The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on May 28, 1990 · Page 9
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 9

Indianapolis, Indiana
Issue Date:
Monday, May 28, 1990
Page 9
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S-10 THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR MONDAY, MAY 28, 1990 500 MILE RACE ill ;'. W ' If "r ft' c 4 v.- V..J' tJ3 I - If . , ,r r - . r 4 Jk 3t Mil 1 VVi;riLtYff- v H 1 .1-.. ,,..--., , &r ..j'S.ivra'f' -. Me? .i ri-i t. tr,W rrx You might beat most of the traffic by getting to the track early, but that also leaves time to kill. So about 6 a.m., Perry G. Como decided to take a nap on top of his truck. you saw were All cars and people 1 J1 ir ML r b i : j .. 1 1 fk. 1 1 rJ 1T (. V . - 7IC ,iS iSr J"' '17" ? 7 - . . "an ft" ii..,Yf The press box at the speedway is a good place to watch the cars, or a good place to see a sea of people. This view is looking toward southwest, toward the first turn. X1 ' jjj slJ The cars are why most spectators go to the 500-Mile Race, but some go to see other spectators. And with an estimated crowd of 400,000, there are plenty of spectators to watch. The cheapest seats, in the infield, don't even come with seats and it's hard to see the cars from there. But it's easy to throw a party. Some of those whose celebrating got out of hand found themselves in police custody. About 150 people were arrested in and around the track, most for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and public indecency. STAR STAFF PHOTOS RON IRA STEELE And ROB G0EBEL New Zealanders Scott Thompson (left) and Boyd Watty carry the flag of their country. Snake Pit was party to a good time Fast times not confined to track on Race Day By BRIDGETTE A. LACY . STAR STAFF WRITER While most spectators came to the Indianapolis 500 Sunday to watch race cars zoom around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, others came to observe the inhabitants of the infield. The muddy strip of land on the inside of the fourth turn became the temporary home of the "Snake Pit," which once occupied the inside of the first turn. "The Indy 500 is a spectator sport, and the infield is part of the sport," said Larry Fieron of Detroit. Stretched out on the back of his car, with a stereo speaker beside each ear, John Wood of Louisville, Ky., explained, "I'm not worried about the race . . . I'm Just here for the party." The party started Saturday for Wood and others who camped out for the overnight party. While some men and women were arrested for public intoxication and public indecency, authorities say they relax the law a bit for the annual event, which drew an estimated crowd of 400,000. Bunched together in groups of four and five men, Marion County sheriffs deputies weaved through the infield crowd. Meanwhile, in the stands, fans were mesmerized by the roars of the cars. "It's a gorgeous day ... I love all the excitement. Danny Sullivan's car crashed into the wall near us," said Susan Mollenkamp of Chicago. The race day started with cloudy skies, and as morning stretched into noon, the clouds gave way to a hazy sun. The sky was also brightened by multicolor balloons released as Jim Nabors sang Back Home Again In Indiana during the opening ceremonies of the event. Vice President Dan Quayle and his wife, Marilyn, emerged in a yellow car from under the Tower Terrace shortly before the race started. The guayles strolled around the track, waving at fans. guayle was guarded by 15 state troopers, about eight Marion County sheriff's deputies and several Secret Service men, said Trooper Frederick Good. guayle arrived via by helicopter on the Speedway Golf Course and was whisked off In a motorcade from the golf course to the tower. The vice president left on Air Force Two after the race to fly over some Southern Indiana counties suffering from flood damage, said Liz Murphy, a spokeswoman with guayle s office. J) v V i K"$ 1 . 4 1 .... t te..... I M t-tf.T - 1, , . STAR STAFF PHOTO MYRTA PULLIAM 1 "mt L , tit , V , l,j ? 1 ' Vice President Dan and Marilyn Quayle (above) watch the race with their daughter, Corinne. Spectators (left) near Turn 4 perch on vehicles to see the race cars on the track. STAR STAFF PHOTO RON IRA STEELE New section gives disabled a clear view By REX REDIFER STAR STAFF WRITER Nearly 100 wheelchair-bound and disabled fans had a choice view of Sunday's 500-Mile Race. They watched from a newly opened section for the handicapped between Turns 1 and 2. None was more delighted than George L. Roberts Jr., 67, an amputee and patient at the Cold Spring Nursing Home division of the Roudebush Veterans Affairs Hospital. A former race-car driver and avid fan, Roberts had not been to a 500-Mile Race since 1964. "I hadn't missed one before that in 17 straight years," he said Sunday. An anonymous donor provided a ticket so a disabled veteran could go to the race. Roberts won the ticket by picking the pole-sitter and fastest speed. "Well, actually, I came in third," he said. "But the other two guys were from out of state, have been released and couldn't go." It peeled away a lot of years for Roberts, who in his younger days did a bit of racing himself. He used to drive a midget car around the Indianapolis area. "It wasn't anything real big," he says. "We raced the circuit for several years. "How it happened was when I got out of the Air Force after the war. I settled in Miami, Florida. My brother, Pear-ley, who lived in Indianapolis, came down and got me and we went to the 500-Mile Race in 1947. "We got so excited we went out and bought us a midget race car and we'd take turns driving it. We had fun, but we didn't do real good at it nothing major. We kind of phased out in the early 1950s, but I got to know a few of the big-time drivers back In those days." He never missed a race until 1964. "Just this and that happened; I never got out there again. I got diabetes pretty bad and my health wasn't too good." Roberts has been a patient at the hospital since last November, and has been confined to a wheelchair since his leg was amputated because of diabetic complications. The legally blind man used his peripheral vision, "and I could see it pretty good if I held my head to the side. They go so fast it was all a little out of focus." He said he was pulling for A.J. Foyt "I met him a couple of times in my racing days" but was happy. "I couldn't have asked for a better time. I had Arte Luyendyk in a pool." T

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