As usual so much happened and there is so much to write about that I’m not sure where to start. My thoughts are all jumbled and I don’t have much time so let’s just break it down.
Pre Show– ABC did fine but I was expecting something spectacular to end their long run of broadcasting the race so I was a bit disappointed. The one opener (I’m not sure what you call them) had a creepy voice in the background. It was actually quite odd. It was a good idea if they didn’t use the creepy voice. All the pre race traditions were great. The National Anthem, God Bless America and Back Home Again in Indiana were all great. Jim Cornelison returned for his second year to sing Back Home Again in Indiana and I hope he returns for many years to come. He changes the song just a bit to make it his own and not imitate Jim Nabors but keeps to the true tradition of the song. I love it.
The biggest disappointment is Tony George. Seriously, can he please do the command to start engines the correct way, the traditional way. I hate that he says Drivers. He needs to say “Lady and Gentlemen, Start your engines!” That needs to change. It may seem simple but it’s a huge disappointment when Tony does it wrong. He should know better.
Post Show- Before we get into the race let’s just jump to the post show. Oh wait what post show. Stupid ABC decided it would be better to show an encore presentation of the F1 race than give us some interviews and show us Will Power kissing the bricks. It was the most ridiculous post show ever. They only interviewed Will and Ed Carpenter. How are you supposed to grow the fan base if you don’t let us get to know the drivers. I’ve heard ABC really wants the 500 back and once the NBC contract is over they will be attempting to gain 500 rights again. Well they don’t act like it. They should be showing IndyCar what they will be missing by moving to NBC instead they are making the decision for IndyCar to remain with NBC super easy. IndyCar is growing and while that is of course due to the spectacular Racing and personalities we have in IndyCar it is also due to the fantastic way NBCSN has showcases the races and talents in IndyCar. They are selling the product by giving us so much more than just a race. We get to know the drivers and the teams and see how the strategies, heartbreaks and winning moments make IndyCar the best sport on the planet. NBC is a big part of why IndyCar is gaining viewers and I hope that the IndyCar higher ups can see that. Seriously, what morons put on an encore presentation when we need to see an interview with Stefan Wilson. Stef’s story alone can pull at anyone’s heartstrings and make new fans. Let’s talk with AJ, Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi (who had some amazing moves coming from the last row up to the front), ABC just doesn’t get it. So glad they are gone.
The 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 – I enjoyed this years race. Good clean start, the cars could have been lined up a bit better but I’m glad they just threw the green. No major incidents, just cars getting loose and hitting the wall. The only exception was James Davison who should have pitted. He was too slow and it’s unfortunate that he ended Takuma Sato’s day. Ed Jones was complaining his head and neck hurt. He will be re-evaluated before he can race at Detroit.
Ed Carpenter ran away with the first portion of the race and I kept telling myself that seldom do we see one driver be dominant all race, something would change. Eventually cars started going off on different fuel strategies and it was hard to tell who would be up front when it all played out.
Danica lost control and ended her day in the wall, Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves also lost control ending their days. Let’s touch on these three.
Danica- Wow there are a lot of Danica haters. I personally like her. Steve was so upset with her when our local news station made no mention of the race winner in their promo for the sports news and only that Danica hit the wall ending her Motorsports career. I had to remind Steve that Danica did not write the news. It’s not her fault the news chose to focus on her rather than race winner Will Power. I’ve always liked Danica. I believe she should have stayed in IndyCar. We would have seen her win more races I’m certain. No other woman driver has come close to accomplishing what she has. Possibly because of the equipment she has been in but she proved time and time again she could run up front. However, in her post race press conference we saw exactly why she is not liked by so many. She was rude and made it obvious she didn’t want to be there. I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt and say she was just disappointed in her day and took it out on the media but she has been around long enough to know better and hold her tongue. But like her or not I believe she is the most talented woman driver we have seen in IndyCar.
Helio– I would have loved to see his name added to the four time winners list. He begged Roger on air to bring him back next year. I’d imagine that Roger has to consider that a lot. It’s one thing to win the 500 but becoming the next four time winner would be huge and I imagine Roger Penske would like that fourth win for Helio as much as Helio would. I’m guessing Helio will be back next year.
TK– He put AJ Foyt Racing back in the conversation. TK has now led in more Indy 500’s than AJ. He was impressive and I was so hopeful he would win. While it was a disappointing day it was also a great day. AJ has to see that things have been moving in the right direction. Hoping they win a race this season and look forward to the next 500.
So back to the race, with the different fuel strategies it was a waiting game to see where everyone ended up with only a few laps to go. Oriol Servia was leading followed by Stefan Wilson and Jack Harvey. It was believed all three would need to pit and Will Power would take over the lead. Yellow would be the only chance for the three leaders. Then Tony Kanaan crashed and they got the yellow. Serbia’s team said they would be able to make it to the end on the fuel they had but nothing was said about Stefan or Jack. They went green with seven laps to go and Stefan made a great move to take the lead. I was dying- did he have enough gas? Stefan built up a nice lead but sadly couldn’t make it to the end without more gas and both Stefan and Jack ducked into the pits with four laps to go. Stefan would finish 15th. It was absolutely amazing though watching Stefan lead. Stefan and Justin became one of only four sets of brothers to lead at the 500. They join the Chevrolet’s, Unsers and Laziers. That is pretty awesome. I hope Stefan is back next year.
Will Power went on to win the race, Ed Carpenter was second and Scott Dixon was third. We have seen Will Power win so many races but never have we seen him and Liz as happy and excited as they were after this win. Will was in rare form showing so much emotion. It was so fun to watch. He took one gulp of milk but being lactose intolerant he threw most of it on the people gathered around him. He hit the princess with a big splash of it and had to apologize to her but I think she knew it was all pure joy and she laughed about it. I got a lot of calls from friends asking if I was disappointed Power won. No I wasn’t. He is such a talented driver and he works hard. I’m very happy for him. If he wins it again then I might be disappointed, I love seeing new winners and frankly we watch Will Power win a lot but I enjoyed his win on Sunday.
So that wraps up another running of the Indy 500 and the countdown for next years race begins. Thankfully we have a double header in Detroit to look forward to and get us through the sad days following the Indy 500.
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