Jump to content


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


Indianapolis 500

Recommended Posts

Fastest car in qualifying today:


That car is stunning, eh?

Bourdais' time today would have qualifed him 15th, ahead of Dixon and Franchitti. I'd expect the old Dragon to move up the field a little on race day.

Wade Cunningham also had a time faster than a few of the drivers in the top 24.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have learned more in one week here than I did in my entire Formula One career.

That's going right into my signature. Jean gets it. He's one of us. Get everything you can out of that Lotus, buddy, and please, come back in 2013.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The following teams were fined for pre-qualifying infractions. One infraction unless specified. Most $15,000 infractions were for retracting the brake pistons into the caliper. Other infractions unspecified.

#2 Team Penske (Ryan Briscoe) - $15,000

#4 Panther Racing (J.R. Hildebrand) - $15,000

#5 KV Racing Technology (E.J. Viso) - $15,000

#8 KV Racing Technology (Rubens Barrichello) - $15,000

#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Scott Dixon) - $15,000

#12 Team Penske (Will Power) - $15,000

#14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises (Mike Conway) - $10,000

#18 Dale Coyne Racing (Justin Wilson) - $15,000

#25 Andretti Autosport (Ana Beatriz) - $15,000

#26 Andretti Autosport (Marco Andretti) - $25,000 (two infractions)

#27 Andretti Autosport (James Hinchcliffe) - $20,000 (two infractions)

#28 Andretti Autosport (Ryan Hunter-Reay) - $35,000 (three infractions)

#64 Lotus Fan Force United (Jean Alesi) - $65,000 (two infractions)

These were fines because they were caught in pre-qualifying tech inspection; the times set were all with legal vehicles.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So basically everyones brakes were faulty?

And we call them Bandaids. Made by Johnson and Johnson. Not to be confused with Tintin's Thompson and Tompson :P

And here you were slagging Alesi at the start, huh? It's been interesting reading comments by Rubens and Jean about Indy, especially Rubens. It's a pity that the rest of the series around Indy 500 can't match Indy. But the series must be earning some kudos when those two say how hard it is and that it's not just about turning left and that it is just as hard as any F1 race. They now get it like Graham Hill and Jim Clark and Denny Hulme and all the guys in the 60's got it.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: Well, Jean's downgraded to a small-time hero. While Rubens Barrichello takes time with the fans on his walk back to the garage, like you're supposed to do, Jean Alesi has continually blown them off. So he's still in F1 mode. There aren't that many people there, give them a bit of your time. :P

Media week for the Indy 500 which means my post count declines substantially until Friday.

But...row three...

Former Freedom 100 winner Josef Newgarden's goal was to make the Indianapolis 500 in 2013. He's here, one year early, and on the north end of the grid. Articulate and American, Newgarden holds an important place in the future of IndyCar racing, and he's working his way up from the family-oriented Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. Though a small team, moving to a new shop right by the track in Speedway, SFHR have surrounded themselves with quality people, and have stuck to their values to move from the little team that nearly ended after its first race to a race-winning organization. Indianapolis catches rookies more often than it rewards them, but Newgarden's impressive pace all month gives him a chance to do what was last done by Hélio Castroneves and become a champion in his very first attempt.

Tony Kanaan has led just over 200 laps at Indianapolis (214 to be exact), but never the 200th. This will be Kanaan's eleventh 500, and too many times has he been too close. In 2002, Kanaan led as a rookie, only to crash out of the first position. In 2006, Kanaan led late, but a caution came out before he had pitted, closing the pit lane and leaving him down in the running order for the final restart. In 2007, Kanaan dominated the race, but untimely rain ruined his strategy and left him twelfth in the shortened race. In 2008, he crashed out of the lead...again. Each year, Kanaan is a contender, sometimes the strongest one, and like Michael Andretti or Eddie Sachs before him, the 500 is never his. Kanaan's carried his KV Racing team this month, practicing the cars of Rubens Barrichello and E.J. Viso, sharing his experience and expertise with his teammates. So much emotion goes into an Indianapolis 500, particularly for Kanaan, and if he were to finally win, so much more would come out.

