Milem makes it into Indiana

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 29, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— It may not have been the Indy 500, but the drivers coming through Indiana’s capital got a rousing welcome anyway.

“We had a big turnout,” said Dave Milem, one of the drivers in Great American Race. “Everywhere we go people have just been fantastic.”

The annual road race took the participants through Ohio late Monday and then throughout the day on Tuesday.

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Milem said since his is one of only two cars from Ohio in the race, he and his crew received a lot of attention during the overnight stop in Dublin Monday evening.

Some of the people who met him at his Ohio stops were neighbors from Lawrence County who had gotten a list of rest stops and were in place and on hand to greet him.

Milem said Tuesday’s venture from Dublin to Indianapolis may have been wet but still wonderful.

“Time-wise, this was the best day we’ve had. We made good time today. I think we were five minutes and something off but this being our first time that was pretty good,” he said. “We ran into another big rainstorm but we put our wet suits on and went right on.”

A history buff, Milem said he was impressed with the tribute to soldiers in early wars in downtown Indianapolis.

“I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it,” he said. “It was a monument to the Indian wars, war of the Union, all the early wars and it as beautiful. It must have been 400 feet tall and it had four waterfalls.”

A car enthusiast as well, Milem said the trip, although still a competitive race, is an opportunity for him to meet and mingle with others who share his love of antique automobiles.

“The other drivers really are super, super people,” he said. “Of course, everyone has a common interest. And the race people are just great, too, you know.”

Along with Milem, fellow Lawrence Countian Buddy Pitzenbarger and two friends from Owensboro, Ky., Jim and Ben Warren, are making the nearly coast-to-coast trip that will end in San Rafael, Calif., July 8.

Lawrence County’s only entry so far in the Great American Race is sponsored by three local companies: J&H Erectors, Engines Inc., and Southern 52 Excavating.