Indycar photo by James Black
I stated my thoughts yesterday on the finish, and I will just say the series is walking a very fine line between racing and entertainment. I hope in the future they decide to lean more toward the racing. It is entertaining enough. Let’s wrap up what has been one of the best overall Mays in a long time.
The Last Brazilian
Tony Kanaan’s final race did not have the outcomehe or his many fans hoped for. iy was evident eartly that he would struggle for a good result. Kanaan provided a highlight when he went into the grass to make a pass late in the race.
Kanaan summed up his day.
“I think I would do a disgrace to almost 400,000 people that
were there that made me feel the way they did to say I’m
sad. I had a laugh. Helio and I battling for 15th and 16th
on the last lap like we’re going for the lead. It was like,
who’s playing pranks with us.
We both went side by side on the backstretch after the
checker and we saluted with each other, and I just told him
actually I dropped a tear because of that, and he said, I
It was a good day for me, man. What can I say? We cried
on the grid.
Yeah, not the result that we wanted. I went really
aggressive on the downforce to start the race. It was
wrong. Then I added downforce towards the end of the
race and it was wrong. So it was just one of those days.”
With Kanaan gone, Helio Castroneves is the last Brazilain driver in the series, which at one had almost a third of the grid representing the Sout American nation. Castroneves is 48 years old. he may e a 500 only driver next year, but fior how many years will he be here?
Rough Day for Rookies
Benjamin pederesen wasthe highest finishing rookie in 21st, taken out in a front stretch crashon the lap 196 restart. None of the rookies were running ay yjr finish. Pedersen will likely win Rookie of the Year tonigh.
R C Enerson finsihed 32nd with mechanical problems. Abel Motorsports can’t be too disappointed. It was a hug accomplishment to qualify as solidly as they did. The race was abonus for this very young program. I hope they come back nexrt year.
Agustin Canapinio ran a good race which unfortuntely ended in a collision with Pato O’Ward. he was headed for a very good result. I am impressed by how quickly Canapinoi has adapted to Indycar.
Sring Ray Robb got caught up in the marbles on lap 90, ausig the first yellow.Robb is still learning Indycar, and I hope he can turn things around in the second half of the season.
Rahal’s Forgettable May
Graham Rahal failed to qualify for the race. he got a reprieve when Dreyer &Reinbold and Cusick Motorsports asked him to sub for the injured Stefan Wilson. Rhahl’s miserable month got een worse when his car wouldn’t and had to be wheeled to his pit to change the battery. Rahal started the race two laps down and never caught up.
The entire rahal team didn’t fare much better. jack Harvey in 18th was their best result.
The ending aside, I thought this was one of the best 500s I’ve seen. I have been to a few of them. Once again, I did not see the 1911 race,-thanks for asking. Yesterday was fascinating for the great racing early and the strategy discussion I had with my friends in the stands. I loved how the first two yellows changed the pit strategy for some teams.
I agree with what winner Josef Newgarden said in his press confer3nce last night that the cars should be mnore difficult to drive, and then leader should nor be a sitting duck on restarts..
How to Celebrate a 500 Victory
Newgarden did it right. His post race celebration of unbridled joy was how winning the 500 should be handled. Yes the there are traditions, but they can wait. Indycar needs to allow the drivers to have a few moments of spontaneous exuberance after a win. We need more of this at every race rather thanhaving the driver sit inhis car until a television producer gives the okay to get out.
What does Pato O’Ward have to do to win an oval rtace? Stymied by a yellow flag in texas, only to be foiled by red flags ijn the 500. O’Ward had the strategy figured out, and if the race had not been halted, he would be the winner.
I hope he sweeps Iowa and wins Gateway. It has to be frustrating for him. O’Ward could potentially have had his third win of the season Sunday.
I have yet to watch the replay and I ight have some comments on that later this week. I’m off to the Victory Celebration in a bit, then we look to Detroit.
hank you for followingduring May. It wa sone of the best Mays I remmebr.