The ticket for the 101st Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil has been unveiled. Seeing Alexander Rossi in the ceremony reminded me of his December Borg-Warner Trophy likeness presentation. What a cool pair of honors.
As a kid, I kept ticket stubs to everything I attended, and I still have them today. I loved the Indy 500 stubs because it helped me remember the winners by year. It's a more electronic world these days, but I hope some kids still do the same.
As for the Borg-Warner, a couple of tidbits: Of the multiple winners, the two drivers that I think have the greatest transformation from one likeness to the next: Arie Luyendyk and Dan Wheldon. One went from a flowing mane to a shorter cut, the other a shorter haircut to more flowing. And, of course, the teeth.
Fun trivia: The last name on the original trophy? Bobby Rahal in 1986. The only man whose name is on it Six times? Al Unser. I mean, technically speaking, when you include both Senior and Junior.
Juncos perseverance: Cool to see Juncos Racing announce its entry into the Indy 500. Ricardo Juncos had a big dream vision and has seen it through.
The early favorite to pilot the entry is clearly Spencer Pigot, who had been a Juncos mainstay in the Mazda Road to Indy. Pigot is locked in for road and street races with Ed Carpenter Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series, but the team doesn't currently have any commitments for a third car to join Ed and JR Hildebrand in the Indy 500. A sleeper to land the Juncos ride? Kyle Kaiser. It would be a big leap for the young American, but he'll be in his second year with the team in Indy Lights. He scored Juncos an oval win in Phoenix a year ago.
Much ado about nothing: Time for the two most overblown weeks of American sports: the NBA trade deadline and the NFL draft combine. Look, I love both sports, but these events have become massively hyperbolic. I wish I had a dollar for every trade that was supposed to "put a team over the top" or every coveted player that quickly morphed into a contractual albatross. Carmelo Anthony or Andrew Bynum, anyone?
As for the draft combine, I want my left tackle to protect my QB. Let me know when his high jump becomes a factor … and I doubt anyone cares how many bench reps Jerry Rice could do.
Pack your bags, Cousins: Speaking of trades, Sacramento unloaded DeMarcus Cousins for nickels on the dollar. Buddy Hield may be a nice player that the Kings got in return, but they parted ways with a proven all-star. It tells me two things: Winning in the NBA no longer is built around a set low-block player and Cousins has more baggage than Southwest Airlines. His just wasn't free.
Just over two weeks from the Verizon IndyCar Series opener in St. Pete. I have my favorite cigar store on John's Pass on alert to keep my patio chair ready. Who's joining me?
Veteran broadcaster Jake Query is a member of the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network team and will offer his musings Tuesdays on IndyCar.com.