Uncle Joe Benson at work & play at the 2004 IRL California Speedway Race.
October 3, 2004: Uncle Joe announced the Toyota Indy 400 IRL Race at the California Speedway. The excitement on track could be summed up in two words — photo finish!! Adrian Fernandez took the checkered flag with a margin of victory of 0.0183 of a second, the seventh closest finish in IndyCar Series history, as Tony Kanaan won the 2004 Championship. That, coupled with pre-race ceremonies featuring Country sensation Lee Ann Womack and Joe's track setting record in an open wheel golf cart, will see this event will go down in history!!
(Photos by Bill 'Digital' McDermott)
The main players of the day prep for pre-race ceremonies:
(top) 2004 Champ Tony Kanaan
(bottom) Helio Castroneves and eventual race winner Adrian Fernandez.
Pre-race festivities: Dan Wheldon & Dario Franchetti,
Sam Hornish Jr. and Unc with field producer Jaqueline.
Lee Ann Womack with Uncle Joe right before she sang the
national anthem and the F-15s flew over. Then, Patrick Dempsey gave
the command to start engines and the green flag flew to start the race.
Helio Castroneves led most of the race before
Tony Kanaan fought his way to the front.
Little mistakes cause big damage.
Adrian Fernandez driving into Victory Lane,
celebrating and then being interviewed by J.B..
The 2004 California Speedway announcing team:
(top) engineer/statistician Randy Fann and producer Jan Benson,
(bottom) announcers Uncle Joe and Jim Mueller.
(Not pictured, Bill McDermott because someone had to keep working!)
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