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 Post subject: Indy 500, call it!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 9:09 am 
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Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.



I have no clue who will win, I'm listening to the SEC championship game on the radio, the race will be on in the background. WTF, I'll call it for Sam Hornish.

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Is it still "The Greatest Spectacle In Racing"? To those not interested in the politics behind the Indy Racing League/Champ Car split, to those who love racing without any modifiers attached, or to those interested more in the "spectacle" than the "racing," it is. The Indy of old is returning – the IRL has the superior roster over Champ Car, with perhaps Newman/Haas Racing the only glaring omission from the IRL.

As of Saturday, May 6, 29 driver-car combinations had been confirmed for the race. Out of that group, five have a legitimate shot at victory, another 12 could be considered darkhorses, and the remaining 12 would have to consider a top-10 run as good as a victory. The 13th Man's analysis, with odds of victory included for entertainment purposes only:

Getting milk?

Helio Castroneves (4-1) – Arguably the best there is in either major American open-wheel series, Castroneves has to be considered the favorite to take his third Indy 500 title, which would put him among some pretty select company. Say what you will about "diluted" fields and the open-wheel split tainting the 500, but he would hold his own with Indy greats like Foyt, Mears, Rutherford and Unser. The Brazilian is the hottest driver on the circuit, with two wins and a runner-up finish to his credit in the season's three races.

Dan Wheldon (5-1) – The reigning Indy 500 champion and series champ, the Englishman jumped ship from Andretti Green Racing to join Chip Ganassi's team in the offseason, and served notice that a change in cars wouldn't affect his performance with a win in the season opener at Homestead and a second-place finish in Japan. The Englishman's drive in last year's 500, especially in the closing laps, was a picture of patience; he bided his time behind Danica Patrick and turned it on when it counted without panicking or overdriving the car. Sits second in the season standings; his 16th in St. Petersburg is the difference between him and Castroneves.

Sam Hornish Jr. (6-1) – Six 500s, six times that Hornish has failed to complete all 200 laps. His accident last year was his fourth at the Speedway. Michael Andretti may be ready to shed his label as the "Lloyd Ruby of our time" and pass it on to the Ohio driver. Last year, Hornish led the most laps but found himself in the wall on lap 146. Seems like Hornish has won everywhere but the Brickyard; while you can never count out a Penske car, his failure to claim open-wheel's crown jewel may weigh on him as the years pass. Third in season points, with a third, fourth and eighth on his ledger for the year.

Tony Kanaan (8-1) – The 2004 series champ has led a grand total of one lap this year but still is listed as fifth in the season standings; sat on pole here last year, led 54 laps and finished eighth. Drives for powerhouse Andretti Green, so cannot be dismissed despite his lack of time at the front of the field this year. An 11th-place finish at Homestead has been offset by two third-place finishes since then.

Dario Franchitti (9-1) – The Scot carries a cachet of fame, being Mr. Ashley Judd and all. Unlike the circuit's other celebrity driver, Franchitti has 4 IRL wins to go on top of his 10 Champ Car wins. Consistent driver; finished worse than eighth in only four races last season. Another driver in the powerful Andretti Green stable.

The milk is at its expiration date:

Buddy Rice, Danica Patrick (15-1) –2004 Indy champ Rice won three times that season, but hasn't returned to victory lane since. Scored a fifth at Japan, but a 13th at St. Petersburg and scoring only minimal points after Rahal Letterman's withdrawal from Homestead in the light of Paul Dana's death has put the team in a bad position points-wise. Rice missed last year's 500 thanks to an injury in practice for the race; finished 11th in 2003's race, his only other Indy run.

It's not her fault that her story was made into the story at last year's 500. Still, with a mediocre season under Patrick's ####, it's time for her to produce. She benefited last year from the extra practice time that is provided at Indianapolis, leading late and finishing fourth, but suffered at most other tracks where practice is limited to the weekend of the race – eight finishes of 15th or worse makes observers wonder whether she is as real a deal as the media hype surrounding her cracks her up to be. A win for her this year would do wonders for the IRL; otherwise, look for her to be the answer to a trivia question: "Who was considered the Anna Kournikova of racing?"

Michael Andretti, Al Unser Jr., Eddie Cheever (20-1) – Two former winners and the best driver to never win Indy all come out of retirement to run this year's 500. Andretti and Unser enter the month of May as sentimental favorites. Little Al is a two-time winner at the Brickyard, but has battled a host of demons since the late '90s; Andretti, meanwhile, holds the record for "most laps led at Indy without a win." A win by either driver would be as popular as Tony Stewart's Brickyard 400 win last summer. Cheever, meanwhile, has been back in a car this season, finishing 10th and 11th in the season's first two races and not running at Japan.

