Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why Should You Care? - The Indy 500

John Marine | 5/24/2011 08:35:00 PM |
Why should you care about the Indy 500? Even if you don't like oval racing, you must admit the Indianapolis 500 is the world's greatest oval race. This is where you bunch up a field of 33 drivers in three-driver rows to contest for speed for 500 miles on one of the world's greatest racing facilities. The very first Indy 500 was run in 1911 with Ray Harroun winning the very first Indy 500 in his Marmon Wasp. Of course, that race took over six hours (about 6:42:08.000) in the very first Indy 500. The track, the cars, the technology, and the atmosphere was much different WAY back then compared to now. The race even can be completed in fewer hours than it used to be back then. The facility has evolved as more people have come to see racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over the years and decades. Brick roads would become asphalt roads (but still with bricks at the Start/Finish line). So why should you care about the Indy 500? I'll explain my ideas in this blog post.

This picture sets the mood:

Indianapolis 500
^ from: www.realclearsports.com - 33 cars × (approx.) 670+ horsepower Indy cars × several hundred-thousand fans = one awesome race!

My first Indy 500 was in 2000, back when what is now IndyCar used to be the Indy Racing League. I've heard of big names like Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Lyn St. James trying to qualify for that race. The most memorable Indy 500 moments I've seen were in 2005 when Danica Patrick led the Indy 500 (first female to do so) and her 4th Place finish (highest female finish at Indy until her 3rd Place finish a few years later). Maybe the biggest heartbreak to me was when Marco Andretti was going to win the race on the final lap... until Sam Hornish Jr. overtook him on the front straight to win in slingshot fashion. I don't know very many classic moments to say I understand the history of this event all that well. If there's one popular Indy 500 I keep seeing mention to, it's when ESPN Classic shows the 1982 Indy 500.

Just the fact that these cars AVERAGE 220 mph to 230 mph around this incredible race track makes this race absolutely incredible to watch. There is a lot of drama that transpires in this great race as well. There are people who say that this is one of the diminished sports events and that this doesn't deserve to be part of any of the major sporting events, like the Super Bowl, the World Series, the World Cup, and events like that. This race is still one of the greatest sporting events of any kind. And don't give me that crap that race car drivers aren't athletes. They are as much of athletes as any gridiron football player or triathletes. Piloting a race car at high speeds basically putting your life on the line in each turn for each lap is worth the excitement.

As I have mentioned earlier, you don't have to like oval racing. Thing is, the Indy 500 is more than an any plain old oval race. The Indy 500 is one of the most exciting racing events with loads of history. Victory here sets you up and establishes you as a legend. This is definitely one of the big races to win for any international racing star who wants to establish himself/herself as any kind of international racing legend. If you have never seen this race, it is DEFINITELY worth watching. Trust me.

If you have ten minutes to spare and want to take a look back at the 2010 Indy 500, check this video out:

THAT is why you should care about the Indy 500. Good luck to all racers and teams this weekend for the 2011 and 100th anniversary of the Indy 500!

For more information on the Indy 500, visit the official Indy 500 website.

Thank you for reading!

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John Marine said...

Indianapolis 500 race is exciting for automotive fans who like speed

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