We’re chronicling 100 days of Indy 500 history on #SpeedRead leading up to the historic 100th Running. With 65 days to go, we look back with David Anspaugh, the producer and director of “Hoosiers,” “Rudy” and “Hill Street Blues” – and a huge Indy fan.
I remember listening to the Indianapolis 500 starting around age 7. The whole family would gather for a family reunion picnic for Memorial Day and we would huddle around the car radio to make sure we didn’t miss a second of the race and Tom Carnegie’s commentary.
My first time actually attending the Indy 500 was in 1967, A.J. Foyt’s third “500” win. I tagged along with some college friends on 16th Street. We headed inside the oval when the gates opened, however, by the time we got to our spots there were already people everywhere and we couldn’t squeeze to the front. I was there physically … but I was super bummed that I didn’t get to actually SEE any portion of my first Indy 500.
The first time I actually got to SEE the Indy 500 was in 1969 when Mario Andretti took the checkered flag. After making the movie “Hoosiers,” we wanted to make a movie on the Indy 500. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway gave us access to view the Indy 500 from every vantage point available. We watched the “500” from the top of the Pagoda, spotter stands, the pits and, to top it off, we watched Mario Andretti race down the front straightaway from above in a helicopter.