Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

May 31, 2012

2012 Indianapolis 500 Recap and the Aftermath

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:56 am

I have purposely refrained from commentary over the past week or so specifically because I was off work for a couple of days before qualifying weekend through the 96th running. It was my intent to soak up the event and all that goes with it. I was not disappointed. Much. Best of all, the weather was great for the duration.

The race was much better than anticipated. 35 lead changes, no contrived manipulation (except Barfield’s extension of the yellow after Newgarden’s accident to ensure all participants had enough fuel) and multiple inspired drive. More than half the spectators booed very loudly when they realized Dario would win again, and I understand the sentiment. TK would have been a far better story. Even Taku would have been nice. That said, Dario earned it on the track, and regardless of how anyone feels about what generally is perceived as smug arrogance he did his job on the track despite a pit incident.

The new car provided some great action and the live crash testing affirms many of the safety aspects.

Pole day was also well attended by I am not convinced the gimmick about a ‘fast nine’ shootout will stand the test of time. Bump day was ‘bump’ in name only. That must be resolved in 2013. Carb day drew the usual 100K or so and the on-track action was well worth the time, including a very competitive Lights race.

As part of my absence here I also refrained from reading anything anyone anywhere had to say about the event, particularly on the Internet. Why? Simple. Most people offering commentary there are blithering idiots without clue one. The vast majority have never even been to Indy. It was admittedly refreshing to choose not to read about some random blithering idiot contribution about attendance, overnight 12+ audience estimates, or some other variation of ‘the death of Indy’ whacko theory.

Speaking of blithering idiots there is evidently a movement afoot by selected Chevy team owners to have Randy Bernard fired. Most fingers point toward John Barnes as the instigator. Randy Bernard himself confirmed the rumor in a tweet. I believe I can empathize with both ‘sides.’ Owners have legitimate concerns about cost, availability, etc., and Randy has issues as well. He has a tendency to pander to whatever audience he is in front of and can speak out of both sides of his mouth. He has, however, worked harder and elevated the sport more than any one person has in decades. He should get a raise.

A mutiny by any owner would be the most stupid act possible. Any such insubordinaton should be dealt with swiftly and firmly. An ‘owner’ revolt, in whatever arrogantly stupid form it takes, would lead to self-inflicted injuries that could easily be prevented with minimal sense. It is my hope that some serious ass gets kicked.

So far all the races this season have been compelling in their own ways, and that trend looks to continue.



  1. A great Indy 500. Thirty-five lead changes is a good race by anybody’s standards, I don’t care what anyone says. I wish another driver than Franchitti had won, but when you’re good, you’re good. Some other observations:
    1. Kudos to Takuma Sato, until his last-lap boneheaded move. Why couldn’t he have displayed that talent sooner? He’s been driving for YEARS.
    2. Kudos also to James Hinchcliffe. It was good to see that Go Daddy car at or near the front where it belonged, instead of midpack or at the rear, as with its previous driver. I think James is headed for stardom; I hope I’m right.
    3. Those restarts were absolutely CRAZY. It was a combination of heads-up driving and incredible luck that prevented a major pileup at the start/finish line each time. And they’re worried about single or double file restarts? How about a stampede?
    4. Marco Andretti was doing well until the inevitable Andretti curse struck again. I can remember when it started, so…..
    5. Lucky Mike Conway, in an accident eerily reminiscent of his own accident two years ago, and Dan Wheldon’s last October.
    6. One thing has always bothered me. Why does Chip Ganassi have two such outstanding drivers in IndyCar and settles–year after year–for two such losers in NASCAR? Just wondering.

    Comment by DOUG — May 31, 2012 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

  2. The booing of Dario was sad and indicitive of the low clas, bitternesss and poor sportsmanship of many folks who show up at IMS every Memorial Day weekend. If so-called fans would respect and embrace the stars of their sport instead of directing hate, then the sport might actually grow. Sadly, most of the good drivers are hated while love is directed to scrubs like Ed Carpenter, Josef Newgarden, Bryan Clausen, and any former IRL team that was never in CART or Champcar.

    Comment by TroyM — May 31, 2012 @ 2:57 pm | Reply

  3. Good article with facts and opinions worth listening to.

    Comment by steve — June 1, 2012 @ 5:43 am | Reply

  4. Dear Defender:

    Drove up and back from Florida to Indianiapolis to check out last Sundays’ Indy 500 and here are some of my observations after attending my first 500 (although I had previously visited Indy for F1):

    The sheer numbers (300K) are staggering and really leave you amazed that the organizers can put this race together year in and year out and my sincere appreciation to the Hulman-George Family for keeping the faciltiy race ready each May (although I will never forgive TG for his dumb-ass hammer comments and for purposefully splitting US Open Wheel-but that’s for another day). Access to and from the CBD to 16th and Georgetown Rd. was smooth and hats off to the local authorities for keeping the traffic flow moving in both the morning and afternoon. While the faciltiy lacks the modern conveniences our candy-ass society has become familiar with such as escalators/elevators to the Paddock Penthouse level, having enough space under your seat for a full size cooler remains impressive which was necessary since all the vendors sold was Miller Lite….are you freaking kidding me? Were the heck are Bud and Coors Light? Anyway, the tight procession from the drive intros at 11:30 to the presentation of our proud soldiers and sailors to Florence Henderson singing was like clockwork and while we would have appreciated Jim Negbors signing live, the recording did Back Home Again in Indiana justice and then having Mari Hulman give the command sent shivers down my spine…as for the race itself, you could not ask for more…a record for lead changes, no really serious wrecks and plenty of late race drama and the new car had the fans excited about the speed and sound….too bad the Chevys were gas guzzlers and could not bring TK his madien victory at the 500 as the crowd rose to their feet when he took the lead in the final stages…then came our boy Taku who had a legitimate shot to challenge and overtake Dario on the final lap but his inexperience and impatience resulted in Mr. Judd taking his 3rd 500…apart from the searing heat, which was preferable to precipitation, the race was an unqualified success and I will certainly return next year…now, only if you or Robin Miller had warned us about the ‘Red Garter’ downtown….perhaps the worst in adult entertainment in our beloved USA…

    Comment by Neil Rubin — June 3, 2012 @ 1:38 am | Reply

  5. Good points made; one of the best indy blogs around. My question, as I re-watch the 500, is why didn’t Viso cop a penalty for punting Dario on pitroad? I feel bad for Taku but I’m proud of him-ran a great race and took a shot at the win instead of settling for second. Way to go, Taku. Your time will come.

    Things that pissed me off were that smug pompous ass Ganassi, Dario’s arrogant brainless wife on pit lane, IndyCar’s fucking with Lotus, and Viso still having a ride when there are plenty of talented Americans there to take his place.

    Comment by Jordan L. — June 4, 2012 @ 2:14 am | Reply

  6. I suspect ol’ D has killed himself after witnessing his beloved texas race draw more flies than fans. The irl, gotta love it.

    Comment by J.B. — June 16, 2012 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

  7. Is the Defender dead or what? No posts since the 500 and PLENTY to talk about!

    Comment by Greg Ryhal — June 18, 2012 @ 8:51 pm | Reply

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