Considering a hellacious crash by a Canuck, three wide action and sizzlin’ Sage Karam showing the rest of the 33 car field the way – and that’s all from Monday’s penultimate practice session – Memorial Day weekend should prove to be an entertaining Indy 500 show. And not some mere one-outfit lounge act, either.
In a controversy-free weekend of qualifications, Fast Eddy Carpenter won pole for the third time while his teammates surprisingly secured sixth and seventh. In a stellar showing, ECR out-shined even Team Penske on Sunday. An exhilarating bump day included a couple of fan favorites rudely excluded from the field, namely James Hinchcliffe and Pippa Mann. Honda, the series’ suits in their suites and the entire Twitterverse broke down in an absolute tizzy, Lil’ Al style. We say snowflakes, welcome to Indy.
Now it’s time to look ahead to the race or, if you’re SPM, maybe you should think about taking it one day at a time. In addition to hopefully edge of your seat racing, expect some new blood to achieve notoriety with the likes of Stefan Wilson, younger brother of the late Justin, French Canadian Zach De Melo and, in only his second 500 start, Zach Veach.
Speaking of the diminutive creature of the night, there are some gorgeous liveries to look forward to Friday and Sunday and his brilliant sunburst Andretti car is easily our favorite. All the new cars look tremendous on track, especially when compared to the last several greatest spectacles in racing, where the aesthetics simply didn’t equal the gravitas of the event. Now, finally, the chariots match the circus.
Photo from indycar.com
Of course we’re also looking forward to the debut of the nose-cam at the 500, pre- race pageantry like “Back Home Again in Indiana,” the Honda versus Chevy contest and the crowd at the world’s largest single day sporting event. Most of all we’re eagerly anticipating over two hours of highly stimulating oval track racing. As always, we’re also looking forward to family, friends and fun 500 traditions. One such tradition is our full slate of predictions, “What Are the Odds?”
Photo from twitter.com
While Indy’s about triumph in part, it’s even more about disappointment and loss. Just ask SPM, who saw its star driver bumped and two days later its promising rookie slam the wall. Judging by bump day – and the rest of the last five years – don’t expect the best coverage from ABC in their swansong 500 broadcast Sunday. We join others in saying good riddance to a bad IndyCar relationship.
As for polesitter Fast Eddy, the rest of his band and the “nice to see you go” C-lister in the 13 car, don’t expect to hear a whole lot from them in the race, either. When your main draw is more diva than driver, results really aren’t the point.
Photo from autoevolution.com
Enjoy the holiday race weekend, race fans – and check back soon for our 102nd Indy 500 Race Review.