Meet Steve Cage – Founder and Chairman, Stratosphere Quality
Steve is the ultimate race fan. One of his passions includes the Indianapolis 500. We asked Steve to tell us a little bit about the Indianapolis 500.
What year did you attend your FIRST Indy 500?
1963 was my very first year that I attended the Indianapolis 500.
How many years since that first race have you attended?
I went to my first race in 1963 and haven’t missed one since! This will be my 51st consecutive year attending the race. It never gets old.
What is your FAVORITE part of the Indy 500?
There is nothing – absolutely nothing – like the starting of the engines and hearing the power behind the engines. It is incredible. When the words, “Gentlemen, start your engines,” echo throughout the raceway, you know the most spectacular sound of roaring engines is next. It’s a moment of sheer anticipation and excitement.
What you provide at Stratosphere Quality really intersects with your passion for the Indianapolis 500. Why?
I was always around automotive manufacturing growing up. I was on the production line, and while now I am in the “front office”, I know how much blood, sweat, tears, knowledge and experience it takes to provide a quality product. The Indy 500 cars are all produced by the same blood, sweat and tears and continue to be produced by some of the greatest manufacturers in the world. I love that. I love how every piece, every part, every inspection impacts the safety and performance of the vehicles consumers purchase and the performance of each racing professional.
What has been the most memorable moment of any of the Indy 500’s you attended?
I mentioned safety in the last question. In 1964, I was still a kid attending the race, and I witnessed the horrible, fiery crash between Eddie Sachs and Dave McDonald. It happened on turn 4, and the smoke plume that filled the air immediately following was unbelievable. I remember asking my dad what all the smoke was. They immediately called the race, and my dad informed me that the two drivers had died. In that moment, with the horrible sound, smell and sight, I realized how dangerous the sport really was. At that point, it was like going from the happiest of emotions to the lowest sadness. That’s why the sport is so amazing.
What would you tell someone if this is his / her first year attending the Indianapolis 500?
I would tell them to get there in plenty of time to see the start (see earlier question), and to experience the awesome flyover during the National Anthem. Unbelievable. That’s really what the day is all about. It’s held on Memorial Day weekend.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the race, but it is important to appreciate, and be thankful for all those who serve or lost their lives while fighting for our country. The race is steeped in tradition and history – honoring our veterans is at the forefront of that.
Everyone should go experience this race just once! It’s the most incredible race.