Today is a day that I really look forward to each year — the Sunday before Memorial Day. It is today that the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 are run.
The Indy is always amazing to me — it really is the biggest spectacle in motor sports. The hoopla was heightened greatly this year by the performance of Danica Patrick during the weeks leading up to the race. She’s a different face for racing — young, sexy, smart and entirely understanding of her role as a driver. She just oozes confidence, and she sure proved that that confidence wasn’t unfounded in the race. Starting fourth and finishing fourth, and becoming the first woman to lead laps at Indy, she really made her mark. It seemed she could effortlessly move to the front after several miscues — stalling her engine, and spinning into a small wreck. It was exciting to see her plow through the field.
Lost in the hype over Danica Patrick though was the winner, Dan Wheldon. He’s the first Brit to win the Indy in 40 years, and the shame of it is that his feat will be long overshadowed by Danica, and her great day at the track. It didn’t help that Brent Mussburger couldn’t seem to get his mind or commentary off Danica’s accomplishments of the day.
(BTW, ABC showed a comparison of Danica Patrick against the Borg-Warner trophy — she’s ten pounds lighter, and a couple of inches shorter. I guess the trophy is bigger than life! Another tidbit of trivia: Google now has over 275,000 hits when you search for her name.)
With an hour’s break, the Coca-Cola 600 started from Charlotte NC. I love the night NASCAR races, and this one is the longest race of the season. No huge surprises — the typically strong teams raced well, and in the end, Jimmie Johnson ended up with his third 600 in a row. No one’s done that before, and Johnson pulled it off out of the last turn on the last lap. A thriller to watch, and under the lights too… it was a fun race.
All I wonder now is how to get the big dent from my backside out of the couch cushions!