E.J. Viso has a reputation in IndyCar, and it isn't one he wants to hold onto. Viso has never finished an Indianapolis 500 in three tries, but with his best-ever starting position of ninth, he could be a factor, as long as he keeps the car on the track. His aggressive style stems from his complete lack of fear; Viso enjoys activities like skydiving and animals like snakes off the track. But his focus will have to be entirely within the barriers Sunday, because with a strong car, Viso may just earn a new reputation in Indy-style racing.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

And row four...

Rubens Barrichello may be the most experienced driver in the Indianapolis 500 field, but at IMS, he's only a rookie. And he knows it. Though Barrichello has been entirely flawless this month, he's the first to admit how humbling the Speedway is. For a man who has seen all of Europe's greatest circuits, calling the four corners of Indianapolis among the hardest he's ever negotiated is very high praise, and based on past performances of first-year drivers, it's very accurate. But Barrichello's been smooth, delivering under pressure to turn his fastest four laps of the month in qualifying. He, too, has endeared himself to the fans like few other F1 imports have, taking time to sign autographs, and always displaying a positive, respectful attitude. He's not afraid of some fun at his own expense, either, letting Robin Miller take him to the Mug 'N Bun last week.

In 2009, Alex Tagliani failed to qualify for the Indy 500, and sponsor obligations meant he would have to step into Bruno Junqueira's car. The next year, Tagliani owned the FAZZT Racing team, and when he decided to field a second car, he knew it would only be fair to field Junqueira. Boosted by his classy gesture, Tagliani finished tenth that year, his best finish to date at Indianapolis. It appeared as though he may change that, winning the pole just two years after losing out on Bump Day, but his 2011 race was filled with disappointment, something the one-time CART winner has become accustomed to. Tagliani now joins Bryan Herta Autosport, the defending winners, a team freshly with Honda power after struggling earlier this season.

Graham Rahal wasn't alive in 1986, when his father Bobby won the Indianapolis 500, but he still knows that the expectation for him to accomplish the same feat is there. He came as close as ever in 2011, finishing third, and returns to the same Chip Ganassi team that helped him get there. Though Rahal's attitude has been criticized in the past, his efforts with the Dan Wheldon auction and organizing a bus trip from Indianapolis to the Milwaukee Mile race have won him favor with crowd. Now he has to win favor with the Speedway, putting his two DNFs from three races in the past, and ending a losing streak that dates back to St. Petersburg 2008, his promise of winning more not yet manifesting.

SparkNotes: Everyone's a winner.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Single-file restarts for the Indianapolis 500. They aren't using double-file restarts at every track this year, only some. Indy was to be one, but they have determined it is safer to go single-file. I wonder if the closing rate of the cars, being higher this year, has made them feel comfortable at single-file? Restarts in the past were often really ugly, with guys getting huge jumps (as opposed to really ugly double-file starts where everyone wrecks), but if you can make up ground, I'll take big gaps over caution after caution.

Little under six days until the 500! So excited.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an IndyCar. Great racer at the wheel of it, too. Note the bandaid. I'm glad it has a watermark on it. Saves me the trouble of linking. tongue.png


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You know who has been helping Jean Alesi all May at Indianapolis?

I'll give you a hint. He's married to Robin Miller's favorite woman1 and is third from either direction in the bottom row of my signature.

1 Every woman who has ever been within a hundred feet of Miller is his favorite, especially if she's already in some type of committed relationship with a driver. James Hinchcliffe's "sister," whom Craig mentioned, is actually his secret new girlfriend, Kirsten Dee, Miss Indy Australia from some year. Rebecca Hinchcliffe owns a pet spa in Ontario and may or may not be James' PR girl at Indy this year (I'm pretty sure she was the other girl around Hinchcliffe's car after his qualifying run). None of this matters but it's a slow news day in Speedway, other than Jenna Fryer with her typical anti-IndyCar pro-NASCAR rumor-mongering about the penalties being unjustified and Roger Penske refusing to speak with Randy Bernard over the "turbogate stuff." Though I guess by mentioning the article and the content, I, too, am rumor-mongering. Oh dear. tongue.png

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's some truth:

Tim Cindric says one fine was warranted (Power's), but not the other (Briscoe's). He says after being caught for Power, they would have (would have? Did you or didn't you?) changed the brakes on Briscoe's.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't, eh?