Among the three, Andretti has the best equipment, driving for the team that has won the last two IndyCar championships. Given his luck at Indy, though, that and a quarter will buy you a cup of coffee.

Buddy Lazier (22-1) – The '96 500 champ and 2000 season champ won four times in five races in 2001, but hasn't won since. I'll set aside any pretense of objectivity for a moment and mention how much I'd like to see Lazier back in Victory Lane at Indianapolis, if only to prove that his '96 win (against what some would call a weakened field) was no fluke. Look for Buddy to finish 14th at Indy, as his first three races of the season produced a 14th, 14th and 14th.

Scott Dixon, Bryan Herta, Scott Sharp, Vitor Meira (25-1) – Indy annals show that several drivers with five letters in their first and last names have had their names engraved on the Borg-Warner trophy: Some of the names are a little more obscure to today's racing fan: Louie Meyer, Floyd Davis, Dario Resta. Some of the names are famous: Bobby Unser, Bobby Rahal, Kenny Brack and even Jimmy Bryan. The less literate might add Buddy Lazer to that group. (This is the kind of hard-hitting statistical analysis that you can only find at The 13th Man.)

Don't count on anyone from this set being the next to add his name to that list. Herta has the best shot of the group, driving for Andretti Green, and even finished third here last year, but has been maddeningly inconsistent since the start of 2005 (10 finishes of 11th or worse, five top-five finishes). Meira was an overlooked runner-up to Wheldon last year, but is still searching for his maiden victory. Dixon was series champ in 2003, but has won only once since then. Former 500 polesitter Sharp has a recent win at Kentucky, but his results this year have been lackluster – a seventh, 10th and 16th.

Tomas Scheckter (30-1) – Can make his way around the Brickyard, but can also find the wall as easily. To finish first, one must first finish, so the old racing adage goes; look no further than Scheckter for living proof. Led 63 laps and finished fourth in the '03 500; in 64 career races, has been running at the finish in exactly 50 percent of those races.

Kosuke Matsuura (35-1) – Quietly building a solid season, with two sevenths and a sixth to his name. Best IRL finish is a 4th, best 500 finish was an 11th two years ago. Tora Takagi's fifth-place finish in 2003 is the best 500 showing by a Japanese driver; the 2004 IndyCar Rookie of the Year could match that this year.

Lactose-intolerant?

Marco Andretti (50-1) – The junior member of Andretti Green has too much inexperience to be considered a serious contender. Will be interesting to see if the Andretti curse carries over to Michael's son; when Tom Carnegie announces that an Andretti is slowing down on the backstretch, will it be Marco or Michael?

Felipe Giaffone (55-1) – A.J. Foyt's lead machine will be in capable hands, as Giaffone nursed the car to a 15th place finish last year after getting the call to qualify the car on the afternoon of Bump Day.

Ed Carpenter (60-1) – Tony George would love nothing better than to see his stepson drinking milk in Victory Lane, but his underpowered Vision Racing car makes him a moving chicane. It's a great story that he'll even be a part of the Indy field, as it was his car that Paul Dana fatally collided with at 176 mph in Homestead earlier this year.

Jeff Simmons (75-1) – Paul Dana's replacement finished 18th in Japan, his first race for Rahal Letterman. Drives for a good team in Rahal Letterman, but needs more experience. Second Indy 500 will be a learning experience; his 16th-place finish in 2004 is his best IRL result.

Must settle for soy milk:

Townsend Bell (100-1) –Any team that's had him behind the wheel has seen its sheet-metal bill skyrocket; in Champ Car in 2002, he crashed out of five of the nine races he drove in, while he was disqualified from a sixth race for dangerous driving. Last IndyCar opportunity was in 2004-05, when he drove for Panther; only crashed out of four of the 11 races he drove for them. This year's one-off deal is with Tony George's Vision Racing. Will probably make news this month at Indy; chances are it won't be for clean racing.

Marty Roth, Jaques Lazier, Jon Herb, Jeff Bucknum (150-1) – This list of who-dats will be happy to be in the field. Herb's not raced at Indy since crashing out midway through the 2001 race; Roth, Lazier and Bucknum all ran last year, with Lazier's 16th place, 11 laps behind winner Wheldon, the best of the lot.

