I see by the ambulances lined up there in Turn 2 of the Old Brickyard, it is time once again for the Indianapolis 500, an American institution, as is, I might add, Forest Lawn.
How remarkable that, even going into the 79th of these things, there are still exactly as many answers as there are questions.
Q: What do you mean, no Unsers; how can you have an Indy 500 without an Unser?
A: “Arie Luyendyk” happens to be Dutch for “Little Al.”
Q: If the Indy 500 is such a great American classic, how is it that 19 of the 33 drivers and all six rookies come from foreign countries?
A: Mostly on Air Brazil.
Q: Who, exactly, is the Man on the Bubble?
A: Scottie Pippen.
Q: What was Roger Penske’s biggest problem this year, the fact that he had to run the same size engine as everyone else or his own ego?
A: Ego finished a lap up.
Q: Just how slow were Penske’s entries, anyhow?
A: The guy in the pace car had to brake to ask Emerson Fittipaldi for some Grey Poupon.
Q: With the cost of auto racing so high, why would anyone want to sponsor an Indy car?
A: Because college football already had a Johnathan Byrd’s Cafeteria Bryant Heating & Cooling Lola Ford Cosworth XB Bowl.
Q: When is the best time to “put the hammer down”?
Q: Which is more outdated, Gasoline Alley or Carbureation Day? A: George Foreman. Q: What’s the difference between A.J. Foyt, the four-time winning driver and A.J. Foyt, the retired team owner?
A: Roughly 30 pounds.
Q: Where else besides auto racing are you likely to see a flying start?
A: Leaving the table at a Mexican restaurant.
Q: What does it mean when they call Hiro Matsushita the “Japanese Walter Mitty?”
A: He still thinks Beta has a future.
Q: Just who, or what, are Reynard and Lola?
A: Either the opening act for the Captain and Tenille or, in fact, the Captain and Tenille.
Q: How did someone as little known as Scott Brayton end up sitting in the inside spot of the front row?
A: He cashed in his frequent flier miles.
Q: Doesn’t the pole position automatically go to anyone named Andretti?
A: Usually out of sympathy.
Q: Will there be cameras in some of the cars so we can feel like we are right in the middle of the action?
A: Like a B-B in a blender.
Q: What is the significance of Lyn St. James not only being the only female in the race but also the oldest driver?
A: It is easier to get into the race at age 48 than it is as a woman.
Q: If you are not some fat cat with a corporate box, where can you get the best view of the finish line?
A: Most NHL teams now have one. And a Russian goalie.
Q: What do you say to people who think Formula I is better than IndyCar racing?
A: If it were better, it would be Formula XXXVII by now.
Q: Would you say that the stock block based, 209cid, single-cam Buick V6 with 55 inches of manifold boost is better than a custom-built Mercedes V8?
A: I like mine with sprinkles.
Q: What is the biggest thrill any driver can get from competing in the Indianapolis 500?
A: Never to be referred to as the Late Great.
Subscribe to The Spokesman-Review’s sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.