MAY 1

A year’s waiting is about to come to an end:  The two and a half miles beckon.

Indianapolis is about speed, the quickest driver, the ultimate lap.  No race is faster.  No race is closer or more difficult.

But Indy is much more.

The 500 mile race is a celebration, a spectacle, the largest single gathering of people for a sporting event.

Indianapolis is dangerous.  Its narrow road and concrete walls tear at man and machine.  A skillful drive can turn to disaster without warning, but the quickest times are found just inches from the walls.  It is there the bold must rise.  Searching for the fastest lap, even the bravest are not without fear.

To drive Indy requires skill.  To race at the front: dedication.  To win: courage.  A champion must push beyond fear.  The four corners at Indianapolis draw out a special significance.

This past month at Indianapolis has challenged the elite.  Even the best, like four-time champion Rick Mears, came face to face with his own frailty.  Rick would walk away. Three time world champion Nelson Piquet barely escaped, but running on and over the edge is the only way to succeed, the only path to victory in the Indianapolis 500 mile race.

The time is now.  Thirty-three of the fastest have accepted the challenge and are ready for racing’s ultimate test:

Five hundred miles on a Sunday afternoon in Indiana.

Where will the road take them?  Too close to the walls, or to victory lane with its fame and fortunes?

Indy is a human struggle against all odds.  It brings pain and anguish, while at the same time incomparable reward.  In its 81 year history, 589 drivers have started the run, but the Indianapolis 500 has permitted only 54 to make the final turn into victory lane.

As this day begins, the focus is 200 laps away.  An antique cup waits for the new champion.  Whose likeness will molded in silver to join the historic line?

The 500 miles lie ahead.

Paul Page, 1992

7 Responses to “MAY 1”

  1. BP Says:

    Via con Dios. Godspeed. Amen.

  2. Brian Says:

    Awesome. Those openings were the best.

    Just reading that brought a tear to my eye, just like Jim Nabors will four weeks from today.

  3. Splash N Go Says:

    Goosebumps. Tears. Excitement.

  4. bduddy Says:

    And this is the best of the openings, too…

    Am I allowed to post this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSzgwCql_mo

  5. Robert Says:

    The 1992 race was epic; as was Paul Page’s narration of the intro.

  6. Bill Sanford Says:

    I was at that race!! I couldn’t believe how cold it was and I just about cried when Roberto spun on the parade lap. We sat in turn 3 so we had to wait for the PA to tell us who won.

  7. This is What Indy Means « I Watch Too Much Racing Says:

    […] Paul Page’s opening to the broadcast of the 1992 Indy 500, as shared by Will of Is It May Yet? (Tw […]