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Cutting The Mustard At Indy

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Q: Which is more outdated, Gasoline Alley or Carbureation Day?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.


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