105th Indianapolis 500 Race Thread

Nitro Dude

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I was checking out another Indy car forum and I noticed the Indy 500 fanbase made a lot more posts then the NASCAR 600 fanbase did in this forum. The Indy 500 fans had almost 700 posts while the NASCAR 600 fans only had around 500 posts and the NASCAR race ran 100 miles further which means their fans had a lot more of a race to to chat about. I'm glad to see Indy, The greatest spectacle in auto racing is still pretty darn popular with it's fans. If NASCAR chose 600 miles to compete with the Indy 500 then they came up a little short. But, I do look forward to watching 1,100 miles of racing on one day in May every year. :)
 

Doc Austin

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Alex Palou really won me over with his interview. I've never heard him speak before but he seems like a really nice kid. He just took it on the chin and is looking forward to next weekend.

Wilson, Power, McLaughlin, and Simona all had brake problems. Indycar needs to look at that before they go to Gateway. If four cars have a problem, that's not random.

As much money as Auto Nation is putting into Shank, why not put in t little more and make Helio full time?

Finally, it's about time Michal Shank got a break. Remember all the talk that we are for real and we belong here? Well, they were right, but now they need to get Jack a win.
 

donthaveanickname

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Good race, glad Helio won, he is something else of a personality and earned the win straight up.

The BIG BIG News is, over 100,000 race fans in person attendance, most with no mask and the Captain did a great job getting the facility a face lift.
I think this was the biggest crowd for a sporting event since the covid outbreak.
This was not only a great race but also an important step forward in going back to normal.
 

Doc Austin

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Amazing that this thing stayed put together well enough to run the rest of the way and even finish 13th.


I think Conor's day was already compromised by a slow pit stop and the tire was just the nail in the coffin. He really gave it a ride though. Carpenter needs to work on getting him in the drive full time next year though. Conor has driven well for a lot of teams, but I believe yesterday was the first time he had a true front running car and he made the most out of it until it all turned against him.

Again, Shank needed a break and he got it. Their sportscar program is a little off, and their Indycar program just couldn't catch a break. Now though, Shank is one of the big dogs. Rocky lives.

Now Shank has a bigger problem. He's got to find a way to keep Helio in the car for next year because Helio says this is only the beginning. You might think winning the 500 is the solution to a problem, but now Shank has got to solve this mess and keep both Helio and Harvey. I don't know why I did not see it at the time, but getting Helio was the final piece Shank needed. He has the cars and the technical alignment with Andretti, as well as Honda connections in sportscars. Shank had everything he needed except an established superstar, and now Helio is bigger than ever.

Certainly Jack Harvey's day is going to come, but he's only in his second full season. Shank needs to cement Helio into place so he can help build the team and bring Harvey along.

Helio wins the Rolex 24 and the Indianapolis 500 in his only two 2021 appearances so far, and that after winning the IMSA championship? Helio is better than ever.
 

Doc Austin

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So, where does this leave Harvey? Well, heartbroken, of course. It really should have been him winning because he's been part of Shank's Indycar program from the beginning. Maybe at the speedway it was a little early for Jack, but he's more than up to winning any other race on the schedule this year.

Assuming there is not enough time for Shank to get Helio in the car for Detroit, the team goes back to normal with Harvey as it's primary, solitary driver. They were already running really, really well, so now it's up to Jack to at least get a decent result. They are more than capable of getting a podium and I think that should be the minimum goal for them.

So, we've got five days to catch our breath before a double header and more great racing.

Thanks, Roger.
 

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Alex Palou really won me over with his interview. I've never heard him speak before but he seems like a really nice kid. He just took it on the chin and is looking forward to next weekend.

Wilson, Power, McLaughlin, and Simona all had brake problems. Indycar needs to look at that before they go to Gateway. If four cars have a problem, that's not random.

As much money as Auto Nation is putting into Shank, why not put in t little more and make Helio full time?

Finally, it's about time Michal Shank got a break. Remember all the talk that we are for real and we belong here? Well, they were right, but now they need to get Jack a win.
Palou sold me a lot quicker than a lot of other young talents anywhere. I think it’s safe to say CGR finally got their guy for the #10 car. Took long enough but it’s definitely possible he wins the title in his first season with the team.

Of the five cars I can remember having brake issues all had Penske or Andretti engineering, so I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I’m interested to learn what it was they were doing. Townsend seemed to think they were up to something.

Jack’s in a contract year so I really hope he finally has some luck go his way soon. He should’ve had at least a Top 5 in the second Texas race and a podium at the Indy GP. If they can get Helio back out there soon it’d be great to see, I don’t think he’s due back out until Nashville.
 

