Monday, May 26, 2014

Indy 500 Post-Race

2014 marked my 10th Indy 500 since 2000. Somehow, they get better every year! Not just in terms of on-track action, but in the experiences and activities surrounding the race. I've already expressed my feelings on Twitter, but I enjoy the people I meet at the 500 as much as the race. It's fun to meet others so unironically enthusiastic about something!

About the race: I don't think anyone could call that pack racing. Nor can anyone complain about a lack of parity. In a time not so long ago, the fastest 2 or 3 or 4 drivers would have lapped the rest of the field several times during the 147 laps of green flag racing. I'm not the only one who was disappointed we had any yellows at all! As the race wound down, it was clear that the fastest guys were Helio, Hunter-Reay, and Marco Andretti. It looked like RHR might have had a slight speed advantage. Will Power wouldn't have won me any money; his pit lane speed violation was the kind of mistake I expected from the Will Power of 2011 or 2012. I think Montoya had the field covered and was ready to be the man in front at the end of the race, at least until his pit lane speed violation. I was actually surprised he didn't stay out during the circa lap 150 pit stops-my mental calculations indicated he was one of (if not THE) only driver who could have completed the race with just one more stop.
Me giving RHR the tip he would need to win Indy two years in the future

Second or third on the list of discussion topics is the red flag. I believe I covered this back in 2012 when Indycar flew the red flag near the conclusion of the Fontana race. In my opinion, the red flag should not be used to stop the race to make an attempt at a green-flag finish. Sometimes races end under yellow. That's just how it goes. The race goes to the driver who completes the stated distance first. Red flags should be used to stop the race in the interest of safety (rain, track blockage, track repair, etc), or for other specific uses by race control. If the catch fence or SAFER barrier needed attention, then I'd call Sunday's use of the red flag appropriate. I fear that I might be on the losing side of the future with this one. If so, I hope Indycar clearly defines the rules for the red flag's use. That's something NASCAR never did.

I should also mention dinner Thursday night, Carb Day, the Carb Night Burger Bash, Legends Day, and our traditional Post-Race Mexican Dinner and Watching of the Rebroadcast. Again, it was great to meet all the Twitter and online friends I hadn't met before, and to catch up with those I had. Here are some more photos from the weekend:

Your 3rd Place Finisher, Practicing on Carb Day

Takuma Sato, Kevin Lee, and Arie Luyendyk at the Carb Night Burger Bash
Public Driver's Meeting on Legend's Day. Notice the range of expressions: from 'Bored' to 'Excruciatingly Bored'
Part of the Hall of Fame Museum's Turbine Car Display

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