Random Thoughts On The Indianapolis 500

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Now that I’ve had a chance to digest what I witnessed on Sunday and also discuss it with others, I can probably offer a little bit more of an educated commentary than I did immediately following the race. Keep in mind however, I still have not seen much of the TV broadcast.

After one last dinner at Dawson’s on Sunday night with family and friends, we got back to our hotel and turned on the local replay of the race. It was at about Lap 50 when we turned on the television. I’m quite certain I was asleep by about Lap 60. But I kept waking up and dozing off all through it until it was over, catching little snippets here and there throughout my slumber. When it was over, I turned it off with the remote. The next thing I knew, it was 7:00 Monday morning and I’m not sure either of us moved at all during the night. To say the least, we were tired.

I think one reason I was so tired was the heat. I realize that not one person will feel sorry for me for saying this and it’s a first world problem, but Susan and I shortened our time out on the grid Sunday because of the intense heat. The heat radiating off of the track at 11:00 am was brutal. That is always one of my favorite things to do, but we were both so hot that we decided to leave early and head for our seats. That would never happen on a cooler day. But even with it as hot as it was, you could feel a buzz down there that you just can’t feel anywhere else.

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I will draw on something I read from Patrick Stephan, from Trackside Online. He said the race reminded him of some of the races a couple of decades ago, when the fastest cars got to the front and stayed there. On Sunday, we did not see any of the multiple passes for the lead like we saw in the early days of the DW12. That doesn’t bother me. Although it made for a great bragging point that there were sixty-seven changes for the lead in 2013, it always felt artificial to me. Whenever a driver does not want to lead a race because he or she is considered a sitting duck, then that’s not a good thing.

Scott Dixon and Ed Carpenter both remarked that it was hard to pass with this new car, but they didn’t really know what, if anything should be changed. There were not many on-track passes for the lead on Sunday. In fact, I could be wrong, but I count only three. Early in the race, Tony Kanaan passed Ed Carpenter for the lead on a restart. A couple of laps later, Carpenter returned the favor. I’m not sure there was another pass for the lead that did not involve a car pitting until Lap 193, when Stefan Wilson passed Oriol Servia for the lead on Lap 193. Altogether, fifteen drivers led Sunday’s race but all but three assumed their leads by someone pitting from the lead.

I don’t think this new common body kit being hard to drive is a bad thing. The heat made the track slippery and the car even harder to drive on Sunday. Many good drivers were bitten when they pushed a little too hard. Except for the first incident involving James Davison and Takuma Sato, practically every crash was a one-car incident when the car just simply got away from the driver. Veteran drivers such as Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Danica Patrick and Sébastien Bourdais all found the wall on their own as did the less experienced Sage Karam and Ed Jones.

Getting to the front of the field should be hard, and once you get there it should not be easy for others to pass you as it was in the early days of the DW12. Passes for the lead on every other lap may make for great television for casual fans, but I think hard-core fans appreciate the effort it should take to lead the Indianapolis 500.

Will Power started third and finished first, indicating he didn’t have to pass too many cars on Sunday – but we all know that’s not the whole story. Through pit stop shuffles, Power found himself in the back of the pack at times, just like the others. He had to navigate around slower cars and hold off cars trying to pass him. There is no doubt that he is a deserving champion; based not only on his driving on Sunday, but as a former IndyCar champion and all that he has accomplished in his career.

We saw emotion from Power on Sunday that we have never seen before. We’ve seen anger from him in the past, but never such unbridled joy like we saw with Power and his wife Liz. I could not be happier for both of them.

TV Coverage: As I mentioned earlier, I’ve seen very little of ABC’s coverage from Sunday. But as I drifted in and out of my coma Sunday night, I heard enough to describe what I heard as lifeless. I don’t like screamers, but I like to hear a little more passion from the booth than what I heard.

