SVRA Fan Mail (page 4)
Dear SVRA and Friends,
Mr Robert Williams delivered to me a Plaque. WOW, Rookie Driver of the Year, I Thank You All for the recognition and the Plaque! I have to say that; “I accept the award, but feel wholly inadequate, but graciously accept your honor.” I actually keep waiting for the day that you all figure out that I am really Not a race car driver, and yank my credentials!
My Family and All those who know me, know that it has been a dream my whole life to drive on a race track. Growing up, when all of my friends had Posters of Farrah Faucet don their walls, I had posters of Steve McQueen, Parnelli Jones, Stirling Moss and Carrol Shelby. I know of nobody that appreciates the gift that ALL of your folks provide as much as I do… I find it unbelievable to be recognized as I have felt like more a “Pain in the Ass” to many in the SVRA, especially in choosing a car and the difficulties you all (Mr Linton, Mr Williams and Mr Snowdon) must have dealt with in my pursuit!
In my haste to become a member, I was told to “calm-down” and be patient, more than a few times. You see, when I finally ordered my car, I “HAD TO” be a member at once! I now feel that since Mr & Mrs Williams, Ms Hoxie and the entire Admin crew didn’t black-list me, they deserve the Plaque.
As I joined the SVRA, I set aside all of the best and most sensible advice (from the SVRA folks) to Get a more “Common” car and went, instead, with a Unique Car. I passed on more standard cars for the one that is difficult to get parts for, and now I understand (yep, first Rookie mistake). But I did listen when Mr Snowdon & Mr Linton begged me to stay away from a specific unsafe car (Dio-Ambro).
Despite the Great advice from all of the SVRA folks I did get a race car that is less common. GMT’s Vernon Williams & Mr JR Mitchell had plenty of patience to deal with my Rookieness (now it’s a word). JR counselled me at the first track I ever ran (Road America), he saw my mistake in thinking that ‘Anyone’ could service a race car and, I’m sure, he stood by silently laughing at me and my not-so-mechanic’s attempts to sort my car. He even lent me tools and kept an eye on me. They have since helped me get my car reliable so I can enjoy. For that, I Thank You, JR & GMT…
Mr Krause, responsible for Training Rookies, another unglorious but Uber important job that he does not get proper credit for. Mr Williams for insisting I don’t cut corners on Safety Gear. Both Mr Krause and Mr Williams, who made sure all of us “Rookies” did not go out and get hurt… Oh, and sitting next to me at the Road America DOT training class was the President of the SVRA, Mr Parella. For all of the folks that stand in the Sun and weather for us to “Safely” live our dream, I Thank you too. I follow Mr Krause on-line and hope to one day have a tenth of his skill.
To Mr Parella, for you and your Team and all of the clearly apparent hard work you put in, we all “Thank You” for allowing us to participate. No words can express the unbelievable opportunity to rub elbows with the likes of Parnelli Jones (my personal Hero) and all of the Pro Drivers assembled at Indy. WOW, is all I can say about your team and the clearly countless hours of planning and organizing that must have gone into such an endeavor. I’m sure my words can’t express all of the Members’ sheer joy in participating in your events, with your amazing staff.
I wish I were at the VIR event to properly Thank everyone, if was not Elk Archery hunting, I would have been there. I am enjoying safely competing in this wonderful hobby. I have learned a lot in the past year and a half and want to thank everyone involved. Even those that volunteer and spend countless hours “Tech’ing” cars, those that direct traffic, all involved, “Thank You.”
David G Zavetsky
Races like this make all the hard work involved worth it from both the competitor’s and SVRA’s side. I had a truly enjoyable weekend and look forward to next year. Thanks again Ray and enjoy COTA.
Tony, great event as usual! The S200 group 7a guys love SVRA, thanks for the Atlanta race et al.
Great weekend, great event. You and the SVRA staff have done it again. Thanks. Have a great winter and see you all at Sebring.
Tony – Great Time as usual! I – We – appreciate the quality events you’re putting together and the quality of your people – from registration – to Roger’s Tech support to Ray’s coordination of the kids! All top notch and professional.
