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San Diego to Indy 500


Smitty77_7

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I posted this on IRV2, but wanted to tap this braintrust of experience travelers too:)!

 

In mid May, we're planning leave San Diego to go to the 100th running of the Indy 500.

 

We'd plan to work our way to I40 East, head up thru the Texas Pan Handle and up to St Louis. The from St Louis to Indy.

 

With May/June still being peek Tornado seasons across the plains, and this years weather being a bit unusual to say the least, we're wondering if a Plan B is perhaps a better route?

 

Leave San Diego, head up I15 to Bozeman, then East to Minneapolis, and then down to Indy from the North side.

 

We have plenty of days to allow for stopping to wait out weather, with either route.

 

So, looking for options form veterans that have experience in these kinds of weather.

 

1) Plan A, the faster route, and just pause as needed, or alter route if required too?

 

--- or ---

 

2) Head North then over, and take a chance of a late winter storm, and still possibly picking up tornados and hardball size producing thunderstorms?

 

 

Appreciate any thoughts, and or other advice, TIA,

Smitty

 

Note: Weather Apps, and pretty good internet access to monitor weather forecasts in the region ahead.

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Smitty, having been a long time ticket holder and also a work camper at the 500, we were always coming from the east. But being in Yuma for the last 13 winters, I would take the I-40 route and into St. Louis. We only had to hunker down 3 times over the years at the track. I envy you and have a great time! A friend of mine has been a ticket holder for 56 years.

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Thanks!! It's the getting to the track that seems the highest probability of weather fun... Yeah, three weeks or so before we head East - but dang if this years weather has been nasty in the traveling path!

 

Suppose we'll know what the forecast reflects as we get closer to departure.

 

And looking forward to it. Have watched the 500 since I was a kid, with a good friend of mine being close to Dan Gurnery (What an American he is!!). We went 13 years ago for my 50th birthday, and last year when they were talking about this being the 100th, well we just decided to do it again.

 

Thanks again, and best,

Smitty

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  • 2 weeks later...

We're leaving next Tuesday, the May 17th, and dang if the frequency of both tornados and hail producing thunderstorms do not seem to be increasing as the departure date nears:)!

 

Heck, we're supposed to spend 4 days in a State Park near St Louis, and their warning of grapefruit size hail potential today. And within just 75 miles of Indianapolis, one local station is forecasting tea cup size hail potential today too...

 

Yes, along time between now and the Memorial Day Indy race, but we still need to get to the location... And damaging of coach, toad and possibly body - would be great to avoid.

 

We're going to look at the 10 day forecasts along our now three different planned routes. 1) I40 over thru the Pan Handle then up to St Louis, and then on into Indy; 2) I15 up to Salt Lake City then across I80 and then down into St Louis and over to Indy; 3) Up I15 to I90, and then off to I94, skip St Louis, and work our way down into Indy from skirting around Chicago.

 

And as the DW is already nervous watching the Weather Channel, we're OK at anytime just saying not happening this year. We'll call a local radio station in Indy, and ask them to give out tickets to Indy 500 to a member of the military. Then kick back and watch things on TV:)!

 

Odd's are we'll be fine, and sure experience some listening and thunder (which is still an oddity to us San Diego people), maybe some light hail too... It's a big country, and those big storms have good forecast warnings and visibility as they're heading towards you (Well, at least I've been told this:)!), but just not going to scare the DW (Or myself too, if we do end up at the wrong place at the wrong time!) - it can be a future trip:)!

 

In about three weeks, we'll know what we did, and if we did the right thing, whatever it was:)!

 

Best to all,

Smitty

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Smitty, my thing would be to watch as little of the Weather Channel as possible. They beat weather "events", as they are now called, to death. When living in Penna. never had stores run out of bread, milk, and toilet paper for an impending snow. When the Weather Channel started so did the stripping out of stores. On second look, I'd seriously think about going I-15 to I-70 and mash my motor directly into Indy. Could have maybe a weather related issue but it sure wouldn't bother us. Remember approx. 299,999 folks are headed to Indy also. You appear to have time built in for the trip, of course we don't make reservations ourselves and just wing it. Go and have FUN!

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Smitty, my thing would be to watch as little of the Weather Channel as possible. They beat weather "events", as they are now called, to death.

