May 28, 2006

F1... er... INDY 500 UPDATE!

Okay, so this isn't a full-blown UPDATE!, but a quick report on the Indy 500. I managed to see the last 70 laps or so of the race. I wasn't being anti-social; it was 90+ degrees (847 degrees European) here today, and while everybody else was able to stand the heat, the medication I'm on makes me sensitive to sunlight and high (and low) temps. So, I ate ribs and potato salad inside.

Anyway, today's 500 reminded me of the one thing that's really lacking in F1 these days (and most of the time, historically): close finishes. And lots of passing. But I digress. In the 2nd-to-last lap, Sam Hornish Jr., running 2nd, makes a move to pass Mario Andretti's grandson, 19 year old Marco, who had taken the lead on a yellow-flag session. The move failed, and wound up with Hornish dropping back probably 10 car-lengths. At that point, I said out loud (the menfolk had gathered around to watch), "Race over. No way Andretti's gonna be caught."

Half a lap later, Hornish was maybe two lengths back heading into turn three. Coming into four, he's right on Marco's tail, and I'm just like "no way what I'm seeing is happening!"

They come out of the turn, Hornish is so close, it almost looks like his nose wing is under Andretti's tail wing. They've both got momentum out of the turn, I figure Hornish had given everything he had; very close, but no pocky. In the slow-mo replay at this point, you can actually see Andretti's rear-end wash out slightly: it seemed to fishtail, like he hit the gas coming out of a standing start or something. I'm still not sure if I REALLY saw it, or if it was some camera artifact. Maybe the fact that Hornish's car was so close, it somehow upset the airflow going over Andretti's tail (though I have no idea how THAT would happen).

Whichever. Hornish dives underneath and Andretti floats over to block. Hornish cuts even farther inside and slingshots even with him. Then, like his car has an extra gear or something, he just blows the (metaphorical) doors off Marco's car, and crosses the line something like .016 seconds ahead; the second-closest margin of victory in IRL history.

At first, I was thinking that Hornish had faked Andretti (a rookie) out with a bob right before his weave left... but I didn't see it in the replay at all. An amazing finish... that's one heckuva way to win the Indy 500!

Mario Andretti looked like he was going to cry.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 12:52 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Just a wonderful race, until the last yellow Wheldon looked the class of the field, and being a Brit obviously had my on the edge of my seat anyways. He had been driving so agressively as well, made a crazy move on the opening lap to signal his intent for the day.

After all that though, watching Hornish get past Michael, and then go after his son, with Mario in the pits egging them on was an incredible way to end.

Posted by: flotsky at May 28, 2006 09:10 PM (Dl1rW)

2 Monaco........... YAWN!

Posted by: Simoh at May 29, 2006 02:59 AM (ntCeu)

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