This was my first time back racing with SVRA after a few years. I ran my group 8 Tiger and group 1 Sprite. Great event. Well run. First time at the Glenn so did your orientation program with Peter Krause and it was GREAT- well worth the time and extra cost… Good to be back with you guys…fun…
Just a note of appreciation for the DOP program. As a first year racer, I certainly do appreciate the job Peter and Ron are doing. Not only for the education on each of the tracks, but the safety that becomes built in… it is invaluable. I think it could also be billed as a “refresher” course as well. The DOP, in my opinion, is an absolute necessity and hope it continues.
Regardless of how hard they run in the front of the 40+ Group 6 cars, I’ve had a much greater degree of comfort when going out on the track
which translates into a truly enjoyable event.
Frank Dwayne Marcum
Thanks for putting on a great event. It was my first time @ the Glen and although we missed our race on Saturday (group 8), Sunday more than made up for it despite forgetting my transponder! We celebrated my son’s fourth birthday at the track on Sunday with about 23 other family members and everyone had a great time… truly great facilities and of course great racing.
I had the week of a lifetime competing at Indy this June. My thanks go to you, your staff, the IMS staff and volunteers, and everyone else involved in putting on such a spectacular event. My goal for the week was to drive at least one lap in the “feature” on Sunday. That would mean that I not only practiced and qualified but also raced at Indy. Little did I realize that I would not only get my one lap but I had the good fortune of placing first overall. My emotions were hard to contain when I turned in beneath the winner’s circle and discovered that was the podium the sign at pit-in was referring to. It is almost two months later and I’m still on a high from that experience. Thank you for your vision and your energy to make it a reality.
SVRA has shown me it is the “big dog” on the porch of vintage racing. Congratulations to all of you for being able to coordinate such a big undertaking so smoothly.
#73 1967 MG Midget
I wanted to thank you and your bride for such a fabulous weekend of racing at CA Speedway. Y’all are truly amazing folks and I hope you know how much happiness and value your hard work and devotion to our sport, creates for so many of us competitor/owners.
So Thank You again from my entire team. We look forward to returning to Fontana and racing in another of your events in the future. Tony and SVRA are lucky to have you on their growing team.
You are doing very good work to bring Vintage racing into the future. As a 31 year old racer, I am glad to know that this sport will have a home for decades to come.
Tony, Kim, Kathy, Ray, Roger…
I wanted to reach out and thank you all personally for another great effort making this weekend memorable for all. I want to also thank you all
for the hard work that this entire organization puts into making everyone feel important and needed . I have owned a business for over 33 years and know the importance of connecting with my clients at every level. The efforts Kim and Kathy put into tracking everyone for registration etc is a tough task I can assume but they have accommodated my needs within hours of an email as I have had to change venues over the last few months as my father battles his terminal illness. It is always nice to see Kim at registration greeting drivers from a face to first name basis making all feel very welcome.
Ray making rounds and always has a smile and a pleasant tone unless he is giving his pre-race pitch… He usually scares me for a few laps as I hear his voice…
Roger whom I have enjoyed our chats about Toyo vs Hoosier tires when I did not even know what that meant… Lol… Seriously, Roger knew we were under the gun swapping a motor Thursday evening finishing at 345 pm and came to our garage to tech the car early Friday morning so I did not miss track time… thanks for bringing me my clipboard.
Tony your passion is evident in everyone you choose to build around you. I enjoyed hearing the stories of Bobby Unser and Dick Simon… I want to say it’s amazing the venues that you and your organization put on the schedule as people ask where I am racing and when I tell them the tracks they are amazed at the names of the tracks we are exposed to.
I have enjoyed immensely my first year of racing as this weekend officially marks the end of my Rookie year. I removed the rookie stripe! Haha. I can say after running in NASA American Iron last summer and HSR last fall you are the best!!!
I owe John and Debbie Cloud tons of credit for steering me in the proper directions to learn the sport and guide me to all the right paths. They are great stewarts of SVRA and great friends to many. They also need an award to put up with me and my two million questions!