P.J. Chesson, Arie Luyendyk Jr. (200-1) – Underpowered cars plus inexperience will mean that hotshot rookie Chesson and Luyendyk will spent more time getting out of the way than racing. Chesson made a name for himself in the World of Outlaws; has also made a name for himself outside of racing by dating a Playboy Playmate. Luyendyk, meanwhile, hasn't shown nearly the talent that his pedigree would otherwise imply, having never won in the Indy Pro Series despite having ran every race since the IRL's minor league took off.

Larry Foyt (500-1) – I love the Foyts; grew up admiring A.J. Foyt. Like Arie Luyendyk Jr., though, Larry Foyt inherited his father's last name but not his racing pedigree. Has a 32nd- and 33rd-place finish to his credit at the Speedway. Unless they expand the field to more than 33 cars this year due to rained-out qualifying, as they did in 1997, he can't do any worse. Maybe a top-30 finish is in the offing this year.

Any driver who is not in a car before the first weekend of qualifying (1,000-1): The list of drivers waiting to be placed in rides for one-off shots at Indy is a short one. Jimmy Kite, Tomas Enge, Jeff Ward, Roger Yasukawa, and Davey Hamilton are among the possibilities to fill out the field, and current Busch Series driver A.J. Foyt IV also wants to race at Indy again. If selected, a top-15 finish for any of these drivers would be considered a good day; the C-list equipment that they will find themselves in precludes them from keeping pace with the leaders.
http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/So ... _the_Indy2


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 Post subject: Re: Indy 500, call it!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 9:25 am 
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andretti

errr nevermind


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 Post subject: Re: Indy 500, call it!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 9:35 am 
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Lap ONE crash, hope you had fun Moraes and Andretti.


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 Post subject: Re: Indy 500, call it!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 9:57 am 
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Mrs Patrick will win..........................well not really :rotfl: ,put your $$ on Franchetti

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 Post subject: Re: Indy 500, call it!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 10:28 am 
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This is pretty cool..............

http://scoring.indycar.com/flash/?site= ... e_ts_click

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 Post subject: Re: Indy 500, call it!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 8:04 am 
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What a month! Castroneves wins third Indy 500
By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP National Writer – Sun May 24, 7:48 pm ET

INDIANAPOLIS – The tears flowed as soon as Helio Castroneves turned his red-and-white car into Victory Lane, and he really got emotional when Roger Penske leaned over to give his driver a hug.

"Thanks for giving my life back," Castroneves said between sobs.

He could've lost it all. He could've gone to prison for six years. Instead, he was celebrating another win at the Indianapolis 500.

Castroneves capped a perfect month of May by winning at the Brickyard for the third time Sunday, a triumph that was especially poignant given what he was facing just 5 1/2 weeks ago.

From accused tax cheat to Indy champion — this race was a lot longer than 500 miles.

"Let's celebrate now!" he screamed to the quarter of a million fans.

Castroneves became the ninth driver to win the historic race three times, and his timing couldn't have been better. On April 17, he was acquitted of most charges at a federal tax evasion trial, and the remaining count was finally thrown out last Friday.

"This is the best month of May ever," Castroneves said, and it was hard to argue otherwise.

He won the pole. Then he won the pit-stop competition. And now, the biggest win of all, No. 3 for the guy who drives car No. 3, leaving him only one win away from joining the most elite group of all: four-time Indy winners A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

For Penske, it was Indy win No. 15 — more than any other car owner and ensuring that the Captain has never gone more than three years between wins at this place, except for the time he didn't run because of a split in open-wheel racing.

"He smiles only two times: on his birthday and when he wins the Indy 500," Castroneves said of his boss.

Castroneves pulled away over the final laps to beat Dan Wheldon and Danica Patrick, who eclipsed her historic fourth-place finish as a rookie in 2005 by crossing the strip of bricks in third.

Patrick, however, was never really a factor on this day. It belonged to Castroneves, who pumped his fist all the way down the final straightaway.

"I want to climb the fence," said the driver known as "Spiderman," referring to his signature celebration.

Then he did just that, climbing out of his car after the victory lap and scaling the fence along the main grandstand with his pit crew. Someone tossed him a green-and-yellow Brazilian flag.

It was clearly a popular victory. The fans who turned out on a sweltering late spring day were on their feet, cheering and waving their caps as Castroneves sped around the 2.5-mile oval for the final time.

"You guys kept me strong," Castroneves told the crowd. "You guys are the best. I'm honored to have fans like you.

Crashes took out some of the biggest names in the field, including Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal. The most frightening wreck occurred on lap 173, when Brazilians Vitor Meira and Raphael Matos got together going into the first turn.