I also received several texts from friends telling me how ABC had a couple of obligatory post-race interviews and then dumped the “500” coverage fifteen minutes early to show a replay of the F1 race at Monaco that ran Sunday morning. I guess since ABC will be done with IndyCar for good after this Sunday, they are going to promote the one motorsports property they have left – Formula One. Most social media posts I saw Sunday afternoon took the approach of “Good riddance” and “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out”.

Drive of the Day: I usually put this part at the very end of a post, but I was so impressed by this effort that I’m moving it up. Alexander Rossi started thirty-second on Sunday, due to a punctured tire on his qualifying run. By the time the checkered flag flew, his number “27” was listed as fourth on the scoring pylon. At one time late in the race he was as high as second behind Ed Carpenter. He actually led a lap shortly after Carpenter pitted on Lap 173, but then Rossi pitted right after that.

On the restart after Helio Castroneves crashed, Rossi was running fifth. He passed Ryan Hunter-Reay on the outside going into Turn One, then passed Simon Pagenaud in Turn Two. By the time Rossi was on the backstretch on the restart, he had gone from fifth to third in half a lap.

I continue to be more impressed with Alexander Rossi as time goes on. Since he won the 2016 Indianapolis 500, I’ve gone from quietly grumbling about that win to being one of his biggest fans. When a driver earns his way from thirty-second to fourth in the Indianapolis 500, it’s easy to become a fan.

Honorable mention goes to Graham Rahal, who had a terrible month and started thirtieth, But Rahal quietly moved up, kept his nose clean and salvaged a Top-Ten finish by coming in tenth.

Opening Ceremonies: Sunday after the race, I ran across a mixed bag of opinions from people I talked to regarding the Opening Ceremonies. My impression was more positive than others. While some complained about rearranging some of the ceremonies, I didn’t have that big of a problem with it.

I was about as impressed with Jon McLaughlin’s pre-race performance of God Bless America as I expected to be – meaning not at all. Most people around me thought it was a girl singing. There was no such confusion when Jim Cornelison belted out “(Back Home Again in) Indiana”. If anything, his performance on Sunday topped last year’s rendition, which was hard to do. I hope that he keeps coming back year after year to become the new traditional singer of that sacred song. The amount of balloons appeared to have increased over recent years. Maybe it was just the angle the wind was blowing them from, but the sky seemed filled with more balloons than normal this year.

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I still don’t care for the long breaks as ABC is obviously going for commercials, which drags things out for those of us in the stands. Maybe NBC can plan to keep that stretch of time to be commercial-free.

To me, the biggest disappointment in the Opening Ceremonies was the B-2 Bomber flyover. Usually when that fascinating airplane flies over, it is a very low pass right down the man straightaway. Sunday was a much higher altitude pass that kind of cut over from the start finish line over to Turn Two before disappearing. It was a letdown from what I was hoping for.

Kelly Clarkson did a decent job with the National Anthem and the Invocation had been refreshingly shortened this year.

But along with Jim Cornelison’s performance, my other favorite part of the opening ceremonies was bringing back the late Jim Philippi’s Memorial Day homage. Philippi passed away in 2003, but for decades recited the famous passage prior to each race. In a tribute to him on Pole Day of 2004, they played a recording of it. Although Jerry Baker recited it just before the 2012 race, I haven’t heard Philippi’s version since 2004. Kudos to IMS President, Doug Boles for bringing back this tradition.

My Biggest Gripe: We sit in Stand A across the track from the pits. Normally after each race, we get back to the other side of the track when they open the gate in the outside wall just before the beginning of Turn One. This year the Yellow Shirts did not have it opened when we went down there. They had two lines designated with rope for two-way foot traffic to handle people crossing the track. They sent everyone to the very back of the line, deep underneath the grandstands where we stood crammed like sardines, sweating impatiently with hundreds, if not thousands of others waiting to cross the track.