I want to again thank you all for the checkered flag award Saturday and all of your support. I plan on bringing many of my friends, clients and
family members to SVRA in the immediate future.
Tony – It has now been almost a month since your event at Indy and I wanted to tell you that, for me and the rest of the Pittsburgh contingent, we are still smiling and recounting the experience to anyone who will listen. You and your folks put on a great event and I hope it becomes a fixture on your calendar (and that we get invited to come back). Congratulations! John Bechtol
I would like to thank you and your entire staff on the great event this past weekend at Mid-Ohio. It was my first SVRA event and I must say I had a blast.
Have a great day and please pass this on to everyone that made my weekend very special,
#51 Mini Cooper
I just wanted to send a quick email and thank you for a fabulous weekend of racing! The feedback from the Mini racers, crews, and spectators is all positive, and I think everyone had a fantastic time. The weather even cooperated!
I know a lot of individuals at SVRA worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this race a success, but I think that Ray, Alex, Roger, & Kim were absolutely fantastic and deserve special mention. Without their knowledge and professionalism, things would not have run as smoothly and on time as they did. As we discussed, it is the things the racers don’t notice that “worked right”!
The Mini racing community will be talking about this epic event for many years to come, and thanks to you and your team, we have set the bar very high indeed for the next Can-Am race. On behalf of the Can-Am Mini Challenge Race Committee, thank you for a great event!
2014 Can-Am Mini Challenge Race
The smell of burned rubber and the sound of screaming engines are but fading memories by now, and the Brickyard has returned to the peaceful
pasture it once was. But in the minds of the men and women participating and spectating, what… a… week!
Let me add one more Giant Congrats to the thousands coming your way for the best Vintage Event I have attended, and I have been to that central coastal one in CA several times!
SVRA did a magnificent job orchestrating all the details, weather, schedules, and the thousand challenges I am sure we knew nothing about.
It was a great time with great racing and some amazing cars.
Thanks again to you and your team for another great event. First COTA, then the support race for F1 and then Indy! What’s next, the Ring or Spa?
Great job by your folks at Indy. Had my doubts initially but event was flawless when you consider the degree of difficulty in the equation. Had a wonderful time again! Keep up the good fight of getting us old dudes such spectacular memories.
See you at the track,
Just a note of thanks from an old timer for making a life long dream come true. Also, your SVRA team did an outstanding job. Our local paper did a write-up on my Indy experience: Walker follows dream to Indy
Thanks you for all you do for our sport,
Tony: Thanks again for such a memorable adventure onto the sacred grounds that I we have been experiencing via television and in person for so many years. Running my March on the oval, unrestricted sitting behind both Al and Bobby Unser was quite a thrill.
As an event organizer over the years, congratulations on putting on a fine show. Your staff sometimes a little overburden with questions were so nice an pleasant to work with especially in registration.
I hope we return again next year and if not thanks again
All the Best,
Thank you for bringing the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. From an automotive heritage perspective, this has to be one of the best motorsports events in the country. I was able to relive many stories from my Indy 500 memories.
Thanks for your hospitality and I hope to see you next year.
Dennis E. Horvath
I’m emailing to tell you that from my perspective you put on one of the best events we have ever run. I’m certain you worked extremely hard during the event and there were probably some difficulties but they were never evident to us or those around us. By the way our garage was next to Bobby Unser-how cool is that.
I have to say that everyone we were in contact with-you, Roger, Kathy, Billy (grid), the “yellow shirts”, the gentleman that parked my limping Kenworth, registration people, tech etc treated us very nicely and professionally.
Both Brian and James could not have had a better weekend. Thank you and we look forward to running with you in the future.
Upon your invitation, I was immediately aware of the singular importance of this event… to run a racecar on Hallowed ground is the opportunity of a lifetime for a “Racer.”
I got my Championship Chief Mechanic license here in 1970 after a call from the late Bud Morley to put together the Eagle Denny Hulme had run at the Speedway the previous year. When I arrived in Gasoline Alley the beginning of May, Morley opened the doors to a pile of parts and said here ya go… put it together and the engine will be here in a few days. I worked night and day for ten days but in the end. the deal fell apart with the owner of the engine and that was the end of that. I went over to Sam Posey’s garage having worked with him previously and Sam crashed his car during qualifying. I went home and never came back… till now.