IndyCar goes transparent with their penalties (finally), and now we get a lot of complaining about "well are they really fair." Next we'll get a whole imaginary court system like NASCAR. :P

Oh well, fines or no fines, it's the Indy 500 and that's good enough for me.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Drivers were sent to all sorts of cities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Some quotes, articles, and videos:

From Detroit:

I'm trying to mislead [the rookies] as much as I can, especially Rubens.

From Miami:

Even in fuel consumption, we’ve been getting better numbers. The tires are lasting a bit longer. We’re able to race closer to each other. Sometimes, we’ve been able to hit each other like you do in sports cars. It’s great for the fans, the closer racing.

From Indianapolis:

I feel bad because Simona is one of the best drivers in the series. She deserves to be up there. It's not on her.

That's an endorsement and a half considering the source.|newswell|text|Sports|s

Fluff piece about Briscoe:

Wade Cunningham's cat, Tigger:

Fluff explanation of things you already know with Charlie Kimball:

James Hinchcliffe talks about driving the #271 in the context of Danica and Dan:, you can tell he's hanging around Indiana a lot, starting to talk like a Hoosier

1 Only Canadian winner of the 500, Jacques Villeneuve, drove 27 that year.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

All thirty-three drivers had media assignments in seventeen different cities. That's good stuff from IndyCar to get all these guys out there. Each driver has an North American home city to root for them now. :P

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Drama: it appears A.J. Foyt threatened to withdraw his two cars from the race over the fines. Evidently, this issue has been resolved (I assume they canceled Foyt's fines).

I don't want to turn my Indy 500 thread into an American open-wheel politics thread, so I shall present that as a fun fact without any comment further than this is the Greatest Spectacle in Racing and it's not always a spectacle exclusively for the racing.

Now to listen to the Delta Force theme and "Europe" by Tom Blades, the two songs most commonly associated with the 500, to start feeling good about race day again. :)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, listening to "Europe," which was used for extended starting grids in the 90s where each driver got a personal biography to introduce other sides of them to the viewers, I wonder why people complain so much about our cast of drivers. They just aren't presented in the right light all the time, that's all. James Jakes can be some English GP2 washout running mid-pack, or he can just as easily be young, rich, fast, with the voice, the looks, and the girl of any superstar racing driver. Marco Andretti can be nothing more than his last name, or he can have his own identity as the hard-partying, harder-driving bad*** that he is, cool and quiet in race mode, anything but outside the track. It's easy to take James Hinchcliffe and Josef Newgarden, guys who can work their personality into anything, but it's lazy to not try to find something in all of these guys. Paul Page and Jack Arute were masters and I challenge all the people I hear complaining about the drivers we have today to really find something compelling in all of them. It can be done.

From 1991:

There were three million paving blocks in 1911. Today, only a yard of brick remains. The two-and-a-half-mile path is surrounded by steel and concrete, silent sentries to the history made here. It is a legacy of speed.

Between these walls, the risks are great. Emotions come from both ends of the spectrum. The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is quite simply a spectacle, a celebration of technology and humanity. Today it celebrates the diamond anniversary running.

It was no different when the track was first planned. The first 500 was the spectacle of its day; the giant track beckoned the best of the age, and eighty thousand fans, many arriving by horse-and-buggy. Ray Harron won the first challenge.

Since then, the lineage has raced on, men who share a special look, the brotherhood of the best. Down the years, they have sought a common goal: victory in the Indianapolis 500.

In 1925, Pete DePaolo averaged one hundred miles per hour. Today, two-hundred-and-twenty is the standard.

In the 30s, the cars led the technology, cast iron and shaped sheet metal. Today, titanium and carbon fiber define the ultimate racing machine; space-age electronics now help tame the raging horsepower.

Danger has always been a passenger. Like the track and the speed, it is a constant, ever-present; it, too, is a part of the lure. Without that risk, the men are just ordinary. In a flash, a skilled drive transforms to disaster, but man can, and does, survive the machine.

