-party.
I went to the Indy 500 the same year that the Kardashian sisters went. They might be slightly annoying, but you have to admit they aren't bad to look at.
When we got to the track, I called up Mark at Cosworth Electronics Indy. Mark picks up and I say, “YO man, what you up to?” He goes on to explain that he's almost done setting up timing beacons around the track. The entire field of Indy Lights and all but one car in IRL uses Cosworth/Pi dataloggers and displays so almost all of the cars will be using these beacons for lap and split times on the big race day [EH: Mark says this last IRL car made the change to Pi electronics last winter for the 2011 season]. Then Mark says, “If you LA boys can't hang with the mugginess (it was mad sticky that day), then I recommend you guys check out the museum. I've never actually been, but everybody tells me it's dope. You guys should definitely check it out while you're here. I'll cruise by and pick you guys up in the Cosworth cart in a couple hours or so.” So mostly looking for relief from the hot ass sun and stickyness from the humidity, Ken and I go and check out the museum.
There was nothing that said there was a super cool museum inside, but it's pretty much the only building at the main entrance of the track so you won't miss it.
The museum is ultra cool for just about any car nut. There are all sorts of race cars from different eras so there's going to be something for almost everyone. For the non car nut (e.g. wives, most girls, etc.), the fun might be limited, but car guys can spend an entire day there no problem. Ken and I are both all about old cars so we were all into it. The rest of this story is mostly going to be pictures. I didn't take as many notes as I should have, but enjoy the pics anyhow. If you're anywhere close to Indy, be sure to visit the museum. And of course, if you're anywhere near Indy during the Indy 500, be sure to stop by and check it out. Sure you might be thinking that it's lame that they are racing in a glorified circle, but it's still pretty exciting once you see a car blast by right under your nose at 220+mph.
The BorgWarner Trophy has been presented to the winner of the Indianapolis 500 race since 1936. It usually sits in the museum, but it was on display in the pits during qualifying to tempt the drivers during my visit. It is made of pure sterling silver, stands 5' 4″ tall, and is valued today at over $1.5 million. In case you didn't know, the BorgWarner that brings you the Indy 500 is the same BorgWarner that brings you EFR turbochargers.