Saturday, April 4, 2009

Going racing

Just because the Lightning were up in Long Island tonight, it doesn't mean that we sat home and twiddled our thumbs. Nope, not with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg taking place just up the street.

From taking in Indy Racing League practice laps yesterday to watching American Le Mans Series and Indy Lights races earlier today, we've spent the past two days getting our fills of speed, roaring engines and generally immersing ourselves in this particular racing scene.

It's been a hoot, too.

Lots of interactive exhibits, up-close looks at team paddocks and more than a few photo opportunities inside sleek and colorful machines.

And, of course, the weekend wouldn't be complete without snagging a few autographs from a few of the IRL's big name drivers:

Scott Dixon, defending IndyCar Series champion, won the 2008 Indy 500

Dario Franchitti, the 2007 Indy 500 winner, won the 2007 IndyCar Series

Alex Tagliani, a Montreal native, also races in NASCAR's Canadian series

Did you know that Dan Wheldon lives right here in Hockey Bay? I can't remember, though, if I've ever seen him at a Lightning game.

Check out the metallic finish on this IRL driver card from Justin Wilson.

Other IRL drivers signing over the past few days were Ryan Briscoe, Ed Carpenter, Mike Conway, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Darren Manning, Raphael Matos, Hideki Mutoh, Will Power and E.J. Visu.

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