Cool July

It sure hasn’t felt like summer, and we’re going down in the record books for it.

It’s been the coolest July in more than 60 years in Indianapolis!

The National Weather Service has crunched the numbers:

The average temperature for the first 26 days of July is 5 degrees below normal…the second coolest of record and the lowest since 1947. The average maximum temperature so far in July is the lowest of record…nearly 2 degrees below the previous record of 1909. Temperatures will be warmer Monday and Tuesday…but both trends will continue through Friday. 

So far all of July’s daily average temperatures have been below normal except for the 10th. The temperature will fail to reach 90 degrees in July for the first time since 2004. This will be the 9th July since 1871 to not reach 90 degrees. Typically 7 days in July reach 90 degrees

It’s a Bird, a Plane, the Space Shuttle?

Keep your eyes peeled, and look up to the sky after 9:30 Monday night. You could catch of glimpse of the space shuttle!

If you time your night just right, you could get a peek at the International Space Station, or the Shuttle, as it moves over Central Indiana!  Something that seems worlds away could be quite a family experience.

To see the exact time the shuttle is expected to cross paths with your location, just click here.  You’ll need to select your location, then find the time of the expected crossover.

To optimize your viewing, NASA has provided the following tips.

As for the forecast, that has to cooperate too!  Tonight we are expecting partly cloudy skies, so viewing should be possible.

Fizzy Milk

If you’re a regular visitor to our Sunrise blog, you know, I love food. But, carbonated milk? I guess I’ll have to try it.

I love weird food, and flavored drinks.  One of my favorite drinks is called a Boba.  I usually drink them when I have Dim Sum with my family in Phoenix.  It’s a sweet drink with tapioca balls in the bottom.  Weird, but good!

I think I’ll try this newest drink from Coke, but I’m not sure I’ll like it.  The concept?  Fizzy milk.  Dairy farmers hope it promotes milk consumption, but I’m a little iffy on the taste.  I guess I’ll just have to wait for it to come to Indy.  However, it could be one of those things that’s so weird… it’s good!

Magnificent Monday

Okay, you may not be excited to start another work week, but today’s weather will be nice!

Highs today will reach the mid 80s with increasing clouds throughout the day.  Today will nearly be a repeat of Sunday with temperatures just a few degrees warmer.

Overnight, lows will drop to the low to mid 60s.

Tuesday will be the tale of two forecasts.  Highs will reach the mid 80s, with nice conditions in the morning.  In the afternoon, our chance for showers and thunderstorms increases.  The rain sticks around through Wednesday morning.  Wednesday afternoon should dry out with highs around 80 degrees.

No severe weather is expected at this time, but we’ll keep an eye on the changing forecast!

Johnson wins!

Jimmie Johnson became the first driver to win back-to-back races at The Brickyard when a speeding penalty knocked Juan Pablo Montoya out of contention.

Jimmie Johnson became the first driver to win back-to-back races at The Brickyard when a speeding penalty knocked Juan Pablo Montoya out of contention.

Montoya led 116 laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and had a five-second lead over the competition when NASCAR flagged him for speeding as he entered pit road with 35 laps left in Sunday’s race.

Montoya furiously denied driving too fast — even swearing on his wife and two children that NASCAR made a mistake — but the penalty dropped him to 12th and put the race up for grabs.

Mark Martin restarted as the leader with 24 laps left, but Hendrick Motorsports teammate Johnson sailed past him for his third win in four years at Indy.

Kyle Busch blows tire

Kyle Busch is telling reporters that he wasn’t sure what happened with his right front tire. At this point they don’t know if it was the car or the tire that caused it to blow, but he sure didn’t sound happy about it. He’d been running a pretty good race up until that point – then he noticed it getting tight and a vibration so strong that he was going to need new eyeballs, as he put it. The car is in the garage and Busch is out of the car.

Joey Logano, who is just 19, is showing patience beyond his years. He’s in 20th position. He’s methodical and is having a good race.

And we’re green!

We’re off and racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!

While it wasn’t quite Moraes-esque, Robby Gordon kept up this year’s tradition of first lap yellows at IMS with a spin out of Turn 4. From what I could hear through the rumble of engines, he may have hit some moisture on the track, likely from the 19 car of Elliott Sadler. Sadler’s Best Buy crew spent some time in the pit looking under the hood, then made a run toward Gasoline Alley. I haven’t seen him come back out.

