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Sharing the Race Experience with Christian
Hauler in Milwaukee by Christian Gorecki
Hauler in Milwaukee by Christian Gorecki

By James J. Gorecki

May 31, 2009
The Milwaukee Mile
Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis, WI

As far as race fans go, most would like to sit in the stands so they can see the finish line, and the entire track if possible. Last Sunday, at the A.J. Foyt/ABC Supply 225 Indy Car race in West Allis, in what has become an annual pilgrimage for me, I was accompanied by my oldest son, Christian, age 13.

A little background on myself, having grown up just north of turn four on South 79th Street, my first race at the Milwaukee Mile was in 1967, and this has become an annual event for myself, coming “home to my track” for the Indy Cars, and I get to see my mom and dad too, who still live in the same house I grew up in. This was the 53rd time that the Indy Cars have run at Milwaukee the week after the Indy 500, so the atmosphere at the track was very festive. Since starting my racing website, (, in 2005, I have received full press credentials for this race. That alone is a great value to me, but to see the race with Christian was just as exciting for me as it was for him! Excited as a kid in a toy store, I couldn’t wait for the racing to start.

We started the day off early, picking up our press credentials right at 8:00am, and proceeded to get VIP parking inside the infield. Good thing we had on comfortable walking shoes, as we were in the vast infield, with lots of ground to cover. I gave Christian the camera, and he took many interesting photographs.

Located just inside the backstretch, was some vintage Indy Cars from the 1930’s through the 1970’s. Starting there, we mingled amongst the many other fans, trying to catch a glimpse of the racing past. If these cars could only talk! The history lesson they could have taught, some of the cars there I remembered as a boy, and some I had only seen in pictures.

Christian and I checked out the current Indy car teams, which in itself is an amazing sight, with beautifully decorated race haulers, crewmembers with matching uniforms, emblazoned with their sponsor logos and matching toolboxes! The race team crews were busy swarming over their cars, in a choreographed routine to make their final pre-race adjustments. Included in this early morning rush, was the pre-race tech inspection, with inspectors seemingly measuring everything on every car that qualified for the race.

By 11:00am, we were at the top of the stands in turn one, joining my older brother Mike to watch some on track activities, which included a 100 Mile Indy Lights race, and 30 minute exhibition race of the vintage race cars. In all, some great photo opportunities for both the professional and the armature photographers alike. Incidentally, it was my brother Mike that brought me to my first race at this track, so it was nice to keep this “tradition” in the family for Christian.

The Milwaukee Mile does a great job on feeding the media personnel, and Christian and I took part in the great lunch served. The Indy Car race started at 2:30, and wanting Christian to be able to take in as much of the race as he could, we journeyed to the very top of the main grandstands, where we could see the entire track.

The 225-mile race was run in record time at an average speed of 138MPH, with only two caution flags, and won by Scott Dixon. But it won’t be the memory of the race I will cherish, but the experience I could share with Christian. The day was concluded with a long drive home to Menomonie, but with good conversation with my son, the ride went fast. Getting home just after midnight, we were both tired, but the experience of the day was something I was glad to share.