Thursday, May 17, 2007

thursday 13: 13 indy 500 winners i would like to have dinner with

13 Indy 500 Winners I Would Like To Have Dinner With

1) Ray Harroun (1911)
The first winner of the Indy 500. I’d love to ask him if he had any idea that the Indy 500 would become THE INDY 500.

2) Louis Meyer (1928, 1933, 1936)
Meyer is the one who began the tradition of drinking milk in winner’s circle.

3) A.J. Foyt (1964, 1967, 1967, 1977)
The 2007 Indy 500 marks Foyt’s 50th to participate in (now as a team owner). “…a new track record.”

4) Parnelli Jones (1963)
When I was a kid my mom had a silver ’79 Chevy Malibu that she called Nellie Belle. I named my Honda Parnelli Belle. If I ever had the opportunity to have Parnelli Jones sign my car I wouldn’t hesitate to do so.

5) Al Unser (1970, 1971, 1978, 1987)
Al, Sr may be one of my all time favorite Indy drivers. There is something about his humble nature that I adore. I think I could listen to him reminisce for hours.

6) Gordon Johncock (1973, 1982)
Johncock won the year I was born. Which was actually a really sucky race because somebody died.

7) Johnny Rutherford (1974, 1976)
Lonestar J.R.-I just love how he carries himself. He is now the official pace car driver at most IRL races.

8) Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991)
There is something about Rick Mears that I just really like. I’m not sure I could put my finger on it. Also, I’d love to hear his stories as a driver who saw Indy racing during its hay day.

9) Danny Sullivan (1985)
The only Kentuckian to win the Indy 500. When I was a kid he was a hometown hero in Louisville.

10) Bobby Rahal (1986)
“Excuse me Mr. Rahal! We just wanted to say congratulations!”

11) Al Unser, Jr (1992, 1994)
The "why" is a long story that I'll save for another time.

12) Eddie Cheever, Jr. (1998)
The man is smart and I’d love to sit down and talk to him about the sport and the current start of the IRL. And afterwards we could go slit Marco Andretti’s tires. Although, Eddie probably wouldn't agree to it.

13) Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002)
Helio almost always appears to be loving life and trying to live it to its fullest. His excitement is contagious and he inspires me in so many ways. I honestly think he wants everyone, and I do mean everyone, to be happy to be living this life. I have seen Helio be kind and offer encouragement to his competitors. I’ve watched the guy walk up and hug drivers who have all but made fun of him in interviews (jealous?). Makes you wonder who the joke is really on.


Amy said...

It's funny, I live in Indy and couldn't give you a list of even one winner. :)

amy said...

What an interesting list!

David said...

I dunno... wouldn't the meal go by too fast?

Pen said...

Fun list!

There is something about Rick Mears I love too. They seem like a great family!!

If Tony Stewart wins the 500, he will be on the top of my list!

LOL @ David!

Happy TTing!

Shelley said...

Interesting. Much like your first commenter...I couldn't name any of the winners either and I lived in Indy for a couple of years.

In'd be jealous...I lived right around the corner from the Speedway...used to have to drive by it to get to the grocery store. It was always crazy in my neighborhood during the races, etc.

Of course...I didn't think it was cool...just cursed all the traffic, etc...and that they would often close down my road to get the racers in and out of the speedway. grr!

My list is up...and has nothing to do with racing! Come on over!

The GateKeeper said...

The only race I actually watched from beginning to end was the one Rick Mears won. Is his son driving in NASCAR now? And, btw, what would you order if you did have dinner with these guys?

Jen said...

This is a great 13, I think it's most original one I've seen all day :-)

My T-13 is up!

Bobbi said...

Where's my Mario (Andretti)? He and I share two things in common: a lead foot and a birthday!

Jeff Iannucci said...

OK, so you're an Andretti hater...but how does Tom Sneva not make this list? He's like Cheever but without the crankiness.

And what about Dan Wheldon? No one on this list could talk shoes better than Dan Wheldon. Or sunglasses.

Titania Starlight said...

My dad would have loved this T13. He has passed away but your post brought back good memories of how he loved car races.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Marilyn said...

Wow... now I learned a few things.

Qtpies7 said...

Interesting list. I don't watch the races, so I only know a few names.

Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. said...

Jeff, I'm not an Andretti hater. Hate is such a strong word. I just dislike the attitude of the younger Andrettis. When I thought about my list, sitting down with Mario just didn't feel like something I wanted to do.

I like Wheldon fine. But I'd want to talk to the older drivers first. I don't feel like Wheldon has enough to share yet. If I wanted to talk shoes I'd call Sarah Fisher or Buddy Rice's wife for a day of shopping.

I tried to have a balanced list from the history makers to people I just like. Plus, I wanted to cover the spectrum. There were several others that were up for consideration.

Lazier, Brack, Sneva, Arie...

Go make your own list, Jeff.