Normally we are across the track in plenty of time to take close-up photos of the winner as he rides by in the pace car. This year we could hear Dave Calabro telling us over the PA that Power was riding by in the Pace Car and we were still standing there waiting as we heard they were kissing the bricks. I’m not sure what signal they were waiting on, but they held back the masses who were growing increasingly impatient by the minute and practically developing a mob mentality. When they finally opened the gate, chaos ensued, leaving one Yellow Shirt to manage the crowd as the other went out onto the track. After we had followed the instructions to go to the back of the line, once the gates opened, the ropes that were set up to differentiate lines became a joke. People that were just walking up easily went underneath he ropes leaving us in the back to helplessly watch while too far back to do anything about it.

Once we finally got out onto the track, I asked one of the Yellow Shirts why they held us in that enclosed space for so long and the only response I got was, “Keep Moving.”

This was inexcusable and unacceptable. Other than standing in such tight quarters for so long, it was no more than an inconvenience for us. We’re lucky because we have access to so many things that others don’t, that it was not that big a deal to not get to see Will Power close up in the Pace Car after his victory. However, there were so many around us that said that this was their favorite tradition of race day. Yet this year it was taken from them by some overzealous Yellow Shirts that seemed more intent on imposing their will instead of using common sense and opening the gate as soon as it was safe.

There are a lot of people that now pay big money for infield parking that was free just a few years ago. Other than the tunnel that runs just north of The Pagoda, this is the only other outlet across the track for that half of the straightaway. I’m hoping this was a one-time foul up on the part of the Yellow Shirts in that area. If this is an indication of some new policy that is in place, I think IMS is going to have a lot of irate customers to answer to.

Bubba Returns: I am all about exposing new fans to IndyCar racing and the Indianapolis 500 in particular. Some might recall that in May of 2014 I wrote an article about a college buddy of mine, nicknamed Bubba, that bought my middle brother’s tickets to go to the Indianapolis 500 for the first time ever along with his young teen-aged sons. They were completely blown away by the experience. My brother’s tickets became available again this year and he asked me to sell them. I immediately placed a call to Bubba to see if he was interested. Not only was he interested, he even took his wife, Leslie, along this time.

After their 2014 experience, Bubba and his sons now regularly follow the entire Verizon IndyCar Series and they have also become regular readers of this site. When the green flag fell on Sunday, I made an effort to keep one eye on Leslie to catch her reaction to the speed, sights, and sounds of the thirty-three car field going by at 225 mph. I was not disappointed. She looked astonished. When the race was over, I asked her what she thought. She immediately responded by saying, “that was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.”

I have put a bug in Bubba’s ear to maybe become a regular ticket holder. He at least seems to be thinking about it. Here is a picture that Susan took of Bubba and me in the stands during one of the seven caution periods.

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The Scoring Pylon:  Contrary to popular belief, I do like the new scoring pylon that’s been in place for a few years now. But I wish the default view was all thirty-three positions. For most of the race, the view was the Top-Ten being stationary with the larger view containing the driver’s name and the gap from the lead. That’s nice information to have, but if I want to see how a certain driver is doing – I don’t want to sit there and stare for a while until that driver comes up in twentieth. It takes a while to scroll through in that view.

Give us that information every now and then, but please let us be able to find where certain drivers are running at any given time. Most of us already know what number a driver carries. Their place in the field is more important than how far back they are. Give us the traditional view as the default view.

Our Last Glimpse of Danica: I have always tried to be fair when discussing Danica Patrick, the driver; and separating her from Danicamania. In all honesty, I think that Danica Patrick is a good driver and I thought she had a good chance to win the race on Sunday. But I have never been a fan of the hysteria that Danicamania brings—it defies logic. There is no reasonable explanation as to why the series or the Indianapolis 500 would base an entire promotional campaign around an average-to-good driver, forsaking any exposure to the other drivers that are far more qualified. It just makes no sense to me. Others will disagree with me, but that is my opinion.

