101st Indy 500 Hot Takes!

THE HOT TAKES ARE HERE! THE HOT TAKES ARE HERE! Poorly written and edited even wordily, here are the hottest of hot takes. Sit back, relax and enjoy the maniacal rantings of an indycar fan. I have no idea what is going on with this blog. Expect nothing and receive something? I’m really just playing around on here again so no promises of any kind of content or regular postings. Im just enjoying the indycar world with you!

The Race – Amazing. Drama filled. Edge of your seat. Spectacular. It was a good race and one for the ages. We have been blessed with quite good racing in the DW12 era but the 2017 iteration of the current indycar finally hits the right balance of speed and drafting an knife edge handling. Ignoring the other stops on the schedule, the machines that raced in Indianapolis last Sunday were an almost perfect representation of what a racecar needs to do to make the Indy 500 the spectacle that it is.

I LOVE SATO!! – This man had the strongest car all day and it didn’t even look like he was sweating the late race challenges from Helio. Although nothing is owed in racing, this was a win that was earned. Abandoned by Foyt with the move to Chevy, adopted by Andretti who knew he had the technical prowess to continue the development started by Justin Wilson and given an absolute weaponized machine to wage battle with. No attack no chance for sure.

Alex Rossi Is The Truth – Yet another Formula 1 cast off that hopes to find a second career racing against the best and brightest indycar has to offer? Maybe? A lost soul looking for a home to race in? Maybe? I was disenfranchised by his past comments about IndyCar, but in his second year the boy has proven he can drive. Does he love indycar? I don’t know, but I’m not convinced it matters at this point.

Honda Went For It – At the end of the day, Honda can forget about Alonso. They won the race. And most racers would make the small trade of power over reliability that we have seen in 2017 for the chance to drink the milk. These Honda motor aren’t the Buick grenade of old; these things are overpowered and only marginally less reliable. I respect that they went for it. They were rewarded with a victory for their favorite son. I hope Chevy steps it up and can find power even if it is a trade off with reliability.

Yellow Yellow Yellow! – Too Much. But, cars were crashing so I’m not sure what I want or expect in this situation. There was simply a ton of carbon fiber to sweep up. It’s so odd that we can go some years with basically a clean race and other years spend 25% of the time cleaning up broken racecars. It made for a disjointed race that lacked flow, but it made for some kick ass restarts!!

Dixon And The Flying DW12 – Duuude can we even talk about the race without mentioning Dixon? Blah blah blah Dallara and SAFER and Holmatro and carbon fiber and wheel tethers and all the other amazing safety innovations that we continually harp about, but those bumpers though. What. A. Joke. Thank everything that is good in motorsport that we are getting rid of these ridiculous excuses for safety devices in 2018. Great idea with terrible execution. Theoretically, I could be sold on wheel guards but not these. We cannot get them off of my indycar fast enough!!

Ed Jones and the Curious Case of Rookie of the Year – I’m sorry Mr. Jones, but anytime you drive against a double world champion who is given as much prep time as Alonso was, I fear there is no hope of a ROTY award. Alonso had too much prep time, led too many laps and was able to mix it up with fast cars all month long to not be awarded. It truly sucks for Ed, but everyone including Alonso makes a rookie start at The Speedway. Even looking at only performance, Alonso turned more laps in practice, turned them faster, worked in traffic, qualified in the fast 9 and was a major lap leader during the first half of the race. That doesn’t take away from the fast that Ed had a rocketship after the final pitstop. But that was the problem. Too little too late. Hey Ed, just win the thing next year. I promise that will erase the burn from this year.

Alonso Makes Me Sad – I wanted Alonso to at least finish. I would have even been Ok with him winning the race! I’m a huge fan of this purported triple crown of motorsport. It is one of the main reasons I am such a JPM supporter and I was really hoping to add another active driver to the list of 2 times winners. But it was not the day Alonso or Honda wanted. On the other hand, I am very glad his engine blew because it nearly guarantees that we will see him again.

ABC is still awful – There’s not much to say other than this. From a technical standpoint it isn’t bad, but for most of the race I’m not convinced that those talking heads are even watching the same race as I am. I watched the TV coverage with a new-ish indycar fan and they made the same disparaging comments about ABC. Namely “Wow, how is this really this bad? I understand why it’s Always Bad Coverage!” The horse is dead, but I will take this opportunity to hope that ABC gracefully bows out of the network broadcast deal negotiations moving forward.

Coke Lot Camping – Ok Ok Ok, not directly racing related but given my affinity to camp out here it’s worth a report: It was good! Much better organized than in years past with wristbands, actual lines for camp sites and enough police to put the fear in any felon. Given the rain on Thursday, classic setup day for many campers, The Speedway, Yellow Shirts and other event staff did an excellent job corralling the insanity and minimizing the impact weather had on our experience.

Yellow Shirts – Speaking of these guys, I don’t think I got whistled at one single time this month! And I’m actually kind of disappointed about that. It’s not that I do bad things, it’s that those Yellow Shirts love to blow the whistle! At everything! IMS connected with college students and asked many central Indiana kids to be Yellow Shirts and I could tell. Simply put, there were more bodies out there to direct traffic, answer questions and to just be generally cheerful. The shift in demographics was swift, noticeable and appreciated.

Agree? Disagree? Think I’m crazy? I’m curious of your opinion too! Please don’t be scared to share. That’s what this whole thing is all about! As always, thank you for reading!

Eric Hall

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2 Responses to 101st Indy 500 Hot Takes!

  1. I wasn’t a fan of Rossi when he won the 500 last year but was warming up to him by the end of the season. Now I’m proud to say I am a fan and I believe he loves IndyCar and is happy to be here. How could he not be? It’s the best racing there is.

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