It’s the coolest place to race four wheels on Earth and it’s the most respected.
Today IMS was the hottest and it’s where history was made not once but twice on this very hot day in Indianapolis.
Did I mention a last lap wreck?
Oh yes, today’s race had it all: heat, tons of lead changes, tradition seething in the air, memories and most important a champion joining the ranks of legends at Indianapolis.
Let’s start with the heat: it was a blistering hot day for any type of race.
Cars, potato sacks, chariots or even greyhounds. It was nearly too hot for anything to be outdoors which was why I attended today’s race: because I’m a crazy, obsessed race fan.
Unfortunately for me, history wasn’t made three times today but it fell short by two degrees, literally. The hottest recorded Indianapolis 500 still remains at 92 degrees set back in 1937. Today’s temperature? At the end of today’s race the official thermometer at the track read 91 degrees.
Trust me when I say I don’t care what the numbers read, it felt like a thousand degrees and any fan that attended along with me would agree.
Let’s also address our top three finishers along with our very emotional and now three-time Indianapolis 500 champion: Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan. These men are three of Dan Wheldon’s closest friends. Did all three of them notice how they lined up at the finish? You bet they did.
‘Kind of like old times, the three of us back and forwards…I thought, ‘Dan is laughing at us right now going at it. (Dario Franchitti via Yahoo! Sports)
I think a lot of us that were close to Dan, you know, you wanted it that little bit more…I guess maybe in the back of your mind, you figured he would probably help you out today, too. I think in that situation, seeing how it lined up with the top three, three of Dan’s friends, it was a tough one. (Scott Dixon via Yahoo! Sports)
I don’t think it could have been a better result for Dan…Wherever he is right now, he’s definitely making fun of Sato, I can tell you that, and he’s giving Dario a tap on the back for sure, and he was going to call me a wanker that I didn’t win this thing. I’m glad this is over. I’m glad that now I hope we can all move on and just remember Dan the way Dan was – a happy guy, a wonderful friend. (Tony Kanaan via Yahoo! Sports)
Another magic number during today’s race? Thirty-four. This is the record breaking number of lead changes today’s race saw as well and believe me when I say it was the most exciting, exhilarating Indianapolis I’ve witnessed in years. Don’t believe me? Watch the last seven laps:
So in whose company does Dario Franchitti now sit? I’m so glad you asked because the list is short but very distinguished and the only other drivers that have won more Indy 500 titles than him are guys by the name of Unser, Foyt and Andretti. Like I said, he joined the ranks of legends this afternoon.
With all of the excitement of the closing laps the race couldn’t have ended any better, right?
Anybody who knows Dario Franchitti knows he’s an emotional dude and misses his best friend very much. We all miss Dario’s best buddy, Danny Boy: