Sunday, May 25, 2008

Indy 500 Live - Dixon wins

Scott Dixon, the pole winner and man who dominated all afternoon, won the 2008 Indianapolis 500. The race wasn't particularly exciting, but it contained drama as a few race favorites crashed or had mechanical problems. Pittsburgh-native Chip Ganassi won his second Indy 500 since 2000. Thanks for reading, but now it's time for me to grab a few beers and watch the Coke 600. Have a good weekend, everybody.

1. Scott Dixon
2. Vitor Meira
3. Marco Andretti
4. Helio Castroneves
5. Ed Carpenter

Lap 199: Last lap and Dixon has a comfortable lead. He has to deal with a little bit of traffic, but he navigates through it just fine.

Lap 197: Andretti has fallen back, but Meira is making a run now. Still, it looks like he is too far behind. This clearly is Dixon's race to lose.

Lap 190: Ten laps to go and Dixon is pulling away from Meira, followed by Andretti, Castroneves and Carpenter. Marco is closing in on the leaders while driving 3 mph faster than Dixon. But he's running out of time and has to get by Meira first.

Lap 177: Wow, this looks like a NASCAR race at Talladega as it looked like Dixon went in the grass to block. He has the lead and is followed by Meira. This would be a major upset if Meira can win, but it seems unlikely the way Dixon and Target have run in May.

Lap 168: Milka Duno, having a decent race in 19th, pulls low on the track and spins. They're dropping like flies, but no spectacular crashes as predicted by the prerace show. I guess this is the kind of racing you get when all the best open-wheel drivers are sucking it up in NASCAR. Ryan Briscoe and Indy's darling Danica Patrick crash coming out of pit road. "It's over, guys," Patrick said as the crew pushed her car behind the wall. She got out of her car and began walking to Briscoe's car to kick his butt. Good thing an Indy official got in her way becasue she wanted his blood.

Lap 157: Thomas Scheckter's car breaks and he's out. Honestly, I'm surprised he didn't crash from aggressive driving because that's what he liked to do while driving for Team Red Bull in the mid-2000s. Now single-team driver Vitor Meira takes the lead. This should last reeeeeeal long. Scott Dixon is stalking him and smells fresh meat.

Lap 150: Dixon is leading but Wheldon is dropping back to 14th place. Meanwhile Danica Patrick has been all hype as she sits in 7th place. Crazy crash by rookie driver Alex Lloyd as he came down pit road backwards after crashing into Turn 4. Thank goodness he got slowed down before getting close to any crewmen.

Lap 132: So much for that Justin Wilson phenom. He crashes in Turn 2 and ends Newman-Haas' chances of winning in its return to Indy. Another round of pit stops and the big loser is Ed Carpenter. He missed his marks pulling in, throwing off the stop and he stalled it. But it's still early and he has plenty of time to make up ground.

Lap 105: Tony Kanaan, who finally showed his muscle by taking the lead, is crashed by teammate Marco Andretti. Kanaan crashed into Sarah Fisher after his teammate forced him up the track. Andretti now benefits and is leading.

Lap 81: Another crash, this time going into Turn 2.

Lap 63: Marty Roth hits the Turn 4 wall hard and his car is destroyed. Things were getting a little crazy near the leader as they were trying to avoid going down a lap. Two-time Indy champ Helio Castroneves hits some of the debris and his front right wing is broken. The crew surely will have to replace the front nose cone during the pit stops. they do without a problem and he gets out after losing only a few positions. Nice stop by the Penske crew.

Lap 50: We're a quarter of the way through this 200-lap event and Target Chip Ganassi drivers are still leading. They're playing tag for first place, although Tony Kannan is on their tails. He has the only car that appears to be able to challenge Wheldon and Dixon.

Lap 38: Graham Rahal crashes coming out of Turn 4. What a shame for Bobby's son, who won earlier this year. It appears he was going high around a car that was pitting and hit hard. His day is finished. Dixon now leading as they will com down pit road. Scary moment at A.J. Foyt IV's car catches fire on pit road. They have difficult putting it out and getting him unbuckled. He appears uninjured as he walks down pit road. Good to see the safety crews get to him so quickly.

