So today started out beautifully with a sunrise coming up over the bluff. It was RACE DAY! At 7:30 this morning 40 race teams got together on top of the bluff in St. George Utah to race at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour to see who would be the Mini Indy champion of 2013.
The race started out like all major races do with a flag drop and the National Anthem. We had the privilege to see the flag brought in by a sky diver. It was awesome!
Here is the flag ceremony and the singer did a great job with the anthem. Then the words were heard by everyone, "Racers, Start your Engines!"
The green flag was dropped and the racing was on! We race 4 heats and then the top 20 cars get to race in the final race. This picture shows the pace car just before he left the track as the flag was dropped.The front 2 cars were already bumping.
Here is a photo of the drivers at the drivers meeting.
This shows one aisle of the pits. It is always quite a site. The smell is unbelievable also because there is a BBQ competition that happens at lunch. Most teams are cooking something throughout the day for the contest. The best part is that you get to go around to all the vendors and have some of the BBQ. I have never been disappointed yet.
All the teams are cleaning, polishing and checking out their carts before each heat. Here is one team taking care of their cart.
The Michelin Man showed up for the race. He didn't even get blown away or run over. I got him to pose for this picture with the Michelin cart.
It was all (well mostly all) business in the tech tents. Jerry is checking out the chain alignment and brakes on this cart.
Here is the hauler that brought Tony Stewart's car in for the day.
The Start/Finish line for the track.
I had a chance to walk down to the wet corner. This is where a lot of the action occurs which includes spin outs and lots of bumping.
This is the back side of pit row. You can see all the teams lined up ready for their carts to come in for their pit stops. The teams have to make 2 pit stops in each heat. The pit stop includes changing drivers, jacking the cart and removing and replacing the front left tire. There have been many races won and lost by the pit stops. The races are all timed from a transponder that is attached to each cart so they usually come down to seconds. If you have a good pit stop you can gain seconds on your race. If you mess up and have a bad pit stop you could lose lots of precious time. Check out that awesome scenery in the background!
This was the fastest cart throughout the day. It's Standard Aero and they were flawless in racing and in their pit stops. It makes sense because they were number 1 in the pit stop competition last night.
Here they are in action doing a pit stop. It's funny to see grown men and women acting like kids.
This is in the final race of the day.
Here's the dash to the finish in the final race. The checkered flag is waving and the competition for 2nd and 3rd place was good. AAR landing gears driver is taking out cones trying to get around the competition and get to 2nd place. Standard Aero was way ahead of the pack but you can see how close the competition was behind them.
The wind was on and off all day long but it never got bad enough to tear up any canopies. Right after the race was over it kicked up pretty good so we broke down the tech area and hit the hotel. It's been a great weekend and I had a ton of fun. I think that Mini Indy 2013 was a huge success and hopefully they will made lots of money for the United Way that will go towards helping many people in need.
I will be back next year for Mini Indy 2014. I wouldn't miss it! Check it out in a year, it should be posted here.