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« Indy 500 Top 3 Finishers Transcript | Main | Indy 500 Overnight Rating hits 4.3, Up 7% from 2010 »

May 29, 2011


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I would shorten that last statement: Penske suddenly has serious issues. This is the kind of race that messes with a team's psyche. Ditto with Dario. He looked absolutely gobsmacked in the post race interview.


Everyone talks about how great Firestone is, and yeah, it's safe, but man, those tires marble too much at Indy. It was a good race, a horrible telecast, and a great finish. I don't understand why Indy is so one groove. Sure, it's a bit narrow, but so is Iowa, and theres' tons of passing. I get the feeling it's tires. I know the "old timers" talk about the apron. I really don't know whether that would help or not. But we've got safer cars and SAFER walls, so at this point, anything that would improve the racing is good. That said, it sounds like there was more passing on track then we saw on TV.

Still, the DEATH STAR got blown up. By Wheldon and Hildebrand. I was pretty split between the two. Both are good stories, and both are very big underdogs. And, for WHeldon, this is sort of revenge for Kentucky, where Helio beat him on fuel.


I liked the double-wide restarts. Even though they were a compromise, I thought they were an improvement.

Bad for JR. Disappointing for Tracy, Simona! and Tags and all of Penske. Great for Weldon. Good for Indycar--good show all in all.

Brian McKay

Racers didn't want two-abreast restarts yet went THREE-WIDE.
I'll reiterate what Dylan wrote: "good race, a horrible telecast, and ... I don't understand why Indy is so one groove" It's nearly flat, so I'd expect rubber bits to be blown right (and not roll back to racing line as if track were steeply banked). Rahal and Servia showed well.
Too bad for Dario, Dixon, Tags, Hinch, J.R., & Simona. I hope that the wallbangers learned something for their next 500.
The booth crew SUCKED. Boring. I like Jamie Little, Vince Welch, though. Glad that I didn't hafta hear Jack Arute. Glad that I didn't have to hear a hundred times this month about Helio's chance for a fourth win as I did last year.
Glad that a dark horse could win. This year & next we should be able to see more underdogs win.

Filip Cleeren

+ double file launch pads
+ hollywood
+ belgian buns
+ jedis

- TV coverage
- marbles


M. Pruett quotes Marco (re: double-wides) as saying "they're trying to kill somebody." Really? Frankly, I don't know who's right--but I'm so ready for all the talk about them to stop.

I enjoyed (what was left) of the double-wide restarts but I don't understand why drivers are complaining (not saying they're wrong, saying I'm confused). And Marco is way beyond just complaining--yet cars were three and four wide and dicing like crazy at times. They weren't required to--they just did it. How is lining up in two lanes so contrary to what driver's want? But apparently Marco believes Randy Bernard is trying to kill him.

Matt E.

Shouldn't JR be shown as "contact" and not "running"?


or 'running-ish'.....

Enjoyed reading this festival of comedy race reports.

May I recall last year's event, where I was sitting trackside with the radio scanner on the 10 frequency, when on the final few laps the voice of the leader became ever more panicked and stressful than expected as he asked Chris Simmons.."Where's Weldon" "How far behind is he now".

Consistently being in a position to snatch the glory is obviously just as valid a strategy as balls to the wall or scrimping and saving at this wonderful lottery event.



Thoroughly enjoyed the 30 minutes of racing I saw betwen commercials.

Many highs & lows.
Lots of passing, lots of untold (by ABC) grief.

Brilliant ending!

The only super-serious drawback was after the race where I read the ghost of TG saying "I thought a yellow should have been out after JR's crash ... even if it wasn't, I'll pick who I want to win".

If those idiots had taken Wheldon's victory away that would have been the end of the series for me.

Geez that was fun!


Biggest crowd at the track in 15 years and great racing (much passing and close racing). Jamie Little running up and down pit lane, ponytail engaged. Exciting day for fans at the track. These are all good signs.

PLUS, there were NO Penske or Ganassi cars in the top five and only one in the top ten! OMG!!!

Some weird stuff, as usual. A couple of restarts, when the pace car let several lapped cars go around, it was too late for them to catch the back of the pack. I've not seen that before. The first group restarts as usual, but they are thru turn one as the second group is way back in turn four. Not much like getting their lap back. Many fast cars got hosed.

Great race for Dan Wheldon. Too bad for JR and Panther (4 yrs in a row with 2nd place).

Tom G.

If Wheldon is Skywalker, does that mean J.R. Hildebrand is Wedge?

Sorry, my geek is showing.


Hildebrand is Biggs to Wheldon's Skywalker. There to the end but didn't make it back to base.

Sato is Jek Porkins...

denny b.

"Biggest crowd at the track in 15 years."

Not so sure about that.

Simona Fan

Great race. I actually heard non-racing fans talking about it on Memorial Day. Hopefully more people start getting interested in this great sport.

So tired of the drivers complaining about the two-wide restarts. They were fantastic and the drivers handled them well. So much more exciting than single file. Thought I agree with Dixon that they need to get the lapped traffic out of the way. Give them a wave around, get a lap back, let the leaders duke it out.

I disagree about the start, Pressdog. It was one of the better I'd seen in a while. The first three rows were actually three wide. In past years they haven't even gotten the first row 3 abreast. Call it lowered standards after so many years of crappy starts.

Thanks for the write-up. I always look forward to your summaries after the race.


Hey ramblinman. Hate to ruin your enjoyment of the race with facts, but you said no Ganassi cars in the top 5. Mmm, who owns the car that finished 3rd? Just askin...


On Carb Day Versus showed us the markings in the fence on the front stretch where the acceleration line was supposed to be.

Nothing of the sort happened on race day and ABC didn't make an issue about it. Did the driver's convince Barnhart to allow them to accelerate in the north chute or did they willfully ignore him knowing he wouldn't throw any black flags for violations?

Simona Fan

The former. They moved the acceleration point to between turns 3 and 4.


Great race, stunning ending, in spite of all the Danica hype by ABC.

I heard JR giving interviews on several sports shows on Sunday night/Monday, his poise after losing in that manner was remarkable for anyone let alone a 23 year old rookie.


"AND the last 25 or so laps were commercial free, by design."

Had Marty said something along the lines of "I know we just had a commercial break five minutes ago but we're going to do another commercial break here so that we can bring you the finish uninterrupted..." during front-loading period it would have perhaps cut down on on the Tweetplaints.

Jay Robinson

TJ was on top of the Turn 2 suites. Helio was the car that used the warm-up lane, I believe. But one question no one seems to be able to answer is: who was the driver that went from four-wide down to the white line coming out of Turn 1 after a late restart? How he or she kept it off the wall and together and didn't plow into 17 other cars is a mystery to me.


@ Jay, were you thinking of Scheckter?

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