The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 23, 2013

Shawn Wood's motorsports column: Sights and sounds of Indy


The 230-mph-barrier was flirted with, but not eclipsed. We may see that number next year.

There are other activities the surround the month of May that make this one Sunday out of the year so special.

While waiting to go out for my two-seater ride I was with a group of men and women from the Indiana National Guard who were about to do the Indy Racing Experience two-seater experience for the first time.

The look of awe and uncertainty on their faces was priceless as the two-seater sailed off into Turn 1 at 180 mph with its first passenger.

ESPN Classic airs some great 500s leading up to race day and there's nothing that will give you goosebumps faster than when you hear the voice of late long-time Indianapolis Motor Speedway public address announcer Tom Carnegie say, 'His voice has been an institution.' You know he's about to introduce Jim Nabors to sing "Back Home Again in Indiana."

Nabors, who missed the race last year due to health issues, is back to sing the song this year.

Then there's race day.

The emotions that coarse though your body on race day is something that can only be felt by each race fan when they come to Indy for the 500. Words do it no justice. It is even hard to describe the emotions you feel each day driving into the track.

Regardless of who drinks the milk on Sunday, our hearts are heavy with the recent tragedy in Oklahoma.

We must also remember that when the green flag drops on Sunday, somewhere around the globe, brave men and women of the Armed Forces have stood watch the night before in service to our great country to give us the freedom to cheer on our heroes. The blanket of freedom which has been fought for from Saratoga to Pearl Harbor to Afghanistan, has cost many great people their lives.

While you watch the 500 on Sunday or enjoy the Ray Tilley Classic at Selinsgrove Speedway in person, please take a moment to remember that many have paid a price for us to be at the race track today. That price we must never forget.

n Shawn Wood covers motorsports for the The Daily Item. Email comments to

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