Granger Whitelaw: PURE SPEED !!

By Granger Whitelaw

It’s MAY – and that means racing! I think this is my favorite month of the year. It’s a racers Valhalla and it is also the month my beautiful little brother was born and my adorable Daughter.

May starts with the Derby – the Kentucky Derby to be exact if you are not familiar with it. Big hats, Mint Juleps and the finest breed of race horses on the planet competing for the gold trophy that is 22 inches tall, has a 14-karat gold horse and rider atop it and horseshoe-shaped wreath handles and stands on a jade base, along with this comes a Garland of Roses. The twin spires on the homestretch and the beautiful architecture are a feast for the eye in what is know as “The greatest two minutes in sports”. I have never owned a race horse or competed at the Derby, but I have this funny feeling that someday I will – and my guess is one of my siblings will be along side championing the effort!

May ends with the Indy 500 – or – “The greatest spectacle in racing” and trust me, it is.

Now here is something I have a little experience with. I can remember the first time I saw “INDY” – it was at a friend’s house in Vail, Co where I grew up as a young boy. We were at a party and the T.V was on in the main room and another in the ‘back room’ for the kids. I’ll never forget that day – because while everyone was out in the dining room and wandering around the party occasionally watching the race, I was glued to the T.V in the ‘back room’ – I never left except to run and grab a sandwich. It was amazing! The smoke and sounds on TV – a crash and a pass…I had never seen anything like this before. A few months later my Dad took me to Denver to see a real Indy Car that was on display at the State Fair and I sat in it. The “pipes” for exhaust (It was a Lotus I think) and pin stripe paint with big tires – I was in awe- and in love.

A few years later one of my best friends dads raced at Indy and won rookie of the Year – that was Bob Lazier whom is first a great Father and a very special mentor to me. Bob taught me how to ride a motorcycle with Buddy when we were just boys growing up in Vail. We were 7 and he bought Buddy a bike that we would take turns riding around – what a blast! I remember Buddy riding that bike up and down the mountain of Vail all summer and then going on to race Moto-cross and win the championship. When Buddy graduated to open wheel racing and then Indy racing – we started to have a LOT of fun! Well, I won’t go into great details here – but in 1996 after partnering up with Ron Hemelgarn and grabbing a few sponsors to support us – we won the Indy 500!!!  That was also the year my first son was born – it will always be a year to remember. I went on the partner up with Eddie Cheever in 1998 and we won that year too, Eddie was driving and Buddy came in second. I must tell you – that was one of the greatest days and worst days for me I can ever remember. The last 50 laps I could hardly decide if I was supposed to cheer or hide – Eddie – Buddy – Buddy – Eddie.. 1st and 2nd – so I just decided to cheer for both – either way it was going to be an awesome day and it was. Buddy came in second and I gave him a big hug and apologized for not being in his pit. His response “ come on man, were brothers – this is racing – I am glad you guys won” and that is Buddy – a true gentleman. I can go on for hours about Indy – but I will save that for another day (or the book).

Another of the greatest races in the world is the Monaco Grand Prix. Monaco is usually in June now, but it has raced in May now for a few years in what I think is one of the poorest choices for a race enthusiast ever. I mean really? Why would you schedule Monaco the same day as the Indy 500? How am I supposed to make both races??!! Well, anyway, Monaco is a fabulous event – it’s the biggest party on the circuit every year and I will miss hanging with Stelios, Stelianos, Greg and the gang watching from the rooftop and soaking in the sights and sun this year, but I am sure they will survive without me.

And let’s not forget the newest sensation in advertising – the Coca-Cola 600. NASCAR at its finest – and fastest – held in charlotte every year, just close enough for a few racers in history (Jeff Andretti and Tony Stewart to name two) to race at the Indy 500 & the “600” in the same day! I always thought t was amusing how they named it the “600”, is that supposed to make it better than the Indy 500? I think not. And guys – remember – even thought I love ya – you still have doors and a roof – and apparently now wide screen TV’s and espresso makers on board – so lets not try compare ya to Indy Car of F1 – that dog don’t hunt!

So fire up the DVR’s, make some St. Louis ribs, stir you Mint Julep, pour some Champagne or crack a keg – or if you’re really lucky – have a drink of Milk in winners circle J – its gonna be a great a great Month no matter your fancy – Winner take all!!

Best,

Granger Whitelaw

Update: Congratulations to Dario Franchitti on winning in style, and dedicating his win to his friend and 2011 Winner Dan Wheldon who wasn’t able to defend his 2nd Indy 500 victory after a tragic accident in the final race of the 2011 season.

23 thoughts on “Granger Whitelaw: PURE SPEED !!”

  1. I found the Indy 500 to come to pass a consent to down this day, I hate at what time it locks of hair with a yellow flag,

  2. Everybody loves racing and you know it will be a good day if it’s a racing day. I certainly agree with you and that two should really not be compared and in my opinion Indy 500 is just plain amazing to be compared with the 600. I am really a fan of car racing and I feel excited now for waiting the next racing competition.

