Generally, the team with the most money, most power and most testing time winning a race isn’t a remarkable accomplishment. However, Will Power winning the Indianapolis 500 cemented his legacy as an all-time IndyCar great. Sunday’s 102nd Indianapolis 500 was a throwback to pre-2012 in terms of the way the race played out and while some deemed it “boring” the strategy was still wildly fascinating.
He Didn’t Need It But Now He Has It
Will Power didn’t need an Indy 500 to cement his legacy as one of the greats but it certainly doesn’t hurt that he has it now. Going into Sunday Power had 31 wins and 45 poles along with a 2014 series championship. He definitely didn’t need a 500 to assure everyone he is one of the best to ever wheel an IndyCar.
Winning an Indy 500, however, is certainly a career milestone for anyone. For Will Power, it definitely meant more than any other win and that was exemplified when he climbed out of his Penske Chevy and screamed like an absolute maniac with his eyes popping out of his skull. Power had a shot in 2015 but a slip coming off turn 2 on the last lap cost him a passing opportunity on Montoya going into turn 3. What could have been in 2015 finally came to fruition in 2018.
Danica Exits IndyCar The Same Way As NASCAR And That’s OK
Danica’s last NASCAR race ended in a wreck at Daytona in February. Her last IndyCar race ended in the same way with a wrecked GoDaddy green Chevrolet. And that’s fine, at least she tried and at least she was competitive. Danica could have shown up at the speedway and put in a Lazier like May. Instead, she showed up with the intention of winning.
Sunday at the 500 Danica’s car looked possessed. An exorcism needed to be performed on that car as she sawed her way through the corners. Finally, the ill-handling car caught up with her and around she went exiting turn 2. Danica wasn’t the only veteran to get bit by the handling of these new aero kits. Helio, Kanaan, Ed Jones, and Sebastian Bourdais all got bit by it as well.
Alexander Rossi Is Quickly Becoming One of the Best Around Indianapolis
Alexander Rossi is quickly becoming the big swinging dick at the speedway. A win in his rookie season, a 7th last year and a 4th place this year has turned this road course driver into an oval savant real quick.
His passes on the outside of turns 1 and 2 are something we don’t normally see at Indianapolis. He looked like TK in the 7-11 car pouncing on the restarts and getting as much as possible. Rossi put on a clinic in passing and how to restart. From going to the grass to squeezing between the wall and another car Rossi was feeling it on Sunday. A little more engine in the back of that Andretti car and we might be looking at a 2-time winner. He’ll win another or two before his IndyCar career is over.
Stefan Wilson, the Story That Almost Brought 300k People To Tears
Stefan Wilson lost his brother Justin in 2015 at the IndyCar race in Pocono. Justin’s accident and untimely death was something that should never have occurred. The sport failed him at that moment and unfortunately, everyone now has to live with the outcome. Stefan has always been gracious and accepting of what happened and thankful for the support that poured in. When he stepped out of his race seat in 2017 for Fernando Alonso to pilot the #29 he was promised a race seat for 2018.
That promise was fulfilled and Wilson was 4 laps from giving Michael Andretti a huge return on the promise he made to Stefan. As Wilson pounded around in the waning laps in the lead Will Power was desperately trying to chase him down not knowing if Jack Harvey in second and Wilson leading still needed to pit. A late race caution would have sealed the win for Wilson, he could have clutch and coasted Rossi style under the yellow. Unfortunately, fairy tales don’t always come true but if it had 300k people with tears in their eyes would have been something.
Can’t-Wait For 2019
“That was a boring race” – stupid race fans.
2018 may not have been the style of race we saw from 2012-2017 but that doesn’t mean it was boring. An incredibly hot day hampered the handling and made passing hard. But the strategy, restarts, and uncertainty played into making this an interesting race. Not every edition of the 500 can be a “classic”, sometimes we have to have a traditional race.
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