When the Danica Double was announced, I admit I cringed a little bit thinking about all the hoopla that would come with it. But I decided going in that I was going to give Danica the benefit of the doubt. I was not going to say anything negative about her unless she gave me a reason to. To be honest, she seemed to have a new attitude coming back after she had seemingly worn out her welcome by the time she left IndyCar after the 2011 season. She genuinely seemed happy to be back and she did not put a wheel wrong throughout practice or qualifying. Yes the media, IndyCar, and IMS put her front and center, but that was to be expected. As long as she was performing well on the track and was saying all the right things, I had no problem with it.

That came to a screeching halt Sunday afternoon. After she crashed in Turn Two on Lap 68, I’m not sure if she had a plane to catch or what, but she did something I’ve never seen nor heard of before. IndyCar required her to give a post-race press conference before she left the grounds. From what I’ve heard she did not want to hang around until after the race. So a compromise was struck and Danica gave a press conference in the Media Center while the race was still going on.

During the race, the Media Center shows the ABC telecast with the audio piped in through the speakers. They had to deprive the assembled media that were watching the race in the Media Center of the race audio. Those that wanted to hear what Danica had to say had to divert their attention from the race still going on. To me that screams of someone desperately seeking attention and disrespecting her fellow drivers that were still competing. I was in my seats at this time, but I’ve seen the replay and read the transcript. It wasn’t pretty.

During her unprecedented in-race press conference, Danica Patrick was rude and petulant to her command audience. She was condescending and short with several of her responses. At one point she interrupted the Moderator by saying “All right. Let me just talk.” At least twice she uttered the phrase, “I don’t even want to be here.” She made it quite clear she was being forced to do this press conference and spent a lot of the time rambling about whether or not the media was going to miss her.

It was this type of demeanor and behavior that caused Danica Patrick to wear out her welcome among fans and the media. This time around everybody wanted to embrace her and welcome her back hoping that she had matured and been humbled by her lack of performance in NASCAR. But this “farewell speech” that she gave in mid-race on Sunday was not the best last glimpse of Danica Patrick. It reminded everyone why we were glad to see her go in 2011 and why many of us hope that this will be the end of Danicamania at the Indianapolis 500.

All in all: After two days I am not quite sure where history will rank the 2018 Indianapolis 500. It was not as captivating as the 2006 or 1995 races, but it was much more thrilling than say, the 2010 race, which is known primarily for the last lap crash that saw Mike Conway flying into the North Chute fence. The 2018 edition will fall somewhere in between, but closer to a more compelling race than to a dud. Sunday’s race was considered a safe race, with Ed Jones being the only driver that was transported to Methodist Hospital where he was released just a few hours later.

This was a race that saw most of the faster cars stay up front for most of the day. But it will also be remembered for Tony Kanaan moving up from his tenth starting position to take the lead on Lap 63. But other than Will Power winning, I will remember the driving clinic put on by Alexander Rossi who moved from the last row all the way to the front, before finishing fourth. This exhibition was not through pit strategy of fuel mileage. Rossi simply charged to the front throughout the day.

But less than forty-eight hours removed from the conclusion of the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500, my most vivid memory so far is the genuine celebration by Will Power and his wife, Liz. I still cannot remember a more joyous display of emotion by a winning driver in Victory Lane. Even if you were not a Will Power fan, you could not help but be happy for the two of them.

This post will conclude our Month of May. As I said earlier – I’m tired. I need to reacquaint myself with my day job and my chores around the house, while I go through the mentally toughest week of the year – the week of the post-race funk. Therefore there will be no more posts here this week. I am even going to forego the obligatory “Belle Isle Preview” on Friday. I need the rest. But I will watch both races, and I’ll return here next Monday June 4 with my “Random Thoughts on Belle Isle”. After I recharge my depleted batteries, Susan and I will turn our attention to Road America in less than a month. We’ll be ready for a new racing adventure by then.

Thanks to all of those that followed along all of this month. It’s been a blast! I can’t think of any way I’d rather spend the Month of May.

