From (or to) Chicagoland, one can drive straight through to the Dragon in 10 hours. But it requires matching rest stops to gas stops, skipping a meal, and running hard. Hotshoe and I have done this in the past, to save a motel bill. This time, we decided to take two days for the trip down and stop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
It was a good thing we did. An ice storm closed the northern end of I-65. After misadventures on detours, we rolled into Indianapolis 3 hours behind our bogey time. By day's end, in Lexington, we'd taken 11 hours to drive a distance that normally takes 6. (The return run was "nominal" on a light-traffic Saturday before Easter.)
Anyway. On to the Speedway Museum. It's a convenient stop, just off the Beltway. The collection of Indianapolis cars is, as one would expect, second to none. The cars are thoughtfully preserved or restored, and accessibly displayed in good light. Hotshoe was amused that I blew past 100 years of Indy 500 history to the Museum's small collection of road racing cars. Which, of course, was what I went to see.
A docent at the Museum told us a story that ought to be true if it isn't. (All the docents at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum are old men or very young men--go figure...) It concerns the Mark Donohue-driven 1972 winner, entered by Roger Penske. This was the first of Penske's many Indianapolis wins. The car is owned by the Museum--the only Penske Indy winner not owned by Roger. According to the docent, the car was owned by Sunoco in 1972. Roger wanted to keep it, but Sunoco said "We own the car and it's going to the museum." Roger has offered to buy it many times in the forty years since. No sale.
|The One That Got Away: the only Indy-winning Penske entry not personally owned by Roger. (This picture was taken|
by me on a previous visit to the Museum, before I heard the story recounted above).