This spring has proven no exception. The fates strike at random: Rick Mears, one of the best; Mark Dismore, one of the rookies; or veteran, Randy Lewis. Each spent his moment over the edge. But man triumphs, as did Rick, a day later, in a new car to take the pole at over two-hundred-and-twenty-four miles an hour.

Now the heroes of this age wait. They weigh the odds, consider the risks, and they pray the dream, today, will be theirs.

As much changes over seventy-five races, much stays the same. Skilled hands still lovingly caress and coax the ultimate performance. Thirty-four years ago, A.J. Foyt was an apprentice. Today he is a master, starting in the center of the front row. In 61, Tony Bettenhausen died chasing a victory. Today, his son may fulfill his father's dream. Twenty-six years ago, the rookie stripes came off for Mario. Today, there are four Andrettis. Now, the 500's first African-American and first Japanese will join the line. Jules Goux drank six bottles of champagne on his road to victory. Today, it's a frosty bottle of milk that awaits the eventual winner. That, and so much more.

The yard of bricks have (sic)1 witnessed the high-speed passage of history. In just a few hours, 500 miles from now, a seventy-fifth story will have been written, a new likeness will be added to a timeless silver cup, and a new name will sit atop the lineage of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing: the Indianapolis 500.

1 Should be has...talking about the singular yard, not the plural bricks...though I make far worse errors. :P

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, I have some sad news.

I have known for a few weeks from my email conversations with Mr. Bob Jenkins, the commentator who you may have heard on the NBC Sports Network this year among many other places in the past, that his wife had been seriously ill. Last night, Bob announced publicly that he will be leaving the broadcast at the end of May as his wife has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Bob himself is a cancer survivor.

He's had a great career in broadcasting. One of just five men in the entire world to be the voice of the Indianapolis 500 (radio announcer). He's also called the Indy 500 and IndyCar Series on television, as well as NASCAR Sprint Cup, Formula One, USAC, and the Champ Car World Series. Bob's been a huge advocate for the Indy 500 over every year, no matter what criticisms were being thrown at it. He loves Indy.

Best wishes to Bob and Pam Jenkins. Bob's a great, great guy.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're reading this, you're probably me. And if you're me, you really enjoy the broadcasting side of motorsports. So here you go, Eric:

ABC's coverage of the 96th running of the greatest race in the world will feature:

Host: Brent Musburger

Play-by-play: Marty Reid

Analysts: Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever, Jr.

Pit reporters: Dr. Jerry Punch, Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, and Vince Welch

Coverage begins at 11 AM GMT -5. The race goes green at 12:12 PM GMT -5.

Opening teaser (which I assume won't include Delta Force :P) will focus on Hélio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti, Will Power, and J.R. Hildebrand, a very welcome departure from past years where they were extreemly cinematic and lost sight of what they were actually broadcasting. If this is done well, I approve.

The coverage will include: a tribute to Dan Wheldon, a feature on J.R. Hildebrand and last year's final corner, James Hinchcliffe in a parody of the Danica Patrick commercials (this could either really suck or be awesome), Dario Franchitti touring the IMS museum, Charlie Kimball and a 12-year-old girl with diabetes, a detailed look at the DW12, and a piece on Memorial Day that will no doubt be nice but seems to be a bit misplaced in Indy 500 coverage.

ESPN International will broadcast the race overseas.

Don't tell ESPN/ABC I told you this but I know where it will be streaming. PM me if needed.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Breakdown of the field for your dining pleasure:

Indianapolis 500 champions

Hélio Castro Neves: 3 (2001-02, 2009)

George Dario Marino Franchitti: 2 (2007, 2010)

Scott Ronald Dixon: 1 (2008)

Indianapolis 500 champions (teams)

Team Penske: 15 (1972, 1979, 1981, 1984-85, 1987-88, 1991, 1993-94, 2001-03, 2006, 2009)

Chip Ganassi Racing1: 3 (2000, 2008, 2010)

Andretti Autosport2: 2 (2005, 2007)

A.J. Foyt Enterprises: 2 (1977, 1999)

Bryan Herta Autosport: 1 (2011)

