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90s Flagstand Question

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  • 90s Flagstand Question

    In watching some 500s from the early 1990s, at the finish of each race, there's a USAC official in the flag stand holding up a large flat object (almost like a sign or something) over his head as the checkered flag waves. From any camera angle from south of the flagstand (toward Turn 1) the entire thing is black or dark grey, but there might be something painted or printed on the opposite side.

    What is it? It actually blocked all or part of the shot the director chose to use of the finish some of those years. In 1992 for example, the original footage you can't even see the finish when it happens because the director chose a shot from the camera in the flagstand and whatever this object is is completely blocking that camera's view of the finish line. I haven't seen anything like this in the flagstand at the finish in any recent IndyCar races or 500s.

    I'm assuming it had an actual purpose and they aren't actually trying to block the TV shot ...

  • #2
    It's the number of the first place car getting the checkers.
    The Ayn Rand of Indycar

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DaveL View Post
      It's the number of the first place car getting the checkers.
      Yes. I wondered where he got that massive placard, out of a stack of massive placards of all the starting cars' numbers, just laying around somewhere on the starter's stand? It seemed to lose its functionality sometime in the '30s, I'm sure the leader knew who he was. Good thing it was gone by 2006, or the guy would've had to do some quick shuffling....
      You have the IndyCar you deserve.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dalz View Post

        Yes. I wondered where he got that massive placard, out of a stack of massive placards of all the starting cars' numbers, just laying around somewhere on the starter's stand? It seemed to lose its functionality sometime in the '30s, I'm sure the leader knew who he was. Good thing it was gone by 2006, or the guy would've had to do some quick shuffling....
        If you look at footage from before 1974 when they built a modern flag stand, Vidan had placards laid out on the grass next to the small platform he stood on. Where they had room to store them on the stand after that, I don't know. They also used the placards for black flags.
        The Ayn Rand of Indycar

        No one had to badge the Offy.

        Crapping all over threads since 2000.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dalz View Post

          Yes. I wondered where he got that massive placard, out of a stack of massive placards of all the starting cars' numbers, just laying around somewhere on the starter's stand? It seemed to lose its functionality sometime in the '30s, I'm sure the leader knew who he was. Good thing it was gone by 2006, or the guy would've had to do some quick shuffling....
          They almost did have to do some quick shuffling in 1992. The assistant had both placards in his hands, and at the last moment dropped the 15 and kept the 3.

          I’m pretty sure they had all 33 to start the day, then only used them for black flags and the winner. I’d be curious to check what year they stopped.

          They also had another placard that said “TEN” that they’d hold up with ten laps to go...but that done in the grass strip, not the flag stand.
          Doctorindy.com

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          • #6
            Thanks. I assume now there is an LED board that can show a number, or any message they want, in addition to whatever radio communication the drivers get directly from race control.

            To frontstretch spectators--is the new scoring pylon used for information relevant to drivers? Black flag, laps to go, etc? At the Runoffs, of course we were going much slower but it was quite easy to see almost everything that was on it at any moment. During the race I was keeping track of my gap to the leader. :
            You have the IndyCar you deserve.

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