George Phillips

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33 Responses to “Random Thoughts On The Indianapolis 500”

  1. Nice post, George. Agree with your Danica take. It seems she was in the media center as much as she was on track. I thought Patrick was an odd choice to attend the Fast Nine press conference

  2. I checked the transcript list from IndyCar media site. These people gave press conferences that were transcribed: Will Power, Roger Penske, Tim Cindric, Jon Bouslog, Ed Carpenter, Scott Dixon, Robert Wickens, Danica Patrick. No record of Kanaan, Castroneves, Sato, Rossi, Bourdais or the rest of the field. Either there was no transcript or there was no conference. I assume the latter. I wonder why IndyCar didn’t force Kanaan and Castroneves to sit for the media? Where’s the umbrage? I’ll I’ve ever asked is if you have one standard of behavior for Danica, it should apply to all the others. If the league forced me to do a press conference after a super-shitty day and let all these other A-listers who also crashed walk, I’d be pissy about it too.

  3. Ron Ford Says:

    George, your trashing of Danica here is way over the top and undeserving. After her dream was shattered when her car stepped out on her, did you expect her to be all bubbly in the media center? You might try one less bowl of grumpy flakes in the morning when you post this stuff. Is it not reasonable to assume that she had no interest in doing a press conference while the race was still going on? Why was she even asked to??!! I imagine she would have preferred to be with her crew, family and friends and Aaron Rodgers, then to be stuck in a room with a bunch of keypad jockeys who have never driven a race car.

  4. Patrick Says:

    Even when Danica is being nice she still comes across as an unlikeable person in my opinion. I tried to be a Danica fan until her personality and attitude chased me away. Then the always pleasant Simona entered the series and it was easy to pick her as my favorite driver. However, if Simona ever refers to herself as a “brand” I’m finished with her. But I don’t expect that to happen. Also, how could IMS force Danica to have a news conference if she didn’t want to?

    • Any woman who wants to make it as far as Danica did in a man’s world, being at the top level for 13 years, with good equipment and sponsors, has two options: winning tons of races, and I mean tons, or being an asshole every now and then.

      The “always pleasant”, Miss “Nice girl” women are bound to get eaten alive sooner or later both on and off the track. They will have a hard time finding big sponsors and big teams, because they don’t have strong personality and charisma to survive the constant scrutiny, the media exposure and all the negative effects of being a rarity. That’s where Danica succeeded and other women failed and will continue to fail, whether people like it or not. Talent alone won’t get you anywhere in this sport, especially for women, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

      • Patrick Says:

        I prefer to be a fan of someone that’s a nice person as well as a competitive driver. I found that in Simona. Just because she’s nice doesn’t mean she’s a pushover. I think she proved her toughness by qualifying 2 days after burning her hands and by out-dueling Justin Wilson and Simon Pagenaud in Houston in 90 something degree heat. It’s clear the other drivers respect her, and I’m sure they respect Danica as well. But Danica has a history of rubbing some people the wrong way, such as George’s opinion of her press conference. If you are more understanding about that side of her personality that is perfectly ok with me.

        • I also think she’s not a pushover, and I understand that for some people it is easier to pull for a more likeable person, but my comment was meant to offer a broader perspective. Danica had what it takes to keep going for 13 years backed by great sponsors and driving good cars, she was the “total package” like it’s been said many times. It is entirely possible that there are women drivers around the world, either in the making or already on the scene, who are as good or better than Danica, but it’s not enough.

          The number of women trying to climb up the ladder is still so low that you have to stand out, either winning a lot or showcasing you personality, like I said previously. You have to be appealing, strong, even polarizing if need be, in order to attract big sponsors, which attract big teams, and then once you get that opportunity be able to endure an enormous amount of pressure for as long as you can because one thing is to perform while flying under the radar, but trying to do that consistently under heavy scrutiny and criticism is a whole different ball game.

          Danica was able to do all of that, was willing to push through situations not giving a crap about public perception. Whether another woman will be mentally strong enough to go through that process remains to be seen.

