Helio Makes History as 4th Four Time Winner

I woke up Sunday morning just as the bomb went off. Of course I was 200 miles away so I didn’t actually hear it but as I looked at the clock and realized what was happening in Indy I found it hard to go back to sleep. I got out of bed and decided to treat myself to Starbucks. After arriving back home I checked my previous blog post, I had a notification of a new comment. Usually, I enjoy seeing what has been said but this one was cruel. The commenter was very angry that I would call myself a super fan when I wasn’t attending the Indy 500 and said I wasted two minutes for his life he would never get back. Wow! I could get into all the reasons that a super fan can still be super even if they watch from home but that is a post for another day.

As I waited for TV coverage to begin I listened to 1070 out of Indianapolis and prepared things around the house. I woke my boys around 11:00 so they would not miss the pre race activities. We got out our favorite snacks and discussed what we hoped would happen in the race.

Family picks for the 500. Bragging rights only.
Hoping for another TK win so enjoying this wine during the race.

After tearing up during the clips on long time attenders of the race and of course Back Home Again in Indiana, we were ready for the most famous words in racing. I really need to have a talk with Roger Penske. I enjoyed what he had to say before he gave the command but he should have paused before the command and I definitely wish he would say, “Lady and Gentlemen, Start your engines.”

In our house the majority thought the first yellow would occur on the first lap in turn one. We were pleased when that did not happen. However, we were crushed that it was Stefan Wilson that brought the yellow out on his first pit stop. I say it all the time, Stefan is a favorite of ours and we were really hoping he would have a good race. His mishap caused problems for others since the pits would be closed just as everyone needed to stop. Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi were the big losers as they both were so low on gas that their engines died in the pits and it was a struggle to get them restarted. They both fell back a lap. Dixon would get the lap back eventually but Rossi never did. Two favorites for the race fell way behind.

As the race progressed it was fun hearing the crowd when fan favorite, Conor Daly took the lead. Daly, Colton Herta and Rinus VeeKay all enjoyed leading several laps. Graham Rahal was steadily working his way to the front when he had an incident exiting the pits. His left rear tire was not secure, causing Rahal to lose control and hit the wall. The tire landing right on Daly’s nose cone. Graham looked like he could have been in contention for the win but will have to once again wait for next year. Daly also lost out and while he remained in the race he was no longer showing the speed needed to win.

Eventually, Alex Palou and Helio Castroneves were the two everyone was watching as we neared the end of the race. The two leapfrogged for the lead and this is when you really know who you are rooting for. Zach loves Palou and was rooting for him. I would have been happy with that outcome but found myself cheering much louder when Helio took the lead. It was Helio that took the twin checkered flags on lap 200. I was crying. History was made and after many years of waiting and wondering we now have a fourth four time winner. It was so fun. The celebration that took place immediately after was even better. Of course Helio went to climb the fence. Michael Shank met him there and they shared a sweet moment. Then driver after driver and crew members from many crews all came to congratulate Helio. The celebration went on and no one really rushed him to get to the victory circle and the usual post race traditions. It was so fun to watch and let it all sink in. Eventually, he rode up to the victory circle and received the wreath and drank the milk. He dumped some milk on his head but thankfully not all of it. The team was prepared and added some pink food coloring to it.

I still have a little of the post show to watch but we had a graduation party to attend so we sadly turned off the TV and after a quick stop for cheese fries to celebrate we went on to our party.

After the party we had an eventful night I won’t get into here but briefly, Zach was in a car accident and thankfully is fine. It could have been so much worse and we are thankful for the safety measures put in place in passenger cars that are learned on the race tracks across the world. It made a long day even longer but we are so blessed Zach and his friend walked away unhurt. We don’t know the extent but the other driver admitted to drinking. Please don’t drink and drive.

Monday morning the usual after race blues along with dealing with Zach’s car made for a depressing day. We look forward to moving on and enjoying summer.

Congratulations to Helio and also to the entire Meyer Shank Team. What a great way to get your first win. Can’t wait to watch as the team grows.

So I’m going to end with this question. Can you be a true fan of IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500 and not attend the race. I already know the answer but am curious as to your thoughts.

