My bucket list continues to shrink. Four years ago I checked off the first track on my list, Milwaukee. Last year kind scheduling allowed the chance to cross off more places. This year it will shrink even more. I wonder what happens if I finish my bucket list. Maybe I don’t want to know. Fortunately, one of the tracks will be pretty near impossible for me to get to.
If Indycar races at a track, I want to go there. However, not all tracks have historic significance. It is those tracks with a long history of Indycar and sports car racing that hold the most fascination for me. I have been to every track on the current Indycar circuit except for Texas. Strangely, I don’t care if I ever go there. One reason is timing. After an entire of Indianapolis and then Detroit, I need a break. Even though Texas is an oval, I think Indycar has outgrown the 1.5 mile cookie cutter ovals like Texas, Chicago, and Kentucky. I loved Kentucky, but the DW12 can race better elsewhere.
The bucket list tracks I have been to since Milwaukee are Sebring, Long Beach, Toronto, and Phoenix. A little bit about each one:
Milwaukee- Long before The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a gleam in Carl Fisher’s eye, cars raced at Milwaukee. History oozes from the track, very much like IMS. Flat urns and short straightaways make this a challenging track. I really enjoyed the racing here. It’s sad that there will most likely be no more racing here.
Toronto- Exhibition Place is a great venue for an Indycar race. The Prince’s Gate is a fantastic landmark as the drivers head for turn 1. The weekend has the same feeling as Indy. The fans are very friendly and knowledgeable. When the track closes, you get to spend the evening in Toronto. This race is a win-win.
Sebring- I had wanted to go to the Sebring 12 hour race since I was in 5th grade. I finally made it last year. This is not the place for a lot of the creature comforts many tracks have today. It is old fashioned in every sense. Most fans camp here, and the party atmosphere is evident all weekend. I have always found something romantic about endurance racing. Attending one in person only reinforced that feeling.
Phoenix- Next to Sebring, Phoenix was the track I had wanted to go to the longest. It had been off the Indycar schedule for years, and I thought I would never get to see a race here. I was overjoyed when Phoenix was announced as part of the 2016 schedule. The setting is beautiful. The oval with a turn 2 dogleg nestles at the foot of the mountains.
This year’s Indycar schedule also allows me to get two more tracks off of my list- Road America and Watkins Glen. These are two of the most historic tracks in The United States, and I was losing hope of ever getting to see a race there. I wll share my impressions after the races there.
The last tracks on my bucket list are in Europe- Spa, Le Mans, and Monaco. I am planning to go to Le mans in 2018. Monaco is most likely not possible unless the date does not conflict with the 500. I’ve got to keep my 50% ratio there. Spa is possible, though a bit of a far-fetched fantasy. So, what happens when this bucket list is complete? I have other lists involving vacation travel. I should be around for a very long time.