That same thing is now true for all forms of weather information. It is all about the numbers of viewers and the more sensational that they can make things, the more people will be watching. They call it "market share" and selling advertising is the main issue, not information. Prediction of weather has reached such a point that they are asking everyone in the mid-west to take cover several times a week, then claiming to have saved all of us, even from predicted disasters that didn't happen. This is not the worst weather year on record, or even nearly so, but it is the most broadcast weather year ever. Do pay attention to the weather, but that is true anywhere you go and anytime that you go there.

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To all, I'm gonna come out for the 100th running as well. After working for 17 years as an engineer in IndyCar (Patrick Racing) and other motorsports I'm going to hit up some old friends and sponsor connections for garage access. I have 13 seats at the exit of turn one. Anyway, if anyone needs advice on anything, or maybe we should plan a meet-up, give me a shout. -Steve

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Thanks... nah, I'm not a "joiner". It's funny, when I'm wandering around I often have people come up and say "hey, what are you doing here?". I usually don't remember who they are, but the face looks familiar. I came up from formula ford to F Atlantic & Super V, ARS (now indy lites) to IndyCar. (Champcar) Those were tough competitors all coming up together. Paul Tracey, Arie Luyendijk, Al jr., Michael Andretti, Brabahm, Guerraro.

A funny story. Johncock=Gordo, Mario=Mario, Emerson=Emo, Johnny O'Connell=Johnny O. When my girls were 3 &4 they ask

"where's daddyO?" I have a half does shirts fro Father's Day's embroidered daddyO

 

BTW, I REALLY miss the "Night Before the 500" at IRP. Any good sprint car stuff during the week you know of?

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Not off hand. I think the World of Outlaws will be in Central Pennsylvania, Williams Grove etc. Never went up to Anderson for the Little 500, but sure wish I did. The USAC Dirt Champ cars at the mile track at the Indiana State Fairgrounds was really good, but if it rained Indy weekend, guaranteed to do it that Friday night. It was a fun time when George (Ziggy) Snyder would run there and of course A.J. was always on hand holding court at Ziggy's hauler. Fun times were had.

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The father of my good friend while growing up had gone to school with Dan Gurney. So I've always been a fan on Dan and All American Racers. We used to go to the local San Diego stadium, to watch the Indy 500 on the Big Screen!!!! Dan and his Eagle, fought he good fight... Maybe a bit of a cliche, but Dan is a great example of American Ingenuity and Integrity...

 

We're looking forward to the 100th!!! And we'll just monitor the weather as we work our way East....

 

I have to keep reminding myself that when you see forecast for thunder storms, it does not always mean hail:)!

 

Best to all,

Smitty

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Thanks... nah, I'm not a "joiner". It's funny, when I'm wandering around I often have people come up and say "hey, what are you doing here?". I usually don't remember who they are, but the face looks familiar. I came up from formula ford to F Atlantic & Super V, ARS (now indy lites) to IndyCar. (Champcar) Those were tough competitors all coming up together. Paul Tracey, Arie Luyendijk, Al jr., Michael Andretti, Brabahm, Guerraro.

A funny story. Johncock=Gordo, Mario=Mario, Emerson=Emo, Johnny O'Connell=Johnny O. When my girls were 3 &4 they ask

"where's daddyO?" I have a half does shirts fro Father's Day's embroidered daddyO

 

BTW, I REALLY miss the "Night Before the 500" at IRP. Any good sprint car stuff during the week you know of?

 

Hey, my cousin (who will be at the 100th running) used to drive Formula Atlantic quite a few years ago....used to hear all about it. I am under the impression he was pretty good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What was his name Dune? The place was packed yesterday for the Indy Lights race and I went up to Anderson for practice the day before. Kick'in myself for missing the WOO because it was pouring as I was slightly further north on I80 and figured it was rained out. UGH! Spent a couple of day in Shipshewana. Night before the 500 tonight at IRP then up EARLY for the 500. If you've ever wondered who buys all those RV's you see, they're here. Literally dozens of acres of campers here.

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We're south of town the track, at Lake Haven, and pretty full house here too:)!

 

We're going to take the Pink line shuttle in to the track, as we did not know we needed reservations for track parking:)! But that is OK. 13 years ago we took a shuttle from the airport, and arrived at the track around 8:45AM. This year people in the campground are telling us to plan to leave a bit earlier, as we do not have a guaranteed time on the shuttle. The airport shuttle was sold out, so going to south downtown shuttle for this event.

 

Sure looking to be a good time, and fingers crossed that he afternoon thundershowers forecast is a bit late:)!

 

Have a blast, and best,

Smitty

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