Doc Austin

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Palou sold me a lot quicker than a lot of other young talents anywhere.
I had never heard of him until he came here last year, and I had never heard him speak until after the 500 this year. He just seems like a really nice kid with a good head on his shoulders.
I think it’s safe to say CGR finally got their guy for the #10 car. Took long enough but it’s definitely possible he wins the title in his first season with the team.
Chip has a deadly combo on his hands with those two. Maybe the most interesting thing to look for this year is Palou vrs Dixon.

Of the five cars I can remember having brake issues all had Penske or Andretti engineering, so I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I’m interested to learn what it was they were doing. Townsend seemed to think they were up to something.
Funny how no one had any brake problems all month and on race day it was the most common problem. They'de better get a handle on it before Gateway.
Jack’s in a contract year so I really hope he finally has some luck go his way soon.
I think Shank will probably want to keep him, but it's just another detail to worry about. Welcome to the big boys club, Mike.
If they can get Helio back out there soon it’d be great to see, I don’t think he’s due back out until Nashville.
Things can change in a hurry when you win the Indianapolis 500. I think it's in Indycar's best intertest for Helio to finish the season. Helio was pretty plain that he wants to keep going.

Just last week we were saying Shank needed a break, but now his biggest problem is keeping the newest 4 time winner in his car. They have a little time for that because Helio is probably out of the championship anyway, but right now more than anything they need to keep the momentum going and get Harvey a win.

Check the results and you'll see 30 cars finished the race. What? Two crashes from brake problems, and one because the crew didn't get the wheel on right. So, we did not have a single mechanical retirement. Nothing. Like, don't they blow motors up anymore?

RESULTS

Click here for the box score from the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Click here for the lap leader chart.

Here is the finishing order with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out:

1. (8) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 200, Running
2. (6) Alex Palou, Honda, 200, Running
3. (26) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 200, Running
4. (12) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 200, Running
5. (4) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 200, Running
6. (23) Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 200, Running
7. (31) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 200, Running
8. (3) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 200, Running
9. (24) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 200, Running
10. (5) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 200, Running
11. (9) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 200, Running
12. (21) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 200, Running
13. (19) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 200, Running
14. (15) Takuma Sato, Honda, 200, Running
15. (22) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 200, Running
16. (2) Colton Herta, Honda, 200, Running
17. (1) Scott Dixon, Honda, 200, Running
18. (20) Jack Harvey, Honda, 200, Running
19. (25) Marco Andretti, Honda, 200, Running
20. (17) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 200, Running
21. (16) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 200, Running
22. (7) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 200, Running
23. (30) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 199, Running
24. (29) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 199, Running
25. (13) Pietro Fittipaldi, Honda, 199, Running
26. (27) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 199, Running
27. (14) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 199, Running
28. (11) Ed Jones, Honda, 199, Running
29. (10) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 198, Running
30. (32) Will Power, Chevrolet, 197, Running
31. (33) Simona De Silvestro, Chevrolet, 169, Contact
32. (18) Graham Rahal, Honda, 118, Contact
33. (28) Stefan Wilson, Honda, 32, Contact


Ferrucci supposedly drove like a "psycho killer" in practice, is nowhere all race, and then pops up out of nowhere in 6th place. This guy was absolutely invisible all day long. I never saw his car a single time, and yet he gets this kind of result simply by stealth. Nobody was looking, so Santino snuck up there. Anyone surprised this was RLL's best car?

Really felt bad for Conor Daly. I think his race was already ruined in the pits before he hit that wheel, but now that he has led the 500 so convincingly he will always be considered a contender to win it.

Not sure what to think of Rahal's assessment. He was running well, but I don't think it was as in the bag as he suggested. At least they are going to what seems to be his best track next weekend, and remember that Conor has a podium there too.

Another stealthy guy was Sage Karem. I didn't see him once until it was over and there he was! Great result for DRR. We need to get them back on the grid full time too.

Tony Kannan's last 500 was a disappointment. Maybe he can win Gateway on the way out.

A great drive for Mclaughlin ruined by a penalty, but he'll have his day.

Rossi ........... his day couldn't have gone worse. 198 laps to finish 29th. I would have rather blown the damm thing up on the parade lap and gotten it over with. His race was wrecked and he knew it, but still had to drive around for nothing. That was a career miserable day. Imagine having to slog around all day knowing you won't even make top 20. You know he's going to have a bad attitude next weekend, and probably one of the guys to watch out for.

What happened to Herta?

There's so much to unpack from this race, plus we have not heard all the stories yet either. It was certainly a classic.
 

Doc Austin

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Apparently Helio is 14th in the points. Come on, Mike. Put Helio back in the car and go get these guys.
 

