Engines rev up for Indy race at Infineon

August 26, 2011 7:59:09 PM PDT
This weekend in Sonoma, Infineon Raceway will roar over the next couple of days. It is an event race fans in the Bay Area look forward to every year.

If you like motor racing, this is the life. Indy cars have come to Infineon Raceway this weekend. You'll be able to hear the sound of music -- Infineon raceway style. This music has no beat, no tunes, no lyrics and to those who come to hear it, no rival.

When asked what he liked about this event, Indy car fan Frank Guerrini said, "Well you have a 1,400 pound car, you've got 750 horsepower, and you're basically strapping yourself inside of a missile."

Actually, Danica Patrick and other professional drivers are strapping themselves into missiles. The rest of us are just watching.

These are the same cars that run the Indianapolis 500 every year, but different, by now. Instead of running 230 miles an hour around an oval track, they push about 160 here, with different gearing and suspension, and tighter turns generating five Gs.

"This is a challenging track. It separates the wheat from the chaff," said Mike Hartgraves, a Jack Man.

Hartgraves works in the pits, where every job is ultra-specialized. If you spend $20 million to race a car, all season, you can probably afford a guy like him.

When asked if you can get insurance for an Indy car, Hartgraves said, "There is a type of insurance, but it's real costly."

Of course, that's another reason why it's more penurious to watch, than to drive -- even if you do spend $800 for a mobile home parking space and tickets, this weekend. Lots of people say the grass is greener up at that level of parking.


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