RLL Racing: 1 (2004)

Indianapolis 500 polesitters

Hélio Castro Neves: 4 (2003, 2007, 2009-10)

Ryan Briscoe: 1 (2012)

Alexandre Tagliani: 1 (2011)

Scott Ronald Dixon: 1 (2008)

Antoine Rizkallah Kanaan Filho: 1 (2005)

Indianapolis 500 rookies of the year

John R. Hildebrand, Jr. (2011)

Simona de Silvestro (2010)

Alexandre Tagliani (2009)

Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008)

Marco Michael Andretti (2006)

Hélio Castro Neves (2001)

Series champions3

George Dario Marino Franchitti: 4 (2007, 2009-11)

Sébastien Olivier Bourdais: 4 (2004-07)

Scott Ronald Dixon: 2 (2003, 2008)

Antoine Rizkallah Kanaan Filho: 1 (2004)

Freedom 100 champions

Wade Cunningham: 3 (2006, 2009-10)

Josef Newgarden: 1 (2011)

Everette Edward Carpenter, Jr.: 1 (2003)

Indy Lights series champions

Josef Newgarden: 1 (2011)

John R. Hildebrand, Jr.: 1 (2009)

Wade Cunningham: 1 (2005)

Townsend Bell: 1 (2001)

Scott Ronald Dixon: 1 (2000)

Oriol Servià i Imbers: 1 (1999)

Antoine Rizkallah Kanaan Filho: 1 (1997)

Grand Prix de Monaco participants

Rubens Gonçalves Barrichello: 19 (1993-2011)

Giovanni Alesi: 12 (1990-2001)

Satō Takuma: 4 (2002, 2004, 2006-07)

Sébastien Olivier Bourdais: 2 (2008-09)

Justin Boyd Wilson: 1 (2003)

Daytona 500 participants

George Dario Marino Franchitti: 1 (2008)

24 Heures du Mans participants

Sébastien Olivier Bourdais: 9 (1999-2002, 2004, 2007, 2009-11)

Simon Pagenaud: 4 (2008-11)

Giovanni Alesi: 2 (1989, 2010)

Marco Michael Andretti: 1 (2010)

Justin Boyd Wilson: 1 (2004)

1 Chip Ganassi was a minority owner of the Patrick Racing entry that won the 1989 Indianapolis 500 prior to the formation of his own team.

2 Does not include Team Green (1995 Indianapolis 500 champions); though the team originated as Team Green, that ownership group no longer has any involvement in the team, and thus only results from the Michael Andretti majority ownership era are counted.

3 I include every series of American Championship car racing. We're merged. Deal with it.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw a funny comment elsewhere someone generally made.

"25 men, 3 women, 5 ex F1 drivers"

So on that basis, F1 drivers are neither male nor female...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: I just see thirty-three world class drivers. Any who complete 500 miles a cut above that. Any who win, by any circumstances, an absolute legend. Their genitals and/or F1 experience make no difference. :P

Lotus will use the 130 kPa boost just like everyone else. Good call, INDYCAR. That's fair and correct. :)

With a great guy, Bob Jenkins, stepping down...I just thought I'd leave two little videos. Ten years apart, two of the best races ever run, both called in part by Bob. The first one, Bob is in turn four (and Paul Page calls the finish...what a lineup). The second one, Bob's the lead announcer (start/finish and main straight; first to talk). One of his best calls.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you prefer to listen to radio commentary, the broadcast will be here:

(Don't confuse this for a stream. That is a radio affiliate that legally owns the rights to the IMS Radio Network broadcast).

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

From the IMS Facebook page, apparently...these are the "sunglasses" that will be worn on laps 26 and 98 to salute Dan Wheldon...


I shall leave this as the only comment I find fitting:

Dan, one more thing...when they make those in men's, I'll have a pair.


Though, to be fair, on the subject of pairs, it takes a pair to wear white sunglasses at Indy so good for Dan for not giving a damn.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Firestone Indy Lights open tomorrow for the Freedom 100...