Mispeedway15

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I think Conor's day was already compromised by a slow pit stop and the tire was just the nail in the coffin. He really gave it a ride though. Carpenter needs to work on getting him in the drive full time next year though. Conor has driven well for a lot of teams, but I believe yesterday was the first time he had a true front running car and he made the most out of it until it all turned against him.

Again, Shank needed a break and he got it. Their sportscar program is a little off, and their Indycar program just couldn't catch a break. Now though, Shank is one of the big dogs. Rocky lives.

Now Shank has a bigger problem. He's got to find a way to keep Helio in the car for next year because Helio says this is only the beginning. You might think winning the 500 is the solution to a problem, but now Shank has got to solve this mess and keep both Helio and Harvey. I don't know why I did not see it at the time, but getting Helio was the final piece Shank needed. He has the cars and the technical alignment with Andretti, as well as Honda connections in sportscars. Shank had everything he needed except an established superstar, and now Helio is bigger than ever.

Certainly Jack Harvey's day is going to come, but he's only in his second full season. Shank needs to cement Helio into place so he can help build the team and bring Harvey along.

Helio wins the Rolex 24 and the Indianapolis 500 in his only two 2021 appearances so far, and that after winning the IMSA championship? Helio is better than ever.
Have to disagree with this. Conor is probably one of the worst road racers on the circuit to be honest.
 

Doc Austin

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Have to disagree with this. Conor is probably one of the worst road racers on the circuit to be honest.
We'll see this weekend, but then again, that's not the same car. The Carlin is a bit of a mess, as have been all Daly's rides up until Carpenter. but that's only part time. He's going to do better when he lands a full time drive.

It was two years ago (I think) that Conor got second at Detroit in a really decent drive. Conor just needs to get with one single team that that knows what it's doing and the results will come. You just can't jump from team to team and expect any sort of continuity. Continuity is everything.

So it wasn't enough that Conor took any drive he could find, Now he's deliberately jumping back and forth between Carpenter and Carlin because that's all he could put together. However, let's not lose sight of the fact that Daly made a hell of a statement and served notice he can run at the front. The road race results will come when Daly lands a good full time drive.

Or they won't. We won't know either way until he gets the opportunity.
 

Doc Austin

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Very interesting channel 13 (Indianapolis) 500 special. Lots of interviews and insights. All the Indianapolis area stations run these, as well as re-run the race when it's blacked out. The entire week is wall to wall coverage. It's insane.

2021 Indianapolis 500 Victory Special showcases highlights, drivers - YouTube

You can't go anywhere in Indianapolis in May without seeing race decorations everywhere. My family has a funeral home there and they even decorate that. They had one wake room set aside just to party. My uncle invited every mortician around the country he did business with, and you have to party with those people if you think you can keep up, but you probably can't. That's just one scene from an entire city that's like this. That town is about nothing but the race, and all the other races going on everywhere. You really have to go there to see how crazy it is.

I'de go for five days and we went to two or three races a day. There was the Speedrome, the fairgrounds, IRP, Anderson. Gas city (for real) and a lot of other ones I simply can't remember. It was a giant five day blur of speed.

I remember going into a Burger chef a few hours after the race tragic 1973 race, and sitting right there eating was Gordon Johncock (who had just won the race), still in his firesuit, and (I assume) his wife. The entire month was a nightmare and all he wanted to do was get something, anything, to eat and get the hell out of Indianapolis. Johncock, scarfed down two Big Chefs in about 30 seconds, I'm sure just because he didn't want to deal with anyone. Not the way you want to celebrate winning your first Indianapolis 500 win, and I really enjoyed his second in 1982 because he sure deserved better than this.

The next year they had the safest 500 on record. I think only one car hit the wall all month. After the race I went back to the same Burger Chef and got my official Burger Chef Indianapolis 500 frisbee (no kidding). Don't know what happened to it, but it sure was a good souvenir.
 
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Nitro Dude

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Very interesting channel 13 (Indianapolis) 500 special. Lots of interviews and insights. All the Indianapolis area stations run these, as well as re-run the race when it's blacked out. The entire week is wall to wall coverage. It's insane.

2021 Indianapolis 500 Victory Special showcases highlights, drivers - YouTube

You can't go anywhere in Indianapolis in May without seeing race decorations everywhere. My family has a funeral home there and they even decorate that. They had one wake room set aside just to party. My uncle invited every mortician around the country he did business with, and you have to party with those people if you think you can keep up, but you probably can't. That's just one scene from an entire city that's like this. That town is about nothing but the race, and all the other races going on everywhere. You really have to go there to see how crazy it is.

