This years race did not disappoint, I was on the edge of my seat and there are many story lines to write about. Let’s start at the beginning.
Pre- Race Show- I stated in my previous post that one thing we knew about the Indianapolis 500 was that while ABC doesn’t always do a good job covering the race they do put on a good pre-race show. Well I guess I was wrong. It was okay but not what I was expecting. They didn’t cover the singing of God Bless America, which is a race tradition and I heard was wonderfully sung. Then they had a fun driver introduction piece that I would have really enjoyed if it didn’t take the place of the actual driver introductions. I enjoy watching those live. Very disappointing. At one point I wasn’t even sure they were going to cover the singing of Back Home Again in Indiana. Thankfully they did and it was amazing. Jim Cornelison is the perfect replacement for Jim Nabors and I hope to see him back for many years to come. From his tweets I think he feels the same way and would like to continue singing it each May. Then Tony George comes out to give the command to start engines. Good! Mary Hulman-George struggled last year and Tony is a good replacement. Well he should have been but then he messed it all up. Cmon Tony it’s easy- Lady and Gentleman, Start your engines! For whatever reason Tony said, “Drivers, Start your engines.” WRONG. Just a little thing but so incredibly disappointing. Hopefully it is remedied next year.
Green Flag- The race had a beautiful start. Nice rows and everyone made it through turn one without incident and continued for the first quarter of the race. However, just when you began to wonder how long could this go on the craziest accident I’ve ever seen happened. Jay Howard got loose and hit the wall. Scott Dixon had no where to go as Howard’s car drifted in front of his. Dixon’s car went airborne, flew over Helio Castroneves car and hit the fencing and wall tearing Dixon’s car into too many pieces to count. I really feel this was one of the worst crashes I’ve seen and yet miraculously Scott Dixon walked away. I had heard that he was originally cleared but returned to the medical center to get a walking boot. Still not sure how his foot is doing. Apparently Emma tweeted a picture saying fractured but I haven’t heard any confirmation. I’m assuming Dixon will be driving at Detroit.
As the saying goes- Yellow breeds yellow. There was no shortage of them for the remainder of the race. I believe 50 laps were ran under yellow. Some of those were due to the Honda engine failures. The Honda teams were given a choice if they would like more power, However the extra power might mean less reliable engines. It was a chance teams were willing to take. Unfortunately, three drivers were the victims of engine failure. Charlie Kimball, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Fernando Alonso all experienced engine failure.
At the end it came down to Helio Castroneves and Takuma Sato. I cheered when Helio took the lead- we could see history made when Helio became the next four time winner but I might have cheered even louder when Takuma took and kept the lead. Takuma came so close to winning in 2012 and I’ve always been a fan. It was awesome watching him win the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500. Congratulations Takuma.
So that just leaves-
Rookie of the Year- ROY honors went to Fernando Alonso but I felt Ed Jones should have been given the honor. I understand that it doesn’t matter how much racing experience you have and that it’s all about it being your rookie year at Indy but I’m much more impressed by Ed’s accomplishments than World Champion Alonso. Ed was also racing for a smaller team so I feel his accomplishments are greater. And personally because Ed is full time I want him to receive the honor. I understand why Alonso was awarded the honor and he is definitely the more popular name but if I had a vote it would have been for Ed Jones without a doubt.
Final Thoughts– It was a super entertaining 500.
ABC needs to go. I sure hope NBC takes over coverage for the whole season.
I’d still like to see Helio win his fourth 500.
I’m already counting the days till next May. Thank goodness for a double header in Detroit to give us something to look forward to.