Aliy and Allen were in Indianapolis last week. They thought it would be a crime to be in Indianapolis and not visit the Indy Motor Speedway (just like it would be a crime to be in Wasilla and not swing by the headquarters of the Iditarod.) So, Aliy, Allen and Bob McDonald (Aliy’s uncle) drove to the ‘Brickyard’ just before noon one day to simply get a glimpse of the historic 2 1/2 mile race track.
As they neared the enormous, famed race track they got excited and could almost hear the cars engines revving (maybe that was Bob's heavy foot on his accelerator!) But, when the three of them walked through the doors to the Motor Speedway museum they were immediately surrounded by racing memorabilia and excitement. The thrill of competition was everywhere! Needless to say, Allen wouldn't stay out of the Indy cars!
For racers, like Aliy and Allen, that excitement became quite overwhelming. They couldn’t help but compare everything to the Iditarod! And, of course... it came down to a competition between dogs and cars.
Dogs versus Cars
Heat 1: The Indy 500 started in 1909. Iditarod started in 1973. The cars win.
(Note: the 400 mile All Alaska Sweepstakes Sled Dog Race did start in 1908.)
Heat 2: The Indy 500 is 500 miles. The Iditarod is 1000 miles. The dogs win.
Heat 3: The Indy 500 cars moving average speed is 161 mph. The Iditarod sleds moving average speed is about 8 mph. The cars win.
Heat 4: Number of Cars entered in the 2015 Indy: 33. Number of Sleds entered in the 2015 Iditarod: 78. The dogs win.
Heat 5: The Indy 500 Motor Speedway has 300,000 fixed seats for race fans. Iditarod… probably not so many. Aliy did say that in 2015 “Race spectators lined each and every street in downtown Anchorage this year!” But, let's be honest, the entire population of Anchorage would have had to be in attendance in order to achieve and audience of 300,000 and we know for a fact that at least one couple was on their Honeymoon in Hawaii that weekend. The cars win.
Heat 6: The first woman to race in the Indy 500 was Janet Guthrie in 1977. The first woman to race the Iditarod was Mary Shields in 1974. The dogs win.
Janet in her racing gear; Mary in her racing gear.
Heat 7: The first woman to win the Iditarod was Libby Riddles in 1985. The first woman to win the Indy 500... hasn’t won yet. The dogs win.
Heat 8: The Indy 500 Race song is sung by Jim Nabers. The Iditarod song is sung by Hobo Jim. Tie.
Results: 4 Heats to the Dogs. 3 Heats to the Cars. 1 Tie.
The Indy 500 Motor Speedway was a lesson in history as well as an inspiration to keep up the racing passion! As the Alaskan mushers pulled away from the race track Allen quietly remarked... “The Indy 500... the Iditarod... neither of them have anything over the Yukon Quest.”