I'de go for five days and we went to two or three races a day. There was the Speedrome, the fairgrounds, IRP, Anderson. Gas city (for real) and a lot of other ones I simply can't remember. It was a giant five day blur of speed.

I remember going into a Burger chef a few hours after the race tragic 1973 race, and sitting right there eating was Gordon Johncock (who had just won the race), still in his firesuit, and (I assume) his wife. The entire month was a nightmare and all he wanted to do was get something, anything, to eat and get the hell out of Indianapolis. Johncock, scarfed down two Big Chefs in about 30 seconds, I'm sure just because he didn't want to deal with anyone. Not the way you want to celebrate winning your first Indianapolis 500 win, and I really enjoyed his second in 1982 because he sure deserved better than this.

The next year they had the safest 500 on record. I think only one car hit the wall all month. After the race I went back to the same Burger Chef and got my official Burger Chef Indianapolis 500 frisbee (no kidding). Don't know what happened to it, but it sure was a good souvenir.
Burger Chef was one of my favorite burgers back then. I use to cruise the Burger Chef and the Double Decker drive- in in Greencastle when I was in high school.
 

Greg

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Very interesting channel 13 (Indianapolis) 500 special. Lots of interviews and insights. All the Indianapolis area stations run these, as well as re-run the race when it's blacked out. The entire week is wall to wall coverage. It's insane.

2021 Indianapolis 500 Victory Special showcases highlights, drivers - YouTube

You can't go anywhere in Indianapolis in May without seeing race decorations everywhere. My family has a funeral home there and they even decorate that. They had one wake room set aside just to party. My uncle invited every mortician around the country he did business with, and you have to party with those people if you think you can keep up, but you probably can't. That's just one scene from an entire city that's like this. That town is about nothing but the race, and all the other races going on everywhere. You really have to go there to see how crazy it is.

I'de go for five days and we went to two or three races a day. There was the Speedrome, the fairgrounds, IRP, Anderson. Gas city (for real) and a lot of other ones I simply can't remember. It was a giant five day blur of speed.

I remember going into a Burger chef a few hours after the race tragic 1973 race, and sitting right there eating was Gordon Johncock (who had just won the race), still in his firesuit, and (I assume) his wife. The entire month was a nightmare and all he wanted to do was get something, anything, to eat and get the hell out of Indianapolis. Johncock, scarfed down two Big Chefs in about 30 seconds, I'm sure just because he didn't want to deal with anyone. Not the way you want to celebrate winning your first Indianapolis 500 win, and I really enjoyed his second in 1982 because he sure deserved better than this.

The next year they had the safest 500 on record. I think only one car hit the wall all month. After the race I went back to the same Burger Chef and got my official Burger Chef Indianapolis 500 frisbee (no kidding). Don't know what happened to it, but it sure was a good souvenir.
Thanks for posting that, the 1973 was the one I will never forget. It was unforgettable at any time and I was only 11 years old and very impressionable as well.
I think about the Swede Savage wreck every May, the loss of Art Pollard was huge too.
 

Nitro Dude

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Thanks for posting that, the 1973 was the one I will never forget. It was unforgettable at any time and I was only 11 years old and very impressionable as well.
I think about the Swede Savage wreck every May, the loss of Art Pollard was huge too.
That was a sad day. I was 17 that year.
 

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I am shocked at how solid of a number this is. Wasn’t sure it’d crack 4.5M. This was the first Memorial Day weekend 500 that had NBA playoff competition at the same time since 1998.



Very encouraging, especially since there were no gimmicky draws this year (no Alonso, Danica, or NASCAR driver in the field etc.). Unfortunately this will likely give NBC confidence that their approach to the event is working.

In a weird way, I think having no Monaco GP earlier in the day drawing a million or so viewers helped. I bet a high percentage of American F1 viewers also watch the 500, and without an F1 event, there is more demand. I don't think the crossover with NASCAR viewership is as high.
 
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SpeedPagan

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So I'm a NASCAR/stock car guy, so I have a question. When the cars come off the corner on the long straights at Indianapolis, why do they dive to the middle of the track only the go back up to make the turn? Is this some aero thing or are they trying to break the draft?
 

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So I'm a NASCAR/stock car guy, so I have a question. When the cars come off the corner on the long straights at Indianapolis, why do they dive to the middle of the track only the go back up to make the turn? Is this some aero thing or are they trying to break the draft?
I thinks it's both. Running too close to the wall slows them down
 

Doc Austin

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Records broken at this years 500.

I was most impressed that there was not a single mechanical failure in the entire field. We had a couple of wrecks because the teams were playing games with the brakes, and Rahal's team pooched the wheel exchange, but there was nothing mechanical that put a car out of the race. This is simply remarkable. The current cars are magic.
 
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