I’m not doing a detailed Indy 500 recap this year because the race, while certainly not boring, was a bit bereft of drama. Not totally bereft — Helio Castroneves’ win was thrilling, especially since he spent the final portion of the race in a shootout in order to take the checkered flag — but it was clean and quick, and not a soap opera on wheels. This is a good thing.
Sure, there were pit-road spins and Graham Rahal knows how it feels when the wheels fall off, but the race was mostly crash-free. Eventual winner Castroneves worked his way toward the front and got into a duel with Alex Palou for the win. The win put Castroneves into the four-time winner club. And we can’t help but think we had a small part in his victory.
We, by which I mean myself, profiled Castroneves and his work with Acura on IMSA DPI cars in 2019, exploring how testing cars in between races might help lead to victory on race day. Now, almost two years later, Castroneves is in a very exclusive club.
Coincidence? We think not.
OK, OK, fine. He didn’t win because of us. I just wanted to write a quick post on Indy and have a bit of fun with it, and toot our own horn a bit in the process. It’s my blog and I’ll be goofy if I want to.
Sunday’s race really was a fun one to watch, not least because it was over quickly and I could go about my holiday weekend sooner. Crashes may make for spectacle, and we all can enjoy them guilt-free when a driver walks away unharmed, but I don’t watch for the wrecks. A clean race is a joy to watch, even if it removes some of the drama that accompanies the attrition that would occur in an incident-marred event.
Yes, the drama in a clean race becomes about pit strategy, and that doesn’t translate well to TV, but it’s fun to talk about. Of course, one hopes for a shootout between the top contenders to spice things up, and that’s what happened over the final quarter of the race.
One of the most popular drivers making history was just icing on the cake.
So, no, Helio didn’t win because of us. But hey, if we can help any already hugely successful and popular driver win a big one two years after a relatively mundane media obligation and interview, we’re happy to do so.
[Image: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock.com]