Jim sings Back Home Again in Indiana
Mary Hulman George makes the first mistake by saying "Lady and gentlemen, start your engines!" Instead of "Danica and 32 other people, start your engines." Brian Barnhart gives Mary a stop-and-go penalty.
Hornish looks like Darth Vader in his helmet.
Todd Harris and Scott Goodyear in the booth.
We get a story about Todd taking a ride in Dario's chopper rather than watching the parade laps. My viewing experience is enhanced.
Jamie with Danica's mom, Bev.
Video of Colin driving the pace car. The General looks pretty rakish behind the wheel. I'm digging his whole schwerve. Should maybe test for somebody.
Green flag, green flag, green flag!
Sammy into first. The force is with him.
Danica sixth. ABC will make sure we know, at all times, where Danica is.
Bourdais is 14th, Brack is 21st
Turn 1 is defanged by the new grinding. They go in there three wide all day.
Danica Update -- 7th.
We're onboard with Dario.
Danica Update -- 6th
Dario blows by Sam.
Danica Update - 6th and doing great!
Commercial. Toyota tells us about creating 200,000 jobs in the U.S. So don't hate Toyota. They employ Americans!
Back to racing. Danica update -- she's in 5th.
In-car with Danica as she gets blocked by Helio Hipcheck. Obvious block. Announcers say Barnhart is going to take a look at that. Sure. Right. He's right on that.
Lap 17 getting lapped traffic already. 11:45 into the race.
Danica Patrick is doing a lot of steering. Maybe the car is loose. Maybe she likes to turn the wheel. Much speculation.
Larry Foyt into the wall at the 12 minute mark. Shades of last year. Just lost the ass end of it.
Helio makes a cat-quick move to get around the mangled car. Huge move. Amazing reflexes. Major shout out to Helio.
I realize right here that the voice over for the Argent ads is a friend of mine. Swear to God. Her name is Jennifer.
Plucky Danica is in 4th.
Sharp runs over a hose. No penalty. Barnhart is cracking down.
It occurs to me that Sharp needs to stay out of Danica's box. BAAAAAAAA.
Helio hipcheck's Buddy Lazier on the restart.
Um, could we have more commercials. I think we had about 12 in the first 15 minutes.
I tried to access the scoring on the IRL site. It's in the dirt, big time. Toast.
Patrick is 5th and still plucky at the 31:35 mark of the race.
Manning is 26th. So much for Chippy. He's comforted by the fact that Toyota has created 200,000 jobs in the U.S., though. Dixon is still in it I think. ABC doesn't see past the top 6, or wherever Danica is.
Weldon is 9th. Junkie is 10th.
Sammy puts a killer move on to pass two at once at the 33:51 mark. Goodyear "he went into 7-11 and passed them by." May be the line of the race.
Danica Update --5th. Kenny 18th. Roger Yasukawa 17th. Bourdais 12th. Junkie is 6th.
Evander Holyfield is going to be on some show where celebrities learn to ballroom dance and people get to vote on who stays and go. Like American Idol only with dancing. Who thought of this?
David Letterman gets his first air time at about the 45 minute mark.
Danica pits. Does a great job! She's the greatest.
Danger Mouse and Dixon get air time -- too bad it's in a Target commercial. I don't think Manning had one second of air time during the race.
Dancia leads lap 56 as everyone cycles through. Huge. Stop the Presses. Todd Harris says it's enormous.
Bruno is 6th, not that the announcing team would mention it.
Russell Crow gets interviewed. My viewing experience is enhance. Russell is for the Australian in the field and he New Zealander and, of course, Danica.
In camera of Weldon blowing by an Off Target car.
Again, a Dancing with the Stars, commercial. At first I thought it was a spoof ad and someone was going to say "but I saved 15% on my car insurance." But it appears to be real.
Bruno into the wall at lap 102. Crap. Looks like Quatro darted him.
Much talk here about who's fault it was. Silly Quatro, he thought he was in the race to actually race when, given his engine and other circumstances, he's clearly in the field to fill it out and should go high and into the wall himself, if necessary, to give everyone with a real engine room to get around him.
Danica is doing a marvelous job.
Danica stalled the car in the pits. Stalled it, then couldn't get it restarted because she had the clutch in or something. Rookie mistake. Harris gives her a shout out for being very calm! Outstanding calmness on Danica's part.
Post-crash interview, Quatro sounds drunk. Better give him an MRI scan or something.
Goodyear hits the nail on the head: "He's a very talented young driver unfortunately he doesn't have equipment under him." Applies to about 2/3 the field.
Let's go to Jack the Root for the annual Firestone commercial. Talks to the Firestone guy about how great Firestone tires are.
Danica back to 16th. Oh, we'll keep an eye on her.
Junkie has back pain. Going to get checked out. IMS is hard on backs. Last we hear about him.
Commercial: Budweiser ad stresses it's the only major beer owned by Americans. Many flags in this add.
Brack is toast at the 1:21 mark.
Bourdais is 9th. Danica up to 15th. Setting up the story line of her epic charge to the front.
Hornish owns the high line. He's a freak up there. Drives OUTSIDE Kaanan.
Scott Sharp is third. Helio is 13th. Buh-bye Helio. Spotter reminds him that Toyota employs 200,000 Americans. (I made that up.)
Danica, 14th. I feel a "charging bravely from the back to lead again!" story line coming up.
Brack out. Something to do with the suspension.
