The Disciple end of May funk has begun to set in. The half a month of May has drawn to a close with another great Indianapolis 500 in the books. I find myself felling very happy for Bryan Herta’s group and Dan Wheldon and very sad about Panther Racing and J.R. Hildebrand. After last lap incidents involving cars running out of gas on the last lap the past two years I might be in favor of minimum speed limits before a car gets yanked. At the very least they need to remove part of the grass strip between the warm-up/cool-down lanes and widen the apron.
The most satisfying aspect of the day was intangible. The first five finishers represented five teams, and none of them was called Ganassi or Penske. That is utterly refreshing. Each one of the five offered a compelling story, especially Tony Kanaan. No one is quite sure what happened to Team Penske, but it is obvious the Ganassi folks out-thought themselves again.
The double file restarts worked mostly very well. Impatience killed the chances of people like E.J. Viso as it usually does. Others, like Tomas Scheckter, used the far outside to pass several at a time and did not wreck. Just amazing.
The field was filled with amazing stories like Pippa Mann, who lost her drinking system on the parade lap but soldiered through to the end despite severe cramping. Simona de Silvestro gave it a go with burnt hands, but her car was not up to the task.
Observations from the stands and after the race:
IMS should stop bending over for ABC in terms of pre-race choreography. It may work for the television audience but not for the people in attendance. In person it is a jumbled mess with zero continuity. ABC, or whoever the next partner is, should work around events going on at the track.
Whoever is in charge of the audio/P.A./sound at IMS should be fired by Tuesday. This is the second year in a row they screwed it up completely at key moments. That is inexcusable. Whether it has to do with Belskus bean counting or not, someone must be held accountable.
Attendance was great. Rebuild stands with more leg and butt room. That will get rid of the empties on the north side and down low along the front. Anyone who questions Indy attendance is stupid. I tried watching the big genital 600 from Charlotte but as I tried to watch that event and by comparison the NASCAR event resembled a slow motion clown circus. Those who obsess over attendance should take note of the colorful empty grandstand seats there.
The national anthem and flyover was great. It was out of the ordinary, respectful and dignified.
Ed Hinton is a blithering idiot. He liked the race but framed it, for the umpteenth year in a row, in the context of ‘the split.’ He once again proved how out of touch he really is. Pundits like him and the crap he writes do a disservice to the sport.
Some drunk a-hole threw a full can of beer onto the track during the race. John Andretti opened it with his car. The yellow shirts did not even make a move to find and throw out the idiot who did it.
Many keep wondering how much Eddie Gossage is fretting about the possibility of the ‘one-off’ Indy 500 winner not having a ride for Texas. We should probably look for that situation to change.
It was great seeing a lot of old friends this month, and really big thanks to Glenn, Tommy, Jimmy and all who made Camp & Brew a success every year in the Coke lot. They had a really nice ten year run, raised a lot of money for a very worthwhile charitable cause, and the future years for those guys will no doubt be way more relaxed.