100th Indy 500 Race Review: Out of Gas Edition

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Photo from sports.usatoday.com

American IndyCar driver Alexander Rossi stunned IRR and the rest of the racing world Sunday. The Californian – who we predicted would do well – won the most significant race in history after running out of gas, coasting for nearly the entire final lap. When asked on television, the twenty four year old rookie classily mentioned it being “a huge honor and privilege” to have won the 100th.

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Photo from indycar.com

Juan Montoya‘s crash on his own in turn 2 was within IRR’s view at the track and a real highlight of the day. Sage Karam‘s wreck occurred right in front of us, while former 500 winner Buddy Lazier‘s problems went completely around the track. Continue reading

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100th Indy 500 Practice 2/3: Tow Edition

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Photo from Chad Smith on twitter.com

Honda may own the fastest speeds of the month in a tow, but they also own the first two major engine problems as well as the first crash.

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Photo from sports.usatoday.com

After a washout Tuesday the track was green Wednesday at the shrine of motorsports. Things got off to a wacky start with the numbering. According to IMS, the second day of practice which occurred Wednesday is actually – and officially – day three, not day two. Got that? So we’re using the Lazier/Burns slash and calling it practice 2/3.

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Photo from Jason on twitter.com

RLL rookie Spencer Pigot received a rude welcome to the ancient and unforgiving Speedway. Pigot became the first and only crash victim thus far, spinning in turn 1 and slamming into the end of the safer barrier with his left side. Continue reading

Why Menard’s Indy 500 Decision Is So Disappointing

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Photo from twitter.com

In the past, John Menard placed his immense IndyCar sponsorship money for the good of the sport with drivers and teams who needed it – not with super teams who don’t.

On Tuesday Team Penske announced a partnership with the Midwesterner Menard for three races this season, including the all important 100th Indy 500. His sponsorship dollars will go to the irascible Frenchman Simon Pagenaud‘s 22 car for three races, culminating at Road America in Menard’s home state of Wisconsin. This decision by the “Save Big Money” man is highly disappointing, to say the least.

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Photo from speedsport-magazine.com

In one sense, we at IRR appreciate Menard’s recently announced IndyCar backing, which used to be a staple of the series. Like many, we welcome the prodigal billionaire back. Also appreciated are his cars’ distinctive day-glow paint schemes, adding much to open wheel racing’s aesthetic. Last but not least, the billionaire’s backing of the 100th Indy 500 admittedly is also a gracious, though self serving, gesture. But that’s where the rub comes in, as his backing in this case is badly misplaced.

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Citing a lack of “fun,” Menard jumped ship to NASCAR back in 2004 after sponsoring IndyCar teams for twenty five years. Menard’s IndyCar drivers included the late Scott Brayton, Greg Ray and a younger, slimmer and more sane Tony Stewart. Continue reading

How IndyCar Is Like Trump: A Study In Showmanship

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Photo from chicagoist.com

IndyCar and The Donald share a number of things in common. They’re showy, worth billions of dollars, carrying momentum into 2016 and seeking the pinnacle of American success.

“How can they compare a racing series to a celebrity presidential candidate?” you’re probably asking yourself. The answer is with a great deal of alcohol and cabin fever while on a snowy getaway to the mountains. So, we’re chalking it up to the thin, wispy air and the booze having an unhinging effect upon the brain. Yeah, that’s it. But (half) seriously, you may be surprised at just how similar the two are.

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Photo from Indy Race Reviewer

Undeniably, IndyCar and The Donald are both big proponents of fence building – and, crucially, making other people pay for it. Trump’s will be on the border with Mexico while IndyCar’s resides at IMS, a billion-plus dollar corporation currently refurbishing the Speedway with Indiana taxpayer dollars. It’s all in preparation for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in the latter instance, and due to 50 years of mass immigration in the former. People are lining up to pay for the construction of one wall, as ticket sales for the race are moving briskly. At the other wall, too, all sorts of people are lining up, though they’re not exactly paying customers – or waiting until Memorial Day to pay a visit.

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Photo from twitter.com

The two share another fundamental element in common and that’s dependence upon television ratings. Without television, both Trump and IndyCar would effectively cease to exist. Then pray tell, whatever would Marco do for a living? And Trump’s sons? Continue reading