  5. I have to agree with George when it comes to Danica. What he said is true, and its hard to argue with the facts. If she is required at that press conference, why the special treatment? And it appears she didn’t appreciate it. So much for her love of Indy.

    Her behavior speaks for itself. Bye Danica. You won’t be missed.

    I am not a Team Penske fan but I have to admit I didn’t mind Will Power winning. He has been a great driver for so long and this was the one race, the biggest race, and he had never won. He ran a great race and the commentators marveled that in the last few laps, he was running four miles an hour faster than second place Carpenter!

    • Ron Ford Says:

      Actually Danica will be missed and by a great many fans. She is one of the most popular drivers to drive at Indy and it is hard to argue with the facts. It was never necessary for her to live up to your standards or the standards of the other judgemental people here. A certain Anthony Joseph Foyt was not always warm and polite at a post race press conference. Danica has lived her life and spent her racing career being true to herself in the end. There is a lot to admire about that.

      • Bruce Waine Says:

        Driver career or model career ?

        I could not and still cannot rationalize the modeling aspect not cheapening the image of a professional driver.

        So which is/was her priority driving or her modeling poses?

  6. ed emmitt Says:

    I think the series will survive without the queen of Drama.

  7. Shyam Cherupalla Says:

    Agree with all your comments George, like the comment you made about the Pylon Scoring that shows the order of drivers, thats exactly what I feel about horizontally scrolling track shown on TV. I wish Indycar broadcasters, be it NBC or ABC, will rectify it and show the live order on the side like F1 broadcasts show. For you to keep track of your favorite driver you have to keep looking at the horizontal scroller and lose sight of the action, the way they show it currently

  8. BrandonWright77 Says:

    That was not the race I expected, but it was enjoyable. Had a more “traditional 500” feel to it than the slipstream battles we’ve seen the last few years. Those are fun, but this was a nice change and I think Will P. is a deserving champion.

    Regarding the B2 flyover, I was standing at the base of the flagstand during the lead-up and you could see it flying a holding pattern at the north end of the track (was actually pretty cool to see that thing in a banked turn off in the distance). I’m presuming they got the timing off because there was a loooooong delay after the national anthem and then it ended up crossing the track NW to SE instead of down the front straight as it looked to be originally lining up for.

    Regarding Danica, I neither like nor dislike her but I imagine it’s hard to be chipper and bubbly after you’ve just seen you racing career end in a pile of neon green carbon fiber in turn 2. I never judge racers by their post-race comments, the adrenaline and emotion is high and sometimes things come out of the mouth that aren’t intended. Not that I’m dismissing her apparent attitude (I don’t recall seeing any of this interview) but I’m also not putting too much weight to it either.

    I made a little video of my day at the track, hope you enjoy. Thanks for all your hard work George, OilPressure is one of my favorite Month of May (and year ’round) traditions.

    • I really enjoyed the race, and was a little shocked at how much criticism of the race I’ve been hearing. But I liked it because is was more of a “traditional 500.” Newer fans are not used to that kind of race.

      • BrandonWright77 Says:

        It took me awhile to digest it because it was so different from the previous few 500’s and you kinda don’t get the full picture when you’re actually at the race, but by the time I got home and watched the broadcast I realized it was actually a dang good race (despite ABC’s very poor, even by their standards, production). Probably not what people were expecting after the last 4-5 500’s though, but still plenty to enjoy.

  9. Nothing to add one way or the other on the debate regarding the driver of the #13 car…..just wanted to say thank you George (and Susan) for a month of fantastic IMS coverage! I’ll be at Belle Isle for the Saturday race again this year. Got a bunch of photos last year in the paddock. Hoping to get there even earlier this year and catch the whole sports car race prior to the IndyCar race. Planning to get some quality paddock time in. It’s not a Detroit GP if Chip doesn’t scowl at me every year when I say hello to him while he’s passing me on his scooter! haha.

  10. billytheskink Says:

    Not much of a Power fan, but darned if he isn’t worthy of respect. He drove a tremendous race.