My second place in Pre-War group was beyond my imagination. I don’t think I have ever driven so well with my limited experience so do not know how to gauge that podium finish with my 1947 midget racer against the true Pre-War group… namely the Maserati and Alpha Romeo. I was very humble and courteous to these folks on the podium but shades of 1959 and Roger Ward at Lime Rock, I don’t think they were as excited about my finish as I was. So be it.
I wish for you to know though, that I was most humble and appreciative of this momentous occasion in my life and VERY grateful for this opportunity you gave ALL of us!
#66 Kurtis Kraft Midget
We should be thanking you for giving us the opportunity to enjoy a very special event. Even though we had a few incidents with the NACAR’S, we are getting the car ready and we will see you at Mid Ohio.
As always, your staff was efficient, professional and very friendly.
Again, thank you for a memorable week end.
Stan and Susan Crawford
Just a note to tell you how much I enjoyed the event at Indy. You and your team did a terrific job with the inaugural event and I can only imagine the problems you had to solve to pull it off. The facility is top notch, the racing was great, the Saturday night dinner, music and fireworks were wonderful. Everyone involved was cheerful and helpful. I had a blast—hats off to everyone!
Group 3 #20
Tony just want to thank you for the great weekend we had at Indianapolis. being matched with Dick Simon for the pro am was the best time of my life. looking forward to next year thank you so much.
Thanks for a great experience at Indy. Even though our car had issues, we still had a fantastic time! From load-in to departure, things couldn’t have gone smoother. Saturday night’s activities were really over the top! The food was great, the band was fantastic, and that fireworks display was impressive! Your staff’s ability to adapt to variable weather conditions and make changes to ensure maximum track time was impressive. The call on Sunday to push everything 90-minutes was genius! The Pro-Am race was the pinnacle of the weekend, it literally brought tears to many of us to see our hero’s out there doing what they were born to do… race! Thanks again to you and the entire SVRA staff for all the hard work pulling off what turned out to be one of, if not THE, greatest vintage racing event ever held. You have raised the bar. By the way, how do you
plan to top this?
Well, the event is over and we just returned to CA last night late after 2200 mile trek over the hot stretch of desert from New Mexico to Arizona to CA – temp was 108 deg F in Arizona and 107 in New Mexico and CA. No A/C since we were pulling the two car trailer.
However, it was worth every sweaty moment in travel to have been at your inaugural event – what a week. We are so glad that we went – it was one of the best we ever attended and it should be on many folks bucket list – the chance to race a car at Indy. Both the road course and oval were special.
Karen was in a group of 67 open wheel cars, all but two were rear engine cars so only two front engine cars. Her white #58 1960 BMC Formula Junior is a front engine car. As such, she was not in front but really had a good time in the slower third and had time to play with others. Her car ran without a problem.
My car, the red #16 Riley-Ford champ car was in the pre-war group with about 35 others may have seemed tame to some but it typlified the origins of Indy since we had a car from 1909 to others in the early 1950s but were small bore. I found that I could easily throttle steer through many of the curves (sliding around the corners) and that seemed to be enjoyed by the spectators. My car had no failures but there were loose bolts that needed to be tightened after each time on the track – vibration does that.
We stayed Sunday to the very end and watched the final afternoon of races at the edge of the track by start/finish. We kept on our racing suits and had photos standing in the winners circle. We met and talked to your mom and she agreed that you were a special son – lots of ambition and capability for success.
So, we are back in CA, planning for the next event.
We really appreciate all that you and your team did to make the Brickyard Invitation a special and rewarding event. We heard from just about everyone (spectator) that came by or we spoke with that they found the event very special. Apparently, they really liked to be able to talk with driver and also be up close to the racecars. We let some of them, especially children, sit in our cars and they had big smiles when their folks took photos.
The racecar photo card was a wonderful idea and a bit hit with the spectators too.