...and there's no entry list on the entire Internet. Come on! Best guess I have:

2. Gustavo Yacamán (Team Moore Racing) - Colombian prospect with the recommendation of Montoya, one of the most experienced Lights drivers in the field

3. Victor Carbone (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) - Second-year driver with the top team

4. Jorge Goncalvez (Belardi Auto Racing) - Last year, Bryan Clauson made an incredible move, which led to both Belardi cars wrecking. Goncalvez got the worst of it:

7. Oliver Webb (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) - Was racing over in Europe prior to this, has some promise.

8. Alex Jones (Brooks Associates Racing) - Welsh driver who I know very little about.

9. Alon Day (Belardi Auto Racing) - Israeli driver with an F3 background.

11. Esteban Guerrieri (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) - Guy was lights-out in World Series by Renault. With more money, he would have been in F1.

16. Peter Dempsey (Younessi Racing) - The faster Dempsey in auto racing, this one from Ireland, very talented.

19. Mike Larrison (Belardi Auto Racing) - Indiana native who has raced motocross, karts, and sprint cars in the past.

20. Darryl Willis (Hillenburg Motorsports) - 50-year-old rookie from Corpus Christi, TX, home of the NASCAR champion Labonte brothers.

22. David Ostella (Team Moore Racing) - He's Canadian.

24. Armaan Ebrahim (Fan Force United) - Known in Europe for participating in GP2, F2, and other series.

26. Carlos Muñoz (Andretti Autosport) - Spent the last two years in F3 Euro with few results.

27. Sebastián Saavedra (Andretti Autosport) - Also running the Indianapolis 500 this year. Perhaps the favorite to win.

28. Anders Krohn (Bryan Herta Autosport) - THE VIKING. Before he wrecked, he was absolutely hauling last year, really made the high line work. Exciting to watch.

42. Emerson Newton-John (Fan Force United) - Of the Newton-John family. Maybe Olivia's nephew or something like that.

76. Juan Pablo García (Jeffrey Mark Motorsport) - A bit of a journeyman driver in Indy Lights over the years.

77. Tristan Vautier (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) - French Star Mazda champion. This guy's really good. Finished first in his first Indy Lights race, second in his second, and third in his third.

86. J.V. Horto (Juncos Racing) - Had a win in Star Mazda last year.

87. Chase Austin (Juncos Racing) - Only African-American in the field; formerly part of the Hendrick Motorsports and Rusty Wallace development teams on the stock car side before Willy T. Ribbs brought him over to Indy-style racing last year.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be the hottest Indy 500 ever.

I can't believe we're going to make it all month without a single session rained out! Very cool.

Gov. Mitch Daniels will wave the green flag.

Howie Mandel will give the "all cars to the grid" command pre-race.

Fly-over will be a Heritage Flight. One A10, one F16, and two P51s.

Jim Nabors will not be in attendance due to health issues. A recording of him singing "Back Home Again in Indiana" will be played instead.

The United States national anthem will be performed by Martina McBride.

Guy Fieri will drive the pace car.

The more you know...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got lazy with the starting grid so here...why it would be cool for every driver in the field to win the 96th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race:

Ryan Briscoe: Takes huge criticism for un-Penske-like performance. Every year the armchair team managers fire him. Big-time redemption if he pulls it off.

James Hinchcliffe: Driving the car Danica couldn't win in and the car Wheldon would have driven this year. Just about the best personality to send out to the mainstream media, too. All he's needed to be a superstar are better results; a win is a damn good result.

Ryan Hunter-Reay: He joined Racing with Cancer a few years ago due to his mother's battle with it. Very cool for him to be involved in that.

Marco Andretti: The most famous surname in racing (at least in this country) only won the most famous race once. Marco needs to undo all the tracks' crimes against his grandfather, father, and even himself in 2006.

Will Power: He's arguably the best driver in the series but has no concrete results to back that up. He needs to win the big one, especially because it's an oval.

Hélio Castroneves: He'd be tied for the all-time greatest driver at the Speedway with four wins.

Josef Newgarden: I think everyone wants to see Sarah and Andy in victory lane. Huge underdogs who really built a great little team and did an awesome job signing someone with a bright future. Great people in this group.