Meira's car veered head-on into the padded outside wall. He was removed from the car, put on a stretcher and taken to a nearby hospital complaining of severe lower-back pain. Later, IndyCar officials said he sustained two broken vertebrae in his back, but the injury should be treatable without surgery.

The lengthy caution period after the Meira-Matos crash ensured that everyone had enough fuel to get to the finish. When the race restarted with 17 laps to go, Castroneves got a great jump on Wheldon and Patrick and pulled away to win by nearly 2 seconds, more than two football fields.

"At the end, I just didn't have enough for Helio," said Wheldon, who won the race in 2005.

The winning speed was 150.318 mph in a race that had only four leaders: Castroneves and Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe, along with the last two winners, Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti.

Dixon, the defending champion, led more laps than anyone (73), and 2007 winner Franchitti, returning to Indy after a disappointing foray into stock cars, was out front for 50. Castroneves led 66 and Briscoe the other 11.

Castroneves started from the pole and led the first seven laps, then laid back for a good part of the overcast, sweltering afternoon. Finally, on a restart after the sixth of eight yellow flags, Castroneves surged past Dixon to reclaim the lead with 59 laps to go.

It was his the rest of the way.

"I'm very happy for him," Patrick said. "I'm glad to have him back, and obviously he's great for the sport."

Indeed, Castroneves is perhaps the most recognizable open-wheel driver in the U.S. outside of Patrick, his appeal growing even more after he was crowned "Dancing with the Stars" champion in 2007.

Then he made headlines of a different kind, dragged into court in shackles after a federal jury accused him of hiding millions in an offshore company.

Penske never lost faith in his driver, and promised that his car would be waiting if his legal woes were resolved. After missing the season-opening race, Castroneves was acquitted by a jury and immediately hopped on a plane for an event at Long Beach, Calif.

No. 3 was waiting, just as Penske had promised.

"I had so much faith that Helio hadn't done anything wrong," the team owner said. "We were never, ever going to leave his side."

Dixon was delayed getting a tire changed with 39 laps to go and slipped back to sixth, failing to become the first driver since Castroneves in 2001-02 to win back-to-back 500s. Franchitti settled for seventh after he also got held up on pit road late when he tried to pull away with the fuel hose still attached.

Two drivers who don't even have full-time rides in the IndyCar series crossed the line behind Patrick. Townsend Bell was fourth, while Will Power — who filled in while Castroneves was on trial — finished fifth in a third Team Penske car.

It may have been a perfect month for Castroneves, but it wasn't a perfect race. He had problems with his radio all day, and there were gearbox issues when he came into the pits. But he knew what to do on the track.

"Once I got in the front, it was, 'Never look back,'" Castroneves said.

Rounding out the top 10 were Ed Carpenter in eighth, Paul Tracy and Hideki Mutoh. Tracy was racing at Indy for the first time since the disputed 2002 event, when a late caution froze the field just as he was going past Castroneves. The outspoken Canadian is still convinced he won that race — his appeal was turned down — but there was no doubt about this one.

It was Castroneves all the way.

"Wow, three," he said. "I can't believe it."

The race had barely started when Mario Moraes drifted to the outside and made contact with Andretti, sending both cars into the wall going into the second turn.

The Andretti curse remains in force at Indy. Marco said there was nothing he could do when the 20-year-old Moraes pinched him into the wall.

"The kid doesn't get it, and he never will," said Andretti, only 22 himself. "He's just clueless out there."

Neither driver was hurt, and Andretti even got back on the track for 56 laps to finish 30th in the 33-car field.

Rahal, the 20-year-old son of 1986 Indy winner Bobby Rahal, crashed on the 56th lap in virtually the same spot where he hit the wall a year earlier. He started fourth and was running fifth when his car went high coming out of the fourth turn and slammed the barrier. He was not injured.

Kanaan was running third when something snapped in his No. 11 car, sending it straight into the wall at about 190 mph. The helpless machine slid through the third turn and into the SAFER barrier again before finally coming to a stop.

The popular Kanaan wasn't seriously hurt, but he sure was aching. It was another painful Indy moment for the hard-luck Brazilian, who had led the race a record seven straight years — but is still seeking his first 500 win.

"Me and this place," Kanaan said with a sigh.

Indy-car racing has had its day.
Now it can return to the back burner behind NASCAR for the rest of the year. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Indy 500, call it!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:25 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Indy 500, call it!
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 4:57 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Indy 500, call it!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:42 pm 
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