Sport: I Saw My Chance

The big race was scheduled to start at 10 a.m., but as usual supercharged crowds, festive and hungry for thrills, began gathering outside Indianapolis Speedway at dawn. By race time, some 150,000 had crammed their way into the stands and infield to watch 33 underslung, overpowered little cars roar around the 2½-mile brick and asphalt track in the annual 500-mile grind.

Mechanics and drivers were up early too, fussing and tuning up the streamlined little racers, looking for flaws, profanely praying that hidden parts would function smoothly. At Driver Johnnie Parsons' station in the pits the mechanic could hardly believe his...

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