Lap 34: Buddy Rice and Justin Wilson come in and pit. That might explain why Wilson was running third. It'll be interesting to see how green flag stops affect him. Wheldon still leading, but Dixon is closing fast.

Lap 21: Who is this Justin Wilson fellow driving the No. 02 car? Impressive run and pass by the rookie. "Matt", on the other hand, is more impressed with another driver. "There's something to be said for anyone, especially a driver in the Indy 500, with the name of Will Power."

Lap 14: Sarah Fisher spins while trying to warm her tires before they go back green. What a shame. As "matt" mentioned, she has been a pioneering female driver at Indy. Less than a decade ago, she was the Danica Patrick of Indy cars and what the media was talking about.

Lap 8: Dan Wheldon leads and is followed by teammate and pole sitter Scott Dixon. Not much passing as they get stretched single-file around the track. Caution comes out due to debris (a mirror from the No. 18 car) on the track. All cars come down pit and Wheldon and Dixon come out first and second.

(1:11 p.m.) Emerson Fittipaldi leads them around the track. The green flag drops and they're off! It's good to see open-wheel racing united at Indy.

(1:04 p.m.) What a shame ABC has to plug Dancing with the Stars by having Julianne Hough sing the national anthem. Powerful rendition, though. I'm sure Helio was watching intently! And it wouldn't be Indy without the playing of (Back Home Again in) Indiana by the Purdue marching band. Ah yes, it's almost time to race. They give the order to fire the engines and they're off on the grid.

(12:41 p.m.) As part of ABC's prerace show, they air a piece on crashes and the turmoil a driver goes through behind the wheel. Then they interview the widow of Paul Dana and she described the sadness of losing her husband when he died during practice at Homestead in 2006. The other drivers suggest Dana died doing what he loved. She flattly says he didn't want to die. Very riveting piece of journalism, but it doesn't seem all that appropriate just a few minutes before the race. Kind of a downer, actually.


"Matt" said...

It's interesting to note that yes, everyone knows that Danica Patrick is in this race, but so are Indy vet Sarah Fisher and Venezuelan Milka Duno. Three women in this year's race.

"Matt" said...

Lap Eight 1:17 First caution for debris

"Matt" said...

I'm liking ABC's broadcast with the commercials and race side-by-side. Very good idea, and I'm hoping that we'll see the same thing tonight with the Coke 600. But, I know better than to expect a good idea like that out of FOX.

Mike Jones said...

They've been doing that for a couple of years now. I definitely like it and want to see ESPN do it during their NASCAR broadcasts. It seemed like Fox in 2001 always went to commercial right before a crash (i.e. They cut from a Home Depot commercial to show Tony Stewart flipping at Daytona)

"Matt" said...

It has to be incredibly frustrating to spend an entire month practicing and prepping for one race, only to have it finish by lap 15. Tough, strange break for Junqueria.

"Matt" said...

Lap 38 1:44 Graham Rahal crashes. So much for the family legacy this year. Dave Letterman's pissed.

"Matt" said...

AJ Foyt IV car catches on fire due to a fuel spill on pit road. That's a strangely fitting conclusion to his month here at Indy.

Mike Jones said...

Are you saying it wouldn't be Indy without a Foyt catching fire?

"Matt" said...

Lap 62 2:11 Marty Roth slams hard into the wall. Looks like the debris caused damage to Helio Castroneves.

"Matt" said...

Lap 80 2:36 Camara gives the wall new paint job. Looks like his steering broke, or maybe it wouldn't turn, because he just kept going until he hit. He's out of the car.

"Matt" said...

Lap 106 3:06

Biggest news of the race so far. Leader Tony Kanaan is inadvertently crashed by teammate Marco Andretti. Details to follow.

Mike Jones said...

What a shame for Tony. He was the only guy to have anything for the Target cars, but now it looks like it's Andretti's race to lose.

"Matt" said...

10 to go, but I have to think that this race will take another thirty minutes.