This past Sunday was a special day in Speedway, as the Indianapolis Speedway Museum officially opened it's Centennial display of Indianapolis 500-winning cars. Not all of the cars that will be on display had arrived, but it was more than enough to be the single-greatest display of IndyCars I have ever seen. The contributions from IMS, private collectors, and Roger Penske's collection were nothing short of tremendous. Legends such as Rick Mears, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Jr., and others were on hand for autographs. The place was swarming with people, and was as full as I've ever seen the place.
My wife took plenty of photos (you can check out more of her work here; she's a wonderful photographer if you're in need of one!); I'll share more, but here's a review of some of the sights of the day:
Just the rows upon rows of cars lined up by year make you realize what history there is to this place and this race:
Bill Holland's Blue Crown Spark Plug Special, the '49 winner, which has previously been preserved in a private collection:
Kids still love the Johnny Lightning '70 winner. It looks as a race car should. It had to be one of the most popular cars there that day:
Bobby Unser won in '75 with the Jorgensen Eagle. This car still sticks out due to its distinct styling and paint scheme:
Roger Penske's first win at Indy, Mark Donohue's '72 winner. I include in large part because two elderly gentlemen were having a tremendous fight over if this was the actual car or a replica:
Getting to see Rick Mears' '84 winner was special for me. It was my favorite car growing up, and I think it remains one of the best-looking IndyCars of all time.
Indeed, Penske Racing's dominance of Indy was on full display:
Of course, there is the small matter of 2010's winner, which stood out at the end of the row:
No matter how big of a fan you are, there's always a bigger one out there:
I got to chat with IMS historian Donald Davidson briefly, and have my photo taken with him. I can't think of a better end to the day.