04 June 2010

The Firestone 341.754

Everything is bigger in Texas.  It's fact.

In Indiana, we like to think of our State Fair as being one of the nation's best.  And with fried everything (peanut butter cups, snickers, coke, etc.), it comes damn close.  Texas's state fair?  They host one of the most anticipated college football games in the middle of the fair, though this year it moves to the Cowboys' gigantic stadium.  If the state of Indiana wanted to compete, they'd need to put the Indianapolis 500 in August, or move the State Fair to May.  I don't think either is happening.

And just six short days after another stirring Indianapolis 500, the state of Texas (and master marketer Eddie Gossage Jr.) continue in their attempt to make the Firestone 550 seem bigger than the 500.  Not necessarily in crowd size, or spectacle, but in distance.  And to be honest, I don't have a problem with it.

While most announcers won't reference it as a 550 kilometer race (the metric system is for sissies, most Texans would say, I'm sure), calling your race a '550' sounds a lot cooler than the "Firestone 341.754."

To be honest, Texas is a nighttime bull-ring of controlled chaos.  It's one of the fastest circuits on the IndyCar schedule, and one of the most supported, in terms of attendance.  And after a 500 that saw domination (Dario Franchitti) and chaos (Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mike Conway), it feels a little early to be hopping back on that horse.

At least in years past, the 1-mile oval of Milwaukee served to slow speeds and let everyone seemingly catch their breath before heading to the Lone Star State.  Now, with Milwaukee gone (hopefully temporarily), I feel like a college student on a Saturday morning, preparing to get back on the proverbial saddle after a long Friday.

So, Texas.  Bring me your chaos, your speeds, and your Saturday night racing.  We'll see if I can hold up the same as I used to five years ago.  

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