    Was surprised that Newgarden was put on an alternate strategy so early in the race, when he was very much contending with the other leaders.

    Carpenter may well have had something for Power at the end had he not been consistently weak on restarts. It appeared to me that he was a tick quicker than Power through traffic too. Ed still has what it takes to win superspeedway races.

  11. Mark J Wick Says:

    I watched the race live on TV with my sister and niece, both veterans of attending numerous races, and we all agreed what we saw was basically a dud. As I don’t have a TV I have been following the races with timing and scoring and the radio broadcast and I always felt like I really knew what was happening, even if I couldn’t see it.
    Watching ABC was like being at the track, as I have been nearly 40 times. I really didn’t know what was going on. Maybe the announcing crew didn’t know, maybe they did, but weren’t given time to tell us what they knew, but I really expected much more. We didn’t know the surprise leaders after the last re-start didn’t have enough fuel to get to the end because the announcers didn’t give us that basic information.
    ABC didn’t do the series any favors as far as helping first time viewers to understand what was going on.
    Hopefully the NBC crew will help to keep the series momentum going through the rest of the season. I will be looking forward to seeing that they do next season.
    With a couple of days to reflect, and learn more of what happened and why it happened, I will say this was a good race and agree with others that it was more like races of many years, with the added benefit of reliability and parity keeping more cars on the lead lap.

    • BrandonWright77 Says:

      But, but, Scott Goodyear did explain to us that the mysterious tube that goes into the front of the driver’s helmet is his “drinking tube”. All this time I thought it was a mouthpiece for a wind instrument or something, but thanks to the expert insight of Mr. Goodyear I am now well informed!

      (end sarcasm)

      • BrandonWright77 Says:

        What’s funny is that I heard Mr. Goodyear on a radio interview earlier that morning and he actually was insightful and interesting and not as dry as a week old crouton like he is on TV. Makes me think the tv producers kinda force them to keep repeating the same old nonsense because he apparently is not actually as dull as he seems on the ABC broadcasts.

  12. Patrick Says:

    Very pleased that they brought back the homage speech. Unfortunately tv and radio both missed it while playing commercials and meaningless pre-recorded features. But I am glad they used the speech to fill time while 300,000 people waited around for ABC. Could someone tell me how it was worked into the program? It should have been followed immediately by taps but obviously that didn’t happen.

    • Ron Ford Says:

      I was one of those who lobbied for the return of the homage just before taps. When I did not hear it during the tv broadcast I thought WTF!

  13. I’m glad unbiased people have the opportunity to watch her press conference if they want to, using their own eyes instead of taking what you’ve said as a given, because it couldn’t be more off the mark. I don’t even know where to start.

    Rude, petulant…what are you talking about? She was clearly dejected, she didn’t want to be there because she was sad (her words), you know…she just crashed out of her last race, which also happened to be the most important to her. But I’m sure you think she chose to do it anyway because she was “desperately seeking attention”. How much sense does it make? Zero.

    No, she didn’t spend “a lot of the time rambling about whether or not the media was going to miss her”, except for a few words at the very end. Heck she even tried to smile, but according to you she was rude and petulant.

    That’s a bunch of nonsense, pure bullcrap. You’re glad she’s gone and it shows, good for you. She didn’t give you any reason to bash her but you couldn’t help but do it anyway making things up. At the end of the day you got what you wanted, one more comment on your blog. Congrats.

    • Ron Ford Says:

      Thank you so much for your comment which is stone cold spot on. George is judgemental, something his wife has confirmed here on numerous occasions.

      • I am opinionated. That’s why people come here, to read my opinions. This is not a news site and I’m not a journalist. I’m a blogger. That’s why I started this site over nine years ago – to share my opinion. I don’t mind when people disagree with me. I don’t seek out controversy, but I don’t shy away from it. I simply state my opinion. That’s what blogs are about. If people take offense to my opinions, I encourage them to comment here as you and several others have. If people are so firm in their convictions on something that they want to speak out regularly, we IndyCar bloggers would welcome others joining our small ranks.