We took time on the way home to stop by the Unser museum and had photos taken with Al Sr. He too liked the racecar photo card and kept one of each.
Dale and Karen
First of all thank you once again to you and your great support team for another wonderful and memorable event.
The SVRA crew were able to orchestrate this huge event facing each hurdle and managing a big crowd of fanatic enthusiasts. I was really thrilled to be there on this historic event. We drove 16 hours with our trailers to be part of this and even if my transmission broke on Thursday afternoon, I really enjoyed my weekend! Hats off to all the crew for keeping their cool and smiles even if some participants weren’t always very understanding of the magnitude of the coordination of this event.
Since I didn’t have a steering to be on the track all weekend, we walked, watched, talked and shopped more than usual.
I wanted to buy SVRA shirts and patches for my suit and went to the registration office to do so. As I was looking at the products, I heard a man complain about the time it took to access the track with the trailers, the coordination of the race groups and delays and shortened sessions on the track. The guy was saying “When you pay this kind of money you expect more…” I myself organized a few events and know that you can’t please everyone.
I told my wife, why do people always have to see what’s wrong and forget to see what’s right? As I was commenting on the negative comments from that person, I turned to the souvenir table and said: “I want to congratulate everyone at SVRA for their efforts and for the great organisation of this event” The lady at the SVRA smiled and said thank you. She said, “you know everybody tries very hard to do the best they can to make it a collective success.”
These are the words of wisdom I got from a very nice and charismatic 83 year old MOM at the SVRA souvenir booth. “A bad attitude is like a flat tire, if you don’t change it, you wont go very far…”
Tony, you have a great MOM, she is really proud of you and what you are doing. She’s your number one fan and a great promoter of you and your work.
Congratulations to you and all your team.
I will see you again at Watkins Glen this fall. She had me promise her to look her up at the event to say hello. She also told me that the Italian meetballs will be ready for you when you get there!!!
Thank you from your Montreal friends,
Emmanuel Moreira and Sylvie Leclair
Thanks for an awesome experience this last weekend at Indy.
I believe you and the SVRA staff will make one of the single largest contributions to vintage racing we have seen in decades.
Despite the known risk of placing new events on the calendar like COTA and Indy you have surpassed everyone’s expectations to the point of having gone from an unknown event to a must attend event in single year .
If you keep this up we will all be broke from racing sooner than we expected!
I just wanted to thank you for the experience I had racing at Indy. I never dreamed that I would get to race on that road course, let alone drive around the oval. You and your staff are always such a pleasure to deal with that I’m always comfortable asking questions or getting directions from the workers even though I’m fairly new to SVRA. I’m already looking forward to racing at COTA again and Indy next year, along with any SVRA race I can manage to attend in between. Thank you again for a fantastic experience.
Tony, I had a spectacular time at Indy and none of it would have happened without your leadership. I think back over the last 2 years and what has changed at SVRA all for the better. It is all about leadership and communication. Great job!
The event was the best vintage race I have ever attended. It was well organized and a lot of fun exactly what it should be.
Your attention to detail is fantastic, right down to the trading cards, very nice touch and everybody loved them. The SVRA slogan of “Some People Collect Art. WE RACE IT” is so powerful I think you should have SVRA decals that say that I would run one on my car.
The lapping of the Oval was a real treat and worth every bid of what you did to make it happen, When I came out of INDY turn 4 onto the front straight I said Wow in my helmet. Just to think of all the famous drivers who have driven that line over the past century! very tough to beat.
The party was a lot of fun and my pro driver Eliseo Salazar was a gentlemen and fantastic in my car. I am going to hooking up with him in Chile in the next month or so. If you have anything to send him I would be happy to take it with me.
You can count me in for next year for sure and I would be proud to drive again with Eliseo. Keep up the good work.
PS I was happy to be the lone Ford on the podium, so much fun and Eliseo loved the opportunity to drink milk at Indy.
Tony & SVRA Team,
Three of us, Robert Merritt (Super Vee), Bob Hatle & Todd Strong (Formula Ford’s) from San Diego had a great time in groups 9 and 2. The SVRA team did a great job from our view and we will be bragging to all of our southwest buddies about the event and get them motivated to come back with us next year.