  3. That is an interesting and fun life you have here. I like racing and I think almost all racing is fun, it’s really fun watching people go to the top speed competing each other. I like this blog.

  4. May ! May ! May ! The most beautiful month for racers and the month that races will really wait. I just wonder what will happen if the race will be per month, so each month there will be a race, is that possible?

  5. Coca-Cola 600 is good and I would say they have made it to a whole new level, I like it and it’s amazing. More power to all the racers around the world and I hope they more be careful in any race or in any place that race will be held.Thanks for sharing this blog.

  6. I like the title of this article and every men want pure speed in racing. We men love watching race cars on a racing on their full speed and pure speed. Thanks for sharing your article to us. I am a fan of racing and most particular in formula one racing. I never heard of Indy 500 before but I have a perspective or a thinking that maybe it looks like a formula one racing.

  7. I like this article entitled as purespeed because this is all about racing. Racing is such a fun art and a fan game and a fan entertainment. I wonder you guys here are racers too? because there are lots of men here who love racing just as I love racing and I hope we can play together of course. Anyway thanks for sharing such just kind of this article.

  8. I think a month of May looks fine with me because in my country May is such a beautiful month because it has a good and nice season. Anyway that is good to you also since you love racing and May is all about racing in your place and I can’t relate much of your feeling about it but I know it is happy and a good feeling to you.

  9. Oh I love summer! I love may since May is summer in my country and though I don’t know what is the season in your country in the month of May but I’m pretty sure it’s nice since racing is being scheduled on that month. I think it is nice to race on the month and on the season that is nice in weather and a weather that you are comfortable with.

  10. I would like to agree with you on this “Monaco is usually in June now, but it has raced in May now for a few years in what I think is one of the poorest choices for a race enthusiast ever.”, I like also the past years that it has raced in May and I think it is nice because May should be the racers month and I think it fits to be it.

  11. So May is really something and a beautiful month for you since 2 of the closest people around you have birthday on May “I think this is my favorite month of the year. It’s a racers Valhalla and it is also the month my beautiful little brother was born and my adorable Daughter.”, it’s really a big coincidence that May is the racing month which you are a very fan of or a lover of and a month were your daughter has a birthday of.

  12. May! yes I also love the month of may. May is my birthday, and may starts with letter M just like my name. May is a beautiful month for the racer, and I agree with you. But its quit confusing how or why did the racers love this month. Month of May is considered one of the hottest month, so it may be hard for the racers to race if the climate or temperature is hot. But still I love may as the racers month! I love your article! keep up the good work!

  13. Well I guest May is one of your luckiest month. This is also my favorite month of the year, May is my fathers birthday. I really love my father, but he is already gone. If I could steal one final dance another dance with him, i’ll play a song that will never ever end. How I love to dance my father again. Thanks for sharing your thought.

  14. Wow I never knew this before “1996 after partnering up with Ron Hemelgarn and grabbing a few sponsors to support us – we won the Indy 500!!”, I think and I bet it was really a nice experience and for me it is a once in a lifetime experience. I like racing really and seriously but I don’t have much funding so I just settle for smaller races.

  15. This is pure speed and literally this is all about racing. I am having much of fun with racing since I was a little and nothing will really be comparable when compared to racing. I think everyone loves racing and that is why in all of the places in the world there is always a racing and I think it is always traditional and we can of course understand it clearly.

  16. Pure is your article about racing and I just want to say that I agree with you that Indy 500 is a good sport. With the same sport formula one racing too is a good one and I don’t know which would I pick if I will be ask what is the number for me, though formula one racing is more popular as far as I know. Thanks for this and I am enjoying my visit.

  17. This is so touching, to see man to man like this “Buddy came in second and I gave him a big hug and apologized for not being in his pit. His response “ come on man, were brothers – this is racing –”, I can say “faith in humanity is restored”, you are really not a good friend but a kind hearted friend. I appreciate how you being honest to him.

  18. In any racing or any type of racing, the winner always win based on the speed and I think some factors or angles in our life share the same logic with the racing game and some of you can relate to me in that because some of us here really experience that in our life, just for example when you want to get promoted on a job you must really work speedy and productive.

  19. May is a month of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Therefore May in the Southern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of November in the Northern Hemisphere and vice versa. Several stories are passed around to show how the month of May was named. The most widely accepted explanation is that it was named for Maia, the Roman goddess of spring and growth. Her name related to a Latin word that means increase or growth. No wonder why racers love the month of may.

  20. I totally feel you in this ” I mean really? Why would you schedule Monaco the same day as the Indy 500? How am I supposed to make both races??!!”, you can’t really join on two races at the same time obviously and you have to really choose what race do you love the most, Monaco is fabulous and I know that but so as Indy 500 and it is in your place, it’s really a hard decision.

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