100th Indianapolis 500 Preview: A Race Worthy Of The Hype

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Excitement approaches a crescendo as the 100th Indianapolis 500 draws near. It’s no exaggeration to call it the most important race in history. Over a century of tradition, the race of the year, the winner’s name and face etched in silver, all at the world’s largest single day sporting event. Expectations are for the greatest spectacle in racing to be even greater this year. After a long wait and lots of buildup, let’s hope the race lives up to the hype. We think it will.

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Consequently, the IRR crew will be on hand for the sights, sounds, smells and feel of Memorial Day Sunday at IMS. Unless you’ve actually attended an IndyCar oval race in person, you don’t realize the sheer force of the machines, the magnitude of the power and the absolute rush of the cars screaming past you. Simply put, dozens of cars doing over 220 miles per hour isn’t something normal to behold. The Indy 500 amplifies everything five fold – the higher speeds, the larger field, the awe inspiring Speedway. Come race day, three hundred thousand race fans are in for the treat of a lifetime.

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IMS is sold out as it should be, which necessarily means a traffic nightmare on race morning. So arrive early, find your seats and enjoy the pageantry. Soak in the occasion, enjoy your vantage point at the world class facility and prepare for two hundred laps of artistry on wheels at the Brickyard. For the one hundredth time. Drivers can perceive the city-sized crowd’s reaction and are well aware of the throngs expected and the millions more tuning in around the world. The significance of winning the 100th isn’t lost on them, either.

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Photo from Chad Smith on twitter.com

Competitive engines and a deep field including six former winners will help keep things engaging. On pole for the first time in five years, Honda’s also had several engines let go this month. Chevy hasn’t been immune to failure either and engine reliability could be an issue. Indy is the first endurance race of the year.

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Photo from Chad Smith on twitter.com

Happily, practices and qualifications have shown real promise for an entertaining race, as well. Less happily, the 100th also promises some mishaps, with six rookies and plenty of other drivers of dubious talent in the field. If you’re sitting in the first few rows, keep those debris helmets handy.

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Leading the thirty three cars in rows of three, Canadian pole sitter James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden and Ryan Hunter-Reay form an all North American front row. The new Mayor of Indy jokes about a wall between the U.S and Canada, but if he wins Sunday the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports ace will be able to build one out of stacks of currency.

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Photo from twitter.com

Driving for Ed Carpenter Racing, our pick Newgarden has a strong starting spot and also a quick car, though little experience. Andretti Autosport’s top man Hunter-Reay is going after his second 500, having  won it in 2014. Thanks to poor qualifying, our dark horse pick Graham Rahal starts deep in the field, but don’t let that discourage you. He won’t. It’s his fearless ability to advance through that makes Rahal so exciting to watch.

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Photo from Chad Smith on twitter.com

Here’s hoping for good weather and an even better 500. It should prove worthy of every bit of the hype. We’ll be there with bells on – and sharp as hell IRR t shirts – so be looking for us at the south end of the track. Be safe, remember our sage advice and above all, enjoy the race.

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5 thoughts on “100th Indianapolis 500 Preview: A Race Worthy Of The Hype

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