Thanks for fantastic Job! …not perfect I am sure but we thought very well done for a first time ever deal!
Hope to see you at AutoClub Speedway weekend after next.
Although I did not compete at Indy as I lost my engine at VIR a month ago in the TVR, you and your team deserve some praise. I came as crew for a fellow Group 8 racer and was so impressed at what you were able to put together. Not competing gave me a chance to roam the paddocks and observe your team in action. Everything from logistics to security to vendors was truly impressive at every level. At 30 years old, I’ve been involved in vintage racing with SVRA with my father since 1994 and that was THE most impressive event I’ve been to. Of all the tremendous business accomplishments and acquisitions you’ve had in you life (which are very impressive and give me something to strive for) I hope this ranks up there for you. Knowing that you’re responsible for fulfilling the dreams of so many racers should be a great feeling. I’m sure you know that vintage racers are not like other racers…we have a true passion for our sport and our cars. Placing us on track at INDY was a wonderful experience. So, Thank You for doing what you’re doing for our sport with your club and your team. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I know I appreciate it.
Hopefully you’ll make it to the PVGP this year if your schedule allows. If so, we can do dinner again.
Christopher M. Zappa
It was my Pleasure! I had a Great time! I look forward to working with you and Tony in the future. Please let me know if there’s anything that I can do!
All the Best!
Al Unser Jr
I have been wanting to write to express my appreciation for what you are doing for SVRA and vintage racing in general. My first professional race was about 65 years ago; Since then I’ve raced professionally and otherwise on four continents, and I have been racing with SVRA since 1994. With this background it is clear to me that you have brought both SVRA and vintage racing to a new level.
The Brickyard Invitational was a truly remarkable tour de force. You and your very hard working staff deserve immense credit for even trying it, much more for pulling it off so well. My Ginetta’s engine died so I did not finish the event, but that did not stop me from enjoying it and appreciating what a great success it was.
I look forward to meeting you at a future event. This brings my appreciation and very best wishes for your continuing successes,
Tony, I’m sure your email is overflowing with accolades regarding the Brickyard event. All those I talked with were in awe of going down thru the stands and across the yard of bricks and appreciative of the hospitality of everyone they came in contact with. You and your organization did an outstanding job.
My cousin was unable to attend however and sends his thanks for your kindness. Likewise he will not be in town for the Mid-Ohio event.
Thanks again. I hope to meet you at one of your events, and even a higher hope that my cousins Corvette will meet your Golden Medallion standards and be invited to next year’s Vintage Brickyard.
Congratulations and thanks for a spectacular inaugural vintage event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We enjoyed every aspect of the event and our entire team had a great time.
As you know, Abel Motorsports hosted a group of kids from St. Joseph Children’s Home in Louisville on Thursday, June 5. These young people were chosen to come on this trip because they had excelled in school this year. All had great grades and attending the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational was their reward. The 2 adult hosts and 7 children were amazed at all there was to see and experience. They loved collecting the Hero Cards throughout the garages. Many of them were signed by the drivers. They were especially proud of those. One young man was excited to help with everything.
As you can see from the picture, he helped Mark Gibbs take off the tires on the Shelby then helped Gene Huber clean the rims. This quote from one of the adults sums it up, “We had soooo much fun! The kids didn’t want to leave. Good food, new friends and fast loud cars! Even the girls still talk about it!”
Many thanks to Kim and Linda for their help with getting the group parked and credentialed. Also thanks to the drivers and crews in the garage area who welcomed them into their space and took a moment to talk to them about their cars and the racing experience. They went home thrilled to be so close to the organized chaos of the vintage racing world. Our entire team benefited in so many ways from having them join us for a day. We have permission from St. Joes if you would like to share any of the pictures or the story on social media.
Thanks again for a wonderful week, not only for us, but St. Joes kids as well.