        I’m not going to change anyone’s mind about Danica or Danicamania, nor is anyone going to change mine. The hysteria got old in 2005. I was done with her after she started shoving and hitting other drivers. She shoved Dan Wheldon on pit lane at Milwaukee in 2007. She punched Jaques Lazier in the face while they were both riding in the rescue vehicle at Fontana. That put her male counterparts in an awkward spot. If you just sit there and take it, you’re a wimp. If you retaliate, you hit girls. It’s a no-win situation that she used to her advantage.

        I have always been fair in my treatment of Danica Patrick. Go back and look over the more than 1,700 posts I’ve put up here. You will find just as much praise when she did something well, as you will when I commented on something I thought she did not so well. This Month of May I thought she performed well on and off the track and I said so. On Sunday, my opinion was that she showed the side of her in the press conference that many IndyCar fans have found tiresome. That was my opinion, but I know I share it with others. I’m entitled to that opinion and I’m entitled to state it…especially on my site. You and others are entitled to your opinion as well, and you are also entitled to state it.

        But when you say that I’m judgmental as if it’s a dirty word and that my wife agrees with you – you are dead wrong. My wife was more vocal about Danica’s press conference than I was. When she accuses me of being judgmental or superficial, it’s a kidding jab at me always giving a pretty girl the benefit of the doubt or wanting to do something fun instead of something important. If she really thought I was judgmental in the way you describe – she wouldn’t have married me. End of rant. – GP

  14. Danicamania is not the fault of Danica Patrick. But it got old a long time ago. Leaving the speedway and sitting in traffic I looked for the first articles about the race and Will Powers win on my cell phone. Yes it was there. I think the headline said it all. Here it is:

    Will Power Wins Indianapolis 500 after Danica Patrick Crashes Out in Last Race of Her Career.

  15. S0CSeven Says:

    Indy was a largely snoozer race except for the off sequence guys (Wickins, Wilson, Claman Di Melo et al ) leading the race which brought some interest to defeating the Penske juggernaut.

    I truly was on the edge of the couch during the final laps yelling for Wilson or Harvey to bring it home (ala Rossi) but then they pitted for fuel with a couple of laps left and I was left with ………. WTF? ……… so it was another boring Penske win. Good on ya Will but the ending was just kind of a yawn to me.

  16. S0CSeven Says:

    So what of Darnica??

    Here we have a young lady who went to the ass-kicking world of junior Formula racing in Europe with a dream (like hundreds of other drivers do) but didn’t fare so well.

    But she was pretty darn good, and female, and pretty and that was about all it took for Rahal (I believe) to sign her up. She was SPONSOR worthy…….. and away she went.

    During her career she amassed a grand total of 1 fuel saving win in almost 400 pro starts of all kinds. She was really, awfully mediocre but that was her ability. The media however, built her up into being the next coming. She didn’t create this mess, the media did and they made a super giant legend out of a so-so driver. She went to NASCAR and got “the call” and took pole for her first race. That soon went away and despite having superior equipment just couldn’t cut it.

    So where does that leave us?

    Here we have a human being doing the best she can with whatever she has to offer whether behind the wheel or taking it off on a beach somewhere. (go marketing)

    She supposedly was an idol and an inspiration to other young ladies to follow their dreams whether that led to driving or engineering….

    She left a trail of broken men behind.

    She left with multiple businesses and a warehouse of money.

    And most important she left with her body and brain intact. A really big deal.

    I dislike Danica because of what the media made her out to be and NOT the person she really is.

    So farewell Darnica. I’d be awfully proud if you were my daughter.

  17. Yannick Says:

    Thank you George for your race coverage this month on the blog. I’m looking forward to what your friend John’s take is on the whole thing once he gets the chance to tell it on here.

    I know it’s been a long month and you despise Belle Isle and you deserve your time off from the blog but I will miss your pre-race posting this Friday.

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