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Morning, race day, Part Deux

INDIANAPOLIS -- A few more notes, observations and general stuff, two hours out from the drop of the green:

* Bumped into Tom Kelley back in the garage area, who said this was his first race day at the Speedway since Mark Dismore and Scott Sharp were suiting up for him here. I can't say I'm surprised. It was a hard thing for him when Kelley Racing went under; I know because I tried numerous times to get him to talk about it and he always politely demurred. Just too hurtful a thing.

* Among the vintage cars that took ceremonial laps around the track this a.m. were maroon Boyle Maserati driven to victory here by Wilbur Shaw in 1940, and the pearl-blue Ken-Paul Offy driven by winner Jim Rathman 50 years ago in 1960.

Gorgeous machines, both of them. They don't make 'em like those old front-engine roadsters anymore. Literally, of course.

* I don't know if this is an indication that Indy is making a resurgence or not, but there's a better class of celebrity here today. Jeremy Renner, the Oscar-nominated star of 2009's best picture "The Hurt Locker", is on the grounds. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian. Mark Wahlberg Nicolas Cage and George Clooney allegedly are.

And, of course, Jack Nicholson will be waving the green flag to start the race.

Unlike in previous years, I've actually heard of all those people.

* Read in the Indianapolis Star last night that they're supposedly resurrecting the infamous Snakepit of the 1970s and '80s, only in the third turn. One difference: There are actually organizers for this Snakepit, and they're saying it will be more family friendly than in the past.

Organizers? Family friendly?!

Methinks someone failed to grasp the concept.

Ben Smith's blog.