Indy 500 — My time with the Snakes

INDIANAPOLIS — Fifteen minutes is enough to last a lifetime.

For 15 minutes on Saturday, I found myself in the Snake Pit during the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It was my first time in the Pit, and it will most certainly be my last.

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Column: Line Drives — Curiosity reveals answers at Indy

[This is my column in the May 29 issue of The Commercial Review.]

SPEEDWAY — As a sports writer — really, any journalist — we’re supposed to be curious.

In addition to writing about how things happened, reporters write about why things happened.

Part of our job is to be curious. To ask questions.

Last year covering the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, my main goal was to just take in the entire experience — the massiveness that is the track, the size and speed of the machines, the number of working media members and all the other behind-the-scenes happenings.

During my sophomore stint Sunday at The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, curiosity started to kick in.

I was no longer an Indy 500 rookie. I had been to the track before and I had a better idea of where things were.

While in pit lane during pre-race activities, I took a ton of photos — steering wheels, actual wheels, ground-level shots of the cars, paint schemes, gas tanks, friends in the crowd.

I even took video of Alex Tagliani’s pit crew practicing replacing tires.
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Column: Foul Ball — Crashes caused a strange Sunday

[This is my column in the May 19 issue of The Commercial Review.]

Editor’s note: This is the launch of a special Foul Ball column, a play off of Chris Schanz’s normal Line Drives column on Thursdays. Foul Ball will appear from time to time in print and on

SPEEDWAY — It was a strange weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

First, Mother Nature dropped rain in the area Saturday after two drivers had completed the first round of qualifying for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500.

IMS and IndyCar officials were forced to postpone Saturday’s schedule to Sunday, cramming two days worth of activities into one.

Then Sunday morning during his practice run, Indianapolis native Ed Carpenter crashed into the wall, spinning his car around, causing it to go airborne and land upside down.

Carpenter’s grueling wreck — he walked away unscathed — wasn’t a one-time thing either. Two other drivers have had their cars leave the ground this week.
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Column: Line Drives — Sports bucket list will shorten

[This is my column in the April 17 issue of The Commercial Review.]

Everyone has a bucket list.

There are things we all want to do before our time on earth is done.

I have two bucket lists — one just for sports and one for general life goals.

I’ve been fortunate enough over the last few years to cross some items off my lists.

Become a first-generation college graduate. Done. Travel overseas. Done. Start my career. Done, although it took some time. Visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Done and done.

Next up is shortening my sports bucket list.

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