Thank you for an absolutely EPIC event at Indy. All of us from Texas had a great time all around. It’s hard to imagine all the work that went into making this event a success, but from my perspective, you guys pulled it off, flawlessly. Your team is OUTSTANDING, and we were treated very, very well. The dinner was great, Grand Funk, I mean GRAND FUNK? I was shocked at how many lyrics I remembered! Then the spectacular fireworks—awesome! And, of course, the racing-great fun, and LOVED doing the oval (I was wishing for a V8 for that one!). We will be looking for our invitation to the 2015 Brickyard! See you at COTA!
PS: I gave out so many cards, I need a re-print! Can I get the file to print up some more? Yes, THAT was a GREAT idea!
You da man! Thank you for making the dream possible,
Wow! What a week of fun and work at Indy!
I brought two cars, one for me and one for Karen. Karen’s care broke, but I “won at Indy!” (Gold medallion, class win, but I won’t say it that way.)
There was a huge crowd, 60 cars in group 8, 650+ registered cars, huge paddocks, plenty of room for everyone. There was some rain on test morning and Sunday off and on. I saw loads of DOTYs – Brian MacEachern, Pat Ryan (broke & wrecked cars – long story), Scottie Yeager (Tom’s agent), Dave Handy, Sean Ryan, Larry Neviaser, and Lee Talbot (broke car) – but we missed some DOTYs, too. Saw lots of old friends.
The SVRA staff did a great job under very trying conditions – lots of spectators taking “business cards.” The Saturday night dinner, entertainment, and fireworks were outstanding; no waiting for food, lots of seating, Grand Funk Railroad for noise (music), and lights in the sky. Good, cool evening. All in all, a great time!
I also have great new respect for driving into turn 1 at 230 mph.
What an awesome commitment!
Kim, I want to thank you for the courtesy of providing credentials for me to the Brickyard event.
The girls gave me a “vendor” wristband instead of a “media” band, but it didn’t keep me from going where I wanted to go. Part of having been around so long everybody knows you, I guess.
Because of transportation issues, I was only able to attend on Saturday, but this was one of the most enjoyable days I’ve ever spent at a race track of any kind, and at 75, I’ve been involved in motorsports since I was nine.
We had a couple of vintage road course events at IRP while I was there that were neat, but nothing like this.
This was the closed-circuit equivalent of a Goodguys Rod & Custom and drag racing show. Everybody out there simply having fun. I sincerely hope it becomes an annual event.
I saw everything from a 1909 Alco-6 to a NASCAR Ford with a duck on the quarter-panel. That covers more than 100 years of racing history. I saw cars I hadn’t seen for years, and it brought back all kinds of memories from both road racing and oval racing.
Thank you once again, and I hope to meet you in person next year.
I have just returned from Indy and I have to say that this past weekend was the most fabulous, exciting, interesting and enjoyable weekend I have ever spent in my entire life at the Indianapolis Motorsport Speedway. The program was extremely well organized and the yellow shirts were very willing to help and treated the participants with respect. The event certainly deserved more press. The Posters, Rings and Programs were outstanding. As a competitor, it was great to have the fans on the mounds cheering me on. They were enthusiastic and seemed very appreciative of all of the track events. The fireworks were breathtaking!
Congratulations on the attention to detail that was evident in every aspect of the event, I certainly hope this event continues for many years in the future.
All the best,
Thank you and your whole organization for putting on such an incredible event. I cannot imagine the logistical nightmare it had to be to handle so many cars and so many of us crazies. Job well done you should be proud.
PS The trading cards are the neatest thing I have ever gotten in 45 years of racing!
Tony, just wanted to say thank you for a great weekend. My wife and I enjoyed the racing so much. We have been racing fans for many years and the opportunity to see so many different cars at one time was special. We give you two thumbs up for the professional way everything was ran. The logistics of putting on such an event must be mind boggling . Next year we hope to bring our son and his wife and our six year old grandson.
Mark & Cindy Wiegand
Great event. All the preparation and attention to detail really shined through. Amazing job by all the SVRA people. Please let them all know my team and I really had a blast and appreciate all the hard work they put into this event. Thanks to all.
