Beyond Golf — 25 May 2012 by Kirby Arnold
Indy 500 champion? Helio Castroneves

Editor’s Note: Phoenix-based Golferswest staffer Kirby Arnold is not only passionate about golf but he’s also a car nut. He owns a pair of classic Mustangs and each year he and a few relatives pile into a car and make the sojourn to watch the Indy 500. He’s on his way to the racing mecca but before he left he offered his perspective/prediction on this year’s race:

By Kirby Arnold

I’m going to say the Helio Castroneves will win his fourth Indy 500 this weekend.

It’s going to be a race where the temperature will possibly be at an all-time high. It’s going to be a very difficult track for these guys to drive. The track is going to be hot and slippery. He’s got the experience with a lot of races around here, he’s won a lot of races and he’s with the Penske team.

It’s probably one of the more balanced Indy 500 fields in a long time. And with the uncertainty of the new cars, I think that just plays into Penske’s hands when it comes to the race day. So I think it’s going to be Helio Castroneves.

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Kirby Arnold

Kirby was 10 years old when he played his first round of golf with his grandmother on the sand greens of the Versailles Country Club in Missouri, and his love of the game has never wavered. Only one thing stood between Kirby and a single-digit handicap: his job. Kirby worked 42 years as a sports writer and editor at newspapers in Missouri and Washington. He started while a high school sophomore at the Rolla Daily News in Missouri and covered a variety of events, including his own high school basketball games (he made sure his name was spelled right). He was a sports writer and editor for 10 years at the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, covering Southwest Missouri State University football and basketball, Missouri University football and basketball, and numerous motorsports events including the Indianapolis 500 during the 1970s and 1980s. He moved to the Seattle area in 1984, becoming assistant sports editor at The Herald in Everett, Wa., then executive sports editor from 1987-1998, a time when The Herald's sports coverage was recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as being among the best in the nation for newspapers its size. Kirby returned to the press box in 1999, taking over The Herald's coverage of the Seattle Mariners. He covered the Mariners/baseball beat the next 13 seasons and in 2007 wrote his first book, Tales from the Seattle Mariners Dugout. While Kirby pursued a rewarding newspaper career, one of his lifelong goals remained unfulfilled: breaking 80 on a consistent basis. Kirby left The Herald at the end of 2011, moved to Phoenix and immediately began spending more time at the golf course. His only excuse now is a 12 on the stimpmeter.

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