For over 20 years now my family has held a friendly wager on who will win the Indy 500. The rules have changed a bit over the years but basically you pay in $1 per car and the winner gets $33. Everyone gets to choose one driver and then after that we pick the remaining drivers out of a hat.
This began with my Dad, Mom, myself and my sister. My Dad passed away in 2007. My sister and I both married and had kids. My oldest nephew is engaged and his fiancé wants to join in the bet. It’s fun to continue the tradition. It’s also a time when I greatly miss my dad. This was all his idea in the first place.
Here are my families picks.
Patti- I chose Tony Kanaan. He has been my driver for years now. Nothing will beat last years race but back to back victories would be cool. Tony has struggled a bit this year but on day two of qualifying did find some more speed. He is amazing on starts and restarts so I expect him to be running up front. I’m still not used to him being in the 10 car and often see the 11 car and have to correct myself. I honestly don’t know that he has a car to win this year but I’m still pulling for him.
Steve- Steve is not much of a fan and only plays along because I make him. He chose Ed Carpenter this year. He did make his choice before he knew Ed had won the pole. Ed is off to an amazing season. Mike Conway winning at Long Beach and the Ed on the pole at Indy is pretty sweet. Ed won’t be satisfied though until he wins the 500. He’s fantastic on ovals so I expect he can do it. I sure hope the Speedway feels the same.
Matthew- Matthew has been a fan of Justin Wilson ever since he saw him in the McDonalds car. Matthew’s taste in fast food have changed so thankfully so have Justin’s sponsors. We know Justin can win on the ovals and he is an amazing driver. I expect at least a top ten finish and would love to see him on the podium. He is not only my sons favorite but a family favorite.
Zachary- Zach has chosen James Hinchcliffe ever since Danica departed. I was a bit worried he would be missing the GoDaddy green but he has become a big enough fan of Hinch to not care about the change of sponsors. This is a great pick and what an awesome story it would make if Hinch won. His concussion during the GP of Indy hardly slowed him down and was back in the car for qualifying. He came in second and that is amazing. On media day I was able to meet both James and Ed Carpenter. Both were great and James took extra time to make sure I told Zachary he said hello. Yeah we will cheering for Hinch at our house.
Extended family chose- Helio, Power, Dixon, Marco, JR, RHR, Servia and Pippa. All great choices. I would be surprised if Servia or Pippa won but it would be a happy surprise. There is pretty much no one in the field I don’t want to win. I would prefer that Montoya, Jacques and Kurt not win or even be on the podium although I have to say I’m warming up to Montoya.
So who will be the lucky winner of $33 and bragging rights for the next year? I guess we will find out on Sunday. I can’t wait.