Indy was a fabulous event. Congratulations and thanks to you and all the folks at SVRA. I hope it was as successful for you as it was for all of us. Running on the Oval was the highlight of the event. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to live the dream. I still get chills thinking about it. Driving on the Oval was the most memorable event in my 16 years of racing. Thanks again for making this happen.
See you at Mid-Ohio.
Thanks for all you are doing for vintage racing. I know you are taking a lot of risk with all of this. Thank You!
Thank you Tony, my boyhood fantasy came true yesterday. Dale Oesterle
I grew up at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, My Brother Jimmy Caruthers raced there in the early 70’s, I can remember sneaking in the big tent that the balloons are released from when I was 6 or 7 years old when I was a kid and teams worked on there cars all summer in the garage area I would go over and bother guys that worked on the cars, some became my friends as I got older, some of them I idolize to this day. By the time I was in Junior High I got an after school job in the IMS museum, I am pretty sure that is where my love of the history of auto racing started. I drove Midgets, Sprint Cars and Silver Crown cars for 20 years, When I started racing the main reason was because I wanted to race in the Indy 500 like almost anyone who ever strapped in a race car, that never happened but Thanks to Tony Parella and the SVRA I was able to do something I have dreamed about my whole life, no it wasn’t the Indy 500 but I did get to drive a real race car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Thank you Tony Parella for making my dream come true
I just wanted to send a quick “Thank you”. The boys from Rochester had a great time at Indy. I spoke with several locals at the track. All had great praise for what SVRA did. The hero cards were a great hit and success. You put on a great event. Thank you.
Looking forward to WGI in Sept.
MG BGT #68
File this with the other 375 emails thanking your team for a exceeding expectations on last weekends Indy event. Bravo! See you at Watkins Glen…I’ll leave Geoff at home this time.
I’m having a hard time putting words together to describe the emotions. You and the entire SVRA crew should be beaming with pride after the fabulous job y’all did at Indy. I don’t know how many dreams for how many people you made come true. The entire experience was GREAT. So well coordinated with the IMS crew it was hard to believe it was the first time. The Pro-Am has given me memories that I will treasure. SVRA has made such a positive difference in my attitude toward my racing, and I have you to thank. Great Job.
Just wanted to say thanks for the great racing at Indy. Although the weather seemed a player the event was my first and it was impressive. Thanks again!
I would like to congratulate and thank SVRA for a very successful and well planned event at Indy. The dinner was excellent and the evening entertainment as well. We are honored to have been a part of this historic event.
I just thought I would send you a quick note. We had the time of our lives. It was wonderful… to be able to race at the Indy 500 track and be in the same race that my son was in a thrill that is hard to describe. A once in a life time dream come true. We enjoyed the whole week and everyone involved with SVRA was so professional and NICE. I wasn’t able to run the second Qualifier as my car was being repaired, so I went to the pit wall and watch Jonathan qualify and it brought a tear to my eye to see him come around that corner and run across though bricks WOW… Thank you for everything, I am still on cloud nine.
The Brickyard Invitational was a logistical, organizational and presentational tour de force. Kudos to you and SVRA staff for an impressive debut. Well done.
Tony: I cannot thank you enough for what you created this last week and what you have done for me, Vintage Racing and what we still have ahead of us for the next 5 years.
A quick and short story. Though we came all the way from Newport Beach, California, ready to take on our competitive world, my oldest grandson (7 years of age and being indoctrinated into the hobby by his Grandpa) was brought down from Ann Arbor, Michigan with the idea that he would see me race and then go home. I qualified pretty well in the Group 6 race, but my car’s tranny linkage failed during the Feature Race. I was disappointed but soon realized that I could spend the rest of the day with my grandson. He had his hand out to each car owner, at each pit area, collecting “those Cards”. I had more fun than racing that day and created a new bond with him that will last a lifetime.
So many things to enjoy, least of which are those things that are unexpected. The graphic my staff put together for me (see enclose) this morning is being sent to him for his room. Probably a future SVRA member.
Thank You and see you in Austin.
Wonderful event at Indy. I thought COTA was the best event ever… could never be topped… but you guys did it… amazing!