Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

January 3, 2011

Happy New Year! Countdown to the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 is ON!

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:48 am

On CBS Sunday Morning on January 2, they looked back one hundred years to relate the big events of one century ago.  The very first item on the list was the Indianapolis 500 won by Ray Harroun at just over 74 miles per hour on May 30, 1911. The second item on the list was the maiden voyage of the Titanic. It proved to be an interesting contrast between what lasted and what did not.

In May I am certain we will see much celebrating of the history, including a presence by many former participants and winners. It will be interesting to see which former winners appear and which ones will not.

The oldest living winner, 1960’s Jim Rathmann, is in ill health and may not make it. A.J. should be good to go, and should be the pace car driver at the start of the race. We know Montoya will be busy that day in Charlotte, but he would show some real class by being in Indy for the pre-race festivities if possible. His off-handed comment made years ago about the great way his car was set up in 2000 (duh…Ganassi) has, of course, been widely misinterpreted by blithering idiots ever since. They actually believe their grandmothers could drive an Indy Car to victory in the 500. Many have shared the opinion that Montoya has not yet begun to appreciate that particular accomplishment. I would bet we will see Sam Hornish, whether he is racing in Charlotte or not.

I used to resent the stunt that two-time winner Emerson Fittipaldi pulled in ’93 when he rejected the milk in favor of orange juice. I later began to understand it, and Emerson actually appreciates his accomplishments in Indy Cars and respects the institution, as he has demonstrated on several subsequent occasions.

The least favorite winner of many is Jacques Villeneuve, who often personifies the type of needless arrogance associated with the twice-defunct cart series. The exact same blithering idiots who believe their grandmothers can win the 500 are the same ones who offer the clueless opinion that Villeneuve won the last ‘real’ 500. Will he show up and show some class? Only time will tell.

All three four time winners are alive and kicking, and hopefully all will be at the track in May. As a matter of fact, this race should be started with not one, but three pace cars drive by all the winners. Ideally Al and Rick would exit the track in the backstretch, and A.J. would lead the pack to the green. I would not be the least bit upset to see Parnelli in the passenger seat with A.J.

It will be great to see all the winning Unsers, the one winning Andretti, all the multiple winners, including Johncock, Rutherford and Arie, not to mention the man who could become the next four time winner, Helio Castroneves. Tom Sneva, Danny Sullivan and Rahal should all be around to wave, and it will be great seeing Buddy Lazier, Eddie Cheever, Kenny Brack, Gil deFerren and Buddy Rice again. Wheldon, Dario and Dixon will again be competing.

Welcome to 2011 and let the countdown begin!



1 Comment »

  1. Sure, Villenuve is a clown and has continually proven his foolishness from Indy car through F1 to NASCAR…but he won fair and square during a time when the field was deep with talented drivers and the competition, in both equipment and power plants, were strong…contrast 1995 with the running joke that we have had to endure the last ten years with the outdated Dallara and underpowered Honda…yes, we have safety and an engine that lasts and lasts but what fun is that? The one constant that always leveled the playing field was the inevitable engine failure that often snatched victory from some of the best drivers of all time…hopefully, the variety we anticipate for next year’s running will bring back the uncertainty factor that is a true hallmark of the great 500’s…

    Editor’s Note: ‘Running joke’ is a bit harsh; my party enjoys all Indianapolis 500s and many between 1996 and the present are as compelling as any year that came before them. That said, it appears micromanagement of the competition that increased over time is now over.

    Comment by Neil Rubin — January 3, 2011 @ 6:37 pm | Reply

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