11 thoughts on “Helio Makes History as 4th Four Time Winner

  1. Great post Patti! I have an idea who made thta comment on your blog. That same person has made that same remark to me on occasion. if there wer a way to block that person from reading my stuff i would. i don’t mind criticism but it has to be more specific than “BS” or “I disagree”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Mike!
      I can’t even imagine how much you must have enjoyed being back at the Speedway. What a great race. So thankful Helios win took place with fans there. While we would have loved to be there, we enjoyed it very much at home. Thanks for you kind words.

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  2. I attended the race from 1970 to 2020 without missing a race. Covid stopped me last year and the lack of the pre race concerts and limited tickets made me decide to take the ticket credit until next year. I’m glad I did because I am typing this from the hospital after my heart got jealous on Saturday and demanded some attention. I watch the last two 500’s on TV and my passion and excitement never waned. I hope to finally see my 50th 500 at the track next year but who knows? If I can’t make it I will once against watch on TV and still be a super fan of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I always enjoy reading your articles , Patti. There is no denying your passion for IndyCar and anyone who questions it hasn’t taken the time to read your articles. This year would have marked my 33RD Indy 500 had I been able to make it. I live a mere 60 miles west of the track and have always said that “there is nothing that could keep me from attending the race!” Unfortunately I discovered that there are in fact two things that can keep me from attending the race, Covid and cancer. I won’t bore everyone with the details however I was diagnosed awhile back and try as I might I just didn’t have the strength to do the race. I was at Barber to start the year, literally park and step out of your vehicle to see the track, then on to Texas. My Dad lives in Dallas and we try and make the race there every year. Since the crowds are so small one can park right near their entrance. Returning home I had the GP in my sights. I did make it but I could tell it wasn’t the same as usual. I had to stop several times to rest and I was thankful that I was by myself so as not to hold anyone else up. By the time I got to my seat I knew that my 33RD 500 wasn’t going to happen. At least not this year. So, come Sunday morning I too got up when the fireworks went off at 0600 (no cannon this year) only to find myself at a loss. For 32 years I knew exactly what I needed to do, what I needed to pack in the car, exactly what time I needed to leave, and exactly what route I was going to take to the track. This year I didn’t know what to do. I turned on the tv to watch live pre race coverage but that only made things worse. I literally found tears running down my face at one point. Can you imagine that? A 50 year old man crying because he couldn’t go to a race! Most people could never imagine that, but there are a few people that could. The Superfans could. The few people in the world that understand Indianapolis isn’t just a car race. For the select few of us Indianapolis represents so much more, some of which is unexplainable. For me IMS and the 500 are almost spiritual. I can feel the history when I enter the track, and I can visualize the races spent there with my Dad. After composing myself and with some help from my wife I finally decided that I was going to watch the race on tv. And am I ever thankful that I did. Seeing Conor take the lead was worth the price of admission! Seeing the look of pain, bewilderment, and shock in Graham was unforgettable. And finally, oh what a sight, that fourth four time winner, Helio. That is one that I shall never forget. If there is anyone who deserves it more I can’t think who it would be… Such great memories were made that Sunday.
    I know this has been long winded but I did that to prove a point. A Superfan doesn’t have to be at the race to be a Superfan. But a Superfan can’t wait, and is counting the days, until they can get back to the race.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my Jeremy- you worded that all beautifully and I’m thankful for your comment.
      I’m so sorry you are fighting cancer. I will be praying for you. I’m so glad you did watch on TV because as you said it was still amazing to see. There are things you can only experience at IMS but there are things you miss too by not having the television coverage. Both are special but of course my hope and prayer is that you are able to attend next year and enjoy the race in the way that you love.
      Thank you for reading. I will be praying for you.

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  4. I love your family traditions for the race. Don’t worry about that dope making negative comments. I am glad to hear your son was OK after the accident.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I went to my first Indy 500 this year and it was truly amazing. However after I got back to Illinois and Monday I really enjoyed watching the race on Peacock. I definitely want to go again but I think for the near future I”ll be watching it on television. I haven’t watched or listened to the race since the mid 80’s so even this is an accomplishment.

    Liked by 1 person

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