The other part of my Indy 500 weekend that I have not written about yet was the annual "Night Before The 500" event at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont a few short miles west of the Speedway. The USAC National Midget Series ran a 50 lap feature and the show had the F2000 and Star Mazda series as support races. The midget feature was won by Tanner Swanson over Bryan Clauson in a heated battle that was punctuated by an early red flag for a scary three car incident where Daniel Bedford got launched out of the park on the backstretch. Luckily he was not injured but the event settled down from there and Swanson was a surprise winner. The F2000 event began the racing for the evening but the real star of the night turned out to be Conor Daly, son of former F1 and Indy 500 driver and current television racing analyst Derek Daly. Conor led every lap of the 125 Star Mazda event which was stopped a couple of laps early to get the midget race underway. When Conor got to Victory Lane, it seemed like he brought half the City of Noblesville out of the stands with him to celebrate. Conor looks like the real deal and was never seriously challenged in the Star Mazda event. It's clear he is going places in racing and has won three Star Mazda races already this on the "Road to Indy". This slide show is a mix of F2000, Star Mazda and USAC Midget action from that night.
You never know where you're going to find me with my cameras, and you know I'll have something to say. By the way - my Indy 500 Rookie of the Year pick Simona de Silvestro was extremely lucky at Texas last night. What took the safety crews so long to get fire retardant on her car? The IRL better look at that and make sure they are ready to go for Iowa. While I can't make the trek to Rusty Wallace's nice little oval, I'll have sports car action from beautiful Mid Ohio to bring you before you know it.