A few minutes after Sunday’s 96th Indianapolis 500, Randy Bernard received a text message from Tony Stewart. "Congratulations, that was the best Indy 500 I’ve ever seen,’’ it read.
Looks like Stew and I saw the same race.
From the five-wide flying start to the endless overtaking to the insane restarts to a record 34 lead changes, it’s never been better at 16th & Georgetown.
Oh hell, of course there’s been closer finishes – Johncock and Mears, Little Al and Goodyear and Hornish and Marco all came down to the final few yards while the Rathmann and Ward duel was second to none.
But, from start to finish, nothing in the previous 54 races I’ve watched could match Sunday’s in terms of non-stop action through the pack for three hours.
"We’ve never raced that well in the seven times I’ve run here and I’ve never experienced such a fun race with so much passing,’’ offered pole-sitter Ryan Briscoe, who led 15 laps and wound up fifth for Team Penske.
"It had to be a pretty good show for the fans.’’
No, it was an exceptional show for the hearty souls who endured the oppressive heat and humidity. Kanaan, whose fifth-to-first move drew a roar from the crowd all the way around the Speedway, said he thought it was a perfect match of car and track.
"I think the package suits the track well,’’ he said. “You can draft a lot and stay behind people, you definitely don’t want to lead, and it really couldn’t be any better. Fans want to see passing and it was awesome.’’
05/27/12 Story moved to home page as a feature article.