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Incredible footage of mad dash to Snakepit, circa 1986...

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  • #16
    I actually let out a Holy $&!t when they opened the gates and the yellow shirts ran for their lives, probably the funniest Indy-related thing I've ever seen. It's even better than the dog running down pit lane in 1998.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Doctorindy View Post

      The best were the old clunkers they would drive into the infield...barely able to get them cranked up and parked........
      Just as an aside all though the '70s/'80s you would see more topless women in the Indy Infield than you could ever see in a night at a "Gentleman's Club". They were out in force even on Practice days when the weather was warm.

      There is a guy just north of the track that actually saved the old clunker that he and his friends used to take to the Infield every year in the '80s. Up until some years ago the car would be displayed in his front yard during May with all of the old racing decals plastered all over it and the words "The Snakepit Legend" hand lettered on the side. He finally cut off the roof of the car and displayed just that for a year or two before reportedly having one last party with his friends and then burying the remains after a ceremony. Guys like him were the rule and not the exception back then. Laid back and politically correct Indy needs more fans like that today.

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      • #18
        To get the timeline right...this footage was from the evening before the race, to get to the queue to get into the infield at 5am on Sun. morning? Then this scene is repeated tomorrow at 5 to get the spots in the Snake Pit? I can imagine what kind of shape these guys were in by then....
        You have the IndyCar you deserve.

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        • #19
          I was involved in quite a few of those mad dashes into the infield! I was great fun

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          • #20
            This was so fun every year. The true gladiators of the 500! Now that I'm older, this seems crazy, but in my youth this made perfect sense. This was the dream - to be at the front of the line for the race to the infield.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by dalz View Post
              To get the timeline right...this footage was from the evening before the race, to get to the queue to get into the infield at 5am on Sun. morning? Then this scene is repeated tomorrow at 5 to get the spots in the Snake Pit? I can imagine what kind of shape these guys were in by then....
              I want to say in the 1980s and early 1990s, they would allow the queue to form sometime around 11 p.m. or midnight on Saturday.
              Doctorindy.com

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              • #22
                Originally posted by indyrjc View Post
                That particular footage is actually pretty tame although one year there was a stalled car in the tunnel got hit in the rear end disabling both vehicles. In other years the race for spots in the south end of the track were wilder still after the new tunnel on 16th Street was opened in the 1970s.

                There is an old story that the year after he won the 500 for the first time Bill Vukovich got up early on race morning before the track was open leaving his wife asleep and went up in one of the stands. When a guard asked him why he was there he said something to the effect of, " I'm here to watch the race in the infield when they open the gates, this is best show here every year". In those days cars entered the infield from both the Turn Two tunnel and actually drove across the track in Turn One after lining up at the main entrance at 16th and Georgetown.
                This goes way back, walking along 16th street. This was when scaffolding was allowed at the speedway. These guys decided to build one tier on top of their truck before entering the track. They were stopped at the entrance to the tunnel. Seems the scaffolding would not clear the tunnel. They were hastily dismantling the scaffold.

                ==

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                • #23
                  My brain has a hard time comprehending this! Wow!
                  If you make something idiot proof, the world will build a better idiot.

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                  • #24
                    We'd stage just north of 30th Street starting on Wednesday to get a vehicle (we abandoned a few, they were just mules) on the pavement of the North 40. They used to open up on Saturday, but it was earlier in the day as I recall. If you were on the pavement and up near the entrance you would have your pick of the North Turns. It was a total lawless land grab and it was awesome. We still do this to some extent so we have a home base in the Infield for all of our family and friends to enjoy before we disperse to our seats, although some just hang on the mounds.
                    www.dulcetroad.com

                    My Band's website!!!!

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by dalz View Post
                      To get the timeline right...this footage was from the evening before the race, to get to the queue to get into the infield at 5am on Sun. morning? Then this scene is repeated tomorrow at 5 to get the spots in the Snake Pit? I can imagine what kind of shape these guys were in by then....
                      I believe you are correct as on raceday morning they are selling and taking tickets before cars can enter the tunnel which makes for a slow speed jockeying for position in the North 40 and breaks up the mad rush moving it more into the infield.

                      That was where I found myself in 83 and 84, as the non seat buying group we were did everything we could to secure a spot next to the fence. People ran in on both the north and south ends while I drove in from the North 40. It was a great experience to have, recount years later and thankfully not have to repeat as I got older and less stupid.
                      "You can't arrest those guys, they're folk heroes"
                      "They're criminals"
                      "Well most folk heroes started out as criminals"

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                      • #26
                        I never entered from the north, where this video was shot. I usually sat on 16th street, or across from the track in the shopping center south of the 16th street tunnel.
                        The shopping center was emptied first, then 16th street would start to enter.
                        16th street was made 1 was at about midnight or 1am on race morning. 4 lanes into the track, 1 east bound lane and 1 west bound lane.
                        In 1982, I was sitting about a block west of the RR viaduct on 16th and by time we got into the track and parked, we ended up in the 3rd turn. I watched Rick and Gordon battle it out from the hood of the car

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                        • #27
                          We watched The Race from the Snake Pit from '59 until '62. The '86 scene is tame compared to what we encountered at that time. We spent the night on 16th St. and always had a spot on the fence in turn two every year. It sure was educational too.
                          Have a very blessed day!

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