Richard Snyder Photo. More photos on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/theeveningsun/photos/
I don’t want anyone to confuse me with an actual reporter, but I am a decades long race fan, with a special fondness for IndyCar. You know those aerodynamic beauties that race in the Indianapolis 500 every Memorial Day Weekend. Well, they also race all around the country and since the 2016 Labor Day weekend, they have returned to race at one of the best road race circuits in the world, Watkins Glen International Speedway in Watkins Glen, NY.
Over what is truly three very busy days of events, I at least took in the activities this past Saturday and Sunday. Besides the IndyCar race itself, known more formally as the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen, there were practice sessions, qualifying, and races for 6 additional racing divisions. 5 of these divisions are viewed as stepping stones to prepare some for an eventual ride with an IndyCar team, and for others, to just get into a competitive race series for the fun and thrill of it. At least as long as their budgets will allow.
Another race event added this year were the Stadium Super Trucks which was a combination of a competitive truck race with an auto thrill show thrown in for good measure. In two sections of the raceway, the trucks got themselves launched over three or four sets of ramps adding to the challenge for the drivers and giving quite a thrill to the fans. Really a great deal of fun to watch.
The Press Credentials extended to this paper by IndyCar gave me tremendous access to parts of the track that the average fan may not get access to, including being immediately behind the pit wall as the IndyCars and drivers practiced, qualified, and competed in the race itself. The access to the drivers was quite a plus to this race fan.
But this type of access wasn’t just for the press, the grandstands immediately behind the pits gave everyone the same views that I had, and probably even better. And… these teams and drivers were extremely accessible to the public. They were up close to sign autographs, answer questions, and made hundreds of fans happy with all the selfies taken. I never saw a frown on any of the drivers or crew members who were very gracious the entire weekend.
A good example of this availability was on Sunday morning in the garage area. While the track was under a slight but steady rain, many fans wandered in and around the garage area where the teams were putting the final touches on the cars that would be racing in just a few hours.