UPDATE: Gordon’s sister, Beccy, posted on Twitter that Sadler laid some oil down on the track.

Gordon, on the other hand, got checked out, caught up to the pack under yellow and has climbed back up around 33rd.

The story of the restart, however, was Juan Pablo Montoya. The 2000 Indy 500 champ knows how to drive here, passing leader Mark Martin and opening up a 3-second lead just about nine laps into the race. This would be a heck of a place for him to get his first win on a NASCAR oval.

22 laps in, Montoya still leads Martin by about 3 seconds, with Tony Stewart climbing into third. Brian Vickers and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. round out the top five. Defending champ Jimmie Johnson is on the move as well, starting 16th and shooting into the top six.

Lap 31 and we’re seeing some pit stops among the leaders. Tony Stewart stayed out and was shown as the race leader, but he’s now taking on tires as I type.

Most of the cars have gone through a pit stop. Stewart is still shown as the leader, Martin and Montoya in 3rd and 4th.

The massive empty stretches of bleachers gained a few folks, but there are still large areas of metal seats. Same goes for the short chute between 1 & 2. Maybe there was something to all the economy & tire issue stories we’ve done the past week or two.

Lap 35 – We’ve shuffled back around out of the pit stops and Montoya is back on top in the 42, followed by Martin, Vickers, Stewart and Johnson.

Lap 50 – We’re still green, with nothing of note since the Gordon spin in Lap 1. Looks like the “tires are fine” talk was true. Good for Goodyear to put the time and effort into getting that worked out.

Montoya still leads as he and Martin work in and around lapped traffic, making the roar of the engines a steady one around IMS. Not much change in the rest of the top six, with Stewart, Vickers, Johnson and Earnhardt following the top two.  At this point, it would be easy to say that pit stops will win this race, but NASCAR is always good for finding specks of debris in the closing laps.

Lap 80 – We’re halfway and it’s all Juan Pablo Montoya! He came off a restart after Kyle Busch went out with tire issues from contact and, like he did on the previous restart, opened up about a four-second lead on Mark Martin. Brian Vickers is putting together a good run in third and Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson are lurking in the top 5. But this one’s looking like JPM’s to lose.

Lap 103 – Montoya. I wish there was more to say. He pitted a lap after the rest of the field, did it perfectly and even opened up his lead. Unreal.

Lap 129 – In the span of about a lap and a half, we’ve got ourselves a race. All Montoya had to do is not mess up and he apparently messed up, entering pit road too quick. He only dropped to 12th and he definitely has the car today, but with 30 laps to go and some big names (and former winners) in front of him, this chance may have slipped by.

Right after that wrapped up and Montoya took his drive-thru penalty, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. blows up coming off of Turn Four and the smoke brings out our third caution.

Martin takes over the lead and Jimmie Johnson, the two-time winner that started 16th has worked his way into second. Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers round out the top 5 as we get ready to go back to green with about 25 laps to go. Jeff Gordon is in eighth.

It’s still anybody’s race.

Lap 151 – And what a race it’s turning out to be. Jimmie Johnson passes Martin on the restart out of Earnhardt’s caution, but Martin is within a half-second and closing. Montoya dropped to 15th on the restart and will have to be happy with 116 laps led, it appears. Might make for an interesting postrace commentary, though, JPM and some of his camp claim he wasn’t speeding when he was hit with the penalty.

Jimmie Johnson holds off Mark Martin to win his third Allstate 400 at the Brickyard! I got some pretty good post-race photos, make sure you check them out!

The buildup continues

The drivers are on the track, ready to drop the green flag on the 16th Allstate at the Brickyard!

Less than an hour until the green flag drops here at the Speedway, the drivers are on the track, headed to their cars, but are the fans headed to their seats? Along the front straight away, there are rows upon rows of bleachers still unfilled. There are still plenty of folks milling about the plaza and through the tunnel under the front stretch, but I don’t know that it will be enough to fill some of the holes in the grandstand.

And I can’t even see Turn 3 from here.

This being my first NASCAR race in person, the driver introductions were interesting. You can really feel the passion, both good and bad, in the fans. A roar went up for Jeff Gordon, but it was matched with an equal number of boos. Tony Stewart was much the same way when introduced, though he seemed to have more fans on his side than his Hoosier compatriot. And I really don’t think anyone will go home unhappy if Mark Martin in the #5 takes the checkered flag.

We’re 35 minutes away and I’ve grabbed a great seat to watch the green flag drop!