Jack goes for the interview, but it's so loud, that Kenny can't hear Jack's "write your won chapter" lead in. Moment is ruined. Just ask the question, Jack, and worry about getting us the info, OK, not being Shakespeare down there.
Hearn and Dixon are together. 1:38 mark in the race. First time Dixon gets any air. Ganassi is now down to Briscoe. Not a good sign.
Lap 122. Danica 12th. Plucky Danica riding that ultra fast car up to the front!
Hornish is again the master of the High Line.
Helio 15th and dropping fast. No fences for him today.
Bourdais is 7th. Champ Car is frothing about it.
Scheckter is 8th.
Harris actually says Danica is "recomposed as only Danica can." She's one of a kind out there.
Kosuke and Danica rub tires. Imagine if he took her out. There would be death threats.
Bourdais up to 8th. Sam is the top Toyota at 5th. Scheckter is dropping like a rock, back to 12th. No explanation from ABC because it doesn't involve Danica.
Ashley and Wynonna together in one shot. BAM. That's huge.
Sam into the wall. SHIT!
Hearn interview -- Didn't see Scott. Didn't hear the spotter. Hearn takes the blame. Stand up guy.
No restarts will be televised today, apparently. They all happen during commercial. And that "side-by-side" stuff, that's just when the adds are free and on 0.5 rating IRL telecasts.
During Hornish interview, Danica lights the tires and gets sideways. "Did she get checked up on?" Todd asks, springing to the defense.
Danica in the pits, urging everyone to hurry so they can stay on the lead lap. Ah, correct me if I'm wrong, but the pits are closed after an accident, yes? Except for Danica. Is there a penalty for that?
Bobby says, "No harm no foul." Ah, tell that to Scheckter et al whom she drilled by going sideways. Oddly, there's no post-crash interview with Scheckter. I think she got Enge and Bucknum too. ABC apparently thinks it's none of our business who got knocked out by Danica's restart. I wonder out loud what the reaction would have been if Kosuke did what Danica did? No harm no foul?
Lap 163 green. Danica 10th. Bourdais is 4th.
Toyota commercial -- "What's holding you back." Roger Penske would probably say: "Toyota engines."
Erectile Dysfunction Drugs love the Indy 500. After seeing their ad about 19 times, I'm considering getting some, for when the time is right.
Roger Yasukawa blows up. Gets first air of the day. He blew up during the commercial.
Todd Harris says this, I swear, I got it right off my vidoe tape, "Mark this date, May 29, 2005, as you witness a history-making performance. 50 years from now you will remember where you were when Danica Patrick made not only motor sports history but she joined the likes of Amelia Earhart and Sally Ride in a barrier-braking performance in the 89th Indy 500."
Harris is going insane. He says, on lap 176, I swear, I checked the tape: "The entire racing world is tuning to see if Danica Patrick can turn the trick and win the 89th edition of the Indy 500." Um, "turn the trick." Isn't that a phrase for what prostitues do? WTF?
Harris is out of control: "Are the stars lined up, blue sky is out .."
History in the making -- we're taking a quick break (because history, schmistory, we gotta pay some bills here)
Weldon passes Danica. Yellow Yellow Yellow. ABC apparently thinks track position on yellow is based on who gets to the yard of bricks first, when, in fact, it depends on where they are on the track when the yellow comes out. This ain't race back to the line, guys.
Many replays of who gets to the start-finished first, which is nice, and yet beside the point, because the yellow wasn't out until they got to turn one. When we came back from the commercial, they finally showed that Weldon was well past when the yellow came on.
Restart. Danica makes a sweet move to get around Wheldon. Shout out to her for popping him on the restart.
Weldon chases her down. Into first. Danica is fading. Running out of fuel? Slow off corners.
Bourdais into the wall. ABC shows the car, but doesn't say who it is. None of our business, I guess. I figure it out later from the message boards. Who cares if he's hurt?
Interview with Mike Andretti. Choked up. "Dan drove a hell of a race." "Honda gave us a great engine."
Dan's radio guy says "You little pissah! (pisser)"
Shots of the pit guys getting crazy. Danny says on the car radio he's in tears. It's tough to hear with all the announcer yammering.
Video of Danica's mom. In-car with Danica coming into the pits. Patricks are great. Great great people.
Down to David Letterman for an interview. He's talking all about Danica. Vitor who? Not a mention of Vitor. Vitor is invisible. Tremendous ability (Danica). Fourth place finish, not bad, very proud co-owner. Vitor? Anyone? You know, the guy who finished SECOND. Anyone? Bueller?
Buddy Lazier is 5th. Got screwed by the yellow. He had 4th if not for the yellow.
Danica interview. Fresh from the car. Impressive. She refused to take the ABC interviewer's bait on how great she is. Admitted rookie mistakes. Glad to have it over. Proud of the team. Said first, second, third-place deserved it. Asked her what she thought about leading on lap 52. She said something like it was just one more lap done. I'm seriously impressed.
Jack the Root in winner's circle. Says to Wheldon, "Welcome to immortality." They take this Indy 500 stuff seriously. Immortality? Shocker -- he didn't ask him about Danica.
Some hat controversy in the Winner's circle. They gave Wheldon a hat, he put it on, someone took it off and put the Firestone hat back on before he drank the milk. Major sponsorship meetings over that one. I couldn't see what the first hat said on it.
Later much wrap up about Danica's courage. She's courageous.
© 2005 Bill Zahren