Tony Kanaan: The victory lane celebration. Can you imagine? No one would appreciate this more than Tony.

E.J. Viso: It would be a huge surprise, but a real turning of the corner for a guy who sometimes struggles to turn corners. tongue.png

Rubens Barrichello: He's just such a great guy. I'd be happy for him and I'm sure his wife, who isn't the world's biggest oval-racing fan, would be glad she let him do it.

Alex Tagliani: It'd be great to see Bryan Herta get back there, and Tagliani's an emotional guy, so it'd be a good interview. After building his team his way and then having Sam Schmidt remove him from it, and after all the ups and downs he's had in his career, like in Germany 2001 and then again at Vegas 2011 which he took pretty hard, it'd just be cool for him.

Graham Rahal: We've been waiting years for him to do that. Second-generation Rahal to win if he did.

Ana Beatriz: She'd be the first woman to win the 500, and I bet it would help her get a ride after a disappointing year in 2011. Indy has a huge following in Brazil, too, so a lot of people would appreciate it.

Charlie Kimball: This guy was the goat last year. A lot of people blamed him, wrongly, for the Hildebrand wreck. And that doesn't even get into the diabetes thing. He and his sponsor are great ambassadors for the sport and for diabetics.

Scott Dixon: Watching him win from the outside of row five would be really cool. First time in a while a Ganassi win would be a surprise.

Dario Franchitti: Similar to Dixon, but also to mention that he'd be a three-time winner, which would then create, assuming both return in 2013, a race to four wins between himself and Castroneves. That'd be really cool. I don't think there's ever been a time when two drivers could win their fourth in the same race.

James Jakes: Failed to qualify in 2011, wins in 2012 is a pretty cool story. And you have to love Dale Coyne and what he's done to build his team and keep it going for decades despite such limited success and resources.

J.R. Hildebrand: Corner 800. That's all I'll say about this one.

Takuma Sato: First Asian to win Indy if he did. Good guy, too.

Townsend Bell: He's sort of been a forgotten talent, partly because he's chosen not to be full-time, but also partly because he's always been passed on by teams. I think they'd remember him if he won the 500.

Justin Wilson: Gave Dale Coyne his first, now give Dale Coyne his first big one.

Michel Jourdain, Jr.: Sixteen years between his rookie year and his return for his second one. I don't think anyone would expect it, at all.

Simon Pagenaud: A lot of people would love to see Sam Schmidt win Indy.

Sebastián Saavedra: It's his first normal 500. Qualified in 2010 while on a stretcher headed to the hospital. Failed to qualify in 2011. He has his big break, and it's great seeing people make something out of their big breaks.

Sébastien Bourdais: Dragon Racing debuts Thursday, makes up all the lost time and wins the race. That would be huge for the team that worked nights into 3 AM to get these cars ready. Plus a return to victory for one of the greats.

Wade Cunningham: A.J. Foyt's team returns to the glory that's eluded them for quite some time with a kid who has been turned down for six years after his Lights title. Plus he has a nice cat.

Oriol Servià: The journeyman driver hits it big. Only has one win in his entire career despite multiple top five points finishes; probably should have two after the Loudon controversy but hey, the records say Hunter-Reay won so what are you going to do? Recycled to a Lotus team when Newman/Haas closes, wrecks a car, comes back.

Ed Carpenter: The USAC boy from Indiana. I think a lot of people go to Indy and say "he's one of us." Winning in a team he built himself would be cool.

Mike Conway: After everything he's gone through at Indy, serious injuries, failing to qualify, having times disallowed this year, the fact he even comes back to this place every year is commendable.

Katherine Legge: Would be the first female to win, and to win for her Dragon Racing team that worked so damn hard to make this happen.

Bryan Clauson: The other USAC boy from Indiana. Randy Bernard takes a chance on this kid, rejected by NASCAR for a lack of money, tearing up all the oval tracks, dirt and paved, across the country and can't get his break. Small team with Fisher, wrecked race car, it'd be awesome to see him win.

Simona de Silvestro: Would be the first female to win, and what an upset with a Lotus.

Jean Alesi: Last to first in a Lotus at 48 years old. That would be tremendous.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Create New...