No Indy 500 thread? I'm glad I stuck it out.

OK, the telecast was almost unwatchable. It was one long string of ads. Mushheadburger just added to the crappy telecast. At least it was in HD.

Although I didn’t start watching from the beginning, I almost turned it off and went off to do something else but I decided to stick it out to the end.

If you wrote the last lap into a movie it would receive the lowest rating that Rotten Tomatoes could give it. Yet, it happened. Unbelievable!

Truth is stranger than fiction.

I’ll never understand why people complain so much and so loudly about the announcers. Musberger was fine, no worse than any other announcer and better than most.

The end of the race was pretty unbelievable. The rookie threw it away when all he had to do was slow down during the pass. That’s it, just a little lift and he’s drinking milk. But that’s why you never quit at Indy, because you never know when the track is going to remind you that you’re not nearly as good as you think you are.

The one thing that we can say about the fact that this is the race thread, several hours after the race is over, is that IndyCar racing has a long way to go to restore itself to its former glory. Hopefully a finish like this will go a long way to making that happen.

I wonder what goes through people’s minds when they just up and choke like that. Remember Jean Van de Velde, who triple-bogeyed the final hole with a 3 stroke lead at the British Open about a decade ago?

On a related note, Dale Jr. just ran out of gas about 1/2 mile from the finish in Charlotte, which would have ended his 104 race winless streak. No it wasn’t a boneheaded move, just a green-white-checkered finish which made the race last 1 lap too long for him.

Like the Nobel Prize, Musheadberger wins it for his total body of work not just what he did today. The telecast, just like all of auto racing, was just one long string of ads, interuptions and product placements.

And yes, Indy car racing probably made a huge step today in restoring interest. To my mind it is a far better product than NASCAR but it seems that they did everything they could to destroy fan interest over the last 15 or so years.

One thing though, doesn’t it seem stupid that a sport that is just one huge waste of fuel puts so much emphasis on fuel economy? One could make the case that Danica Patrick could have won that race if the timing of the cautions had worked more in her favor. Of course, others could make the same case but her situation seemed particularly onerous because she led at such a late point in the race.

We should probably have a thread on boneheaded, last minute example of “screwing the pooch”. Isiah Thomas’ picked off in-bounds pass that gave the championship to the Celtics. The NY Giants unnecessary hand-off and fumble. The Calgary player that put the puck in his own goal during the Stanley Cup finals. Bill Buckner. Brian Downing. They grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory.

They have to pay the bills. To their credit, however, they did the split screen thing so they never pulled away from the race unlike the old days when something would happen and they would show you later what you missed.

Tony George had something of the right idea, but could not execute it properly, even with the Hulman family fortune backing him. This is a really good read about how he wanted to keep IndyCar racing open for everybody. IndyCar lost Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and a lot of other solid talent because they had to quite literally buy their rides. It was turning into a foreign series. While that is largely what it is now in spite of his best efforts, I actually admire him for trying.

Racing has always come down to fuel economy. When it doesn’t it encourages things like this, which wreck the competitive balance so completely that it turns people off to the series.

There are so many examples of last-second chokes that the thread would go a hundred pages. Hell, even Babe Ruth choked a World Series away.

My thoughts on the final lap: Oh man…just what this race needs, a talented young American with a little bit of personality, not unlike another young Californian named Rick Mears must have been like back in 1979 when he…

Oh well.

So yeah, basically no one has ever crashed out on the final corner before at Indy. The TV guys for some reason brought up Tomas Schekter who crashed out with about 25 laps to go back in his rookie year…my mind went back to 1994 when Emerson Fittipaldi who was a lap ahead of the entire field save his teammate in the all conquering pushrod Mercedes powered Penske only to crash out on lap 185. You might hear mention of Ralph DePalma who led the field by five and a half laps, only to have a mechanical issue on lap 198 back in 1912. To bad the Wide World of Sports isn’t around anymore because it would have gotten a new face of “the Agony of Defeat”.
ABC used to regularly win Emmy’s for their Indy coverage, nowadays I think they just barely care. But you take what you get when you are a distant second to NASCAR in the domestic auto-racing food chain.

Airman Doors, USAF

Thanks for your post. Your links were particularly informative. For God’s sakes, how do you sort this stuff out?

I’m not pretending to be an expert on auto racing. My father was a fan of the Indy 500 and took me to the time trials a couple of times. He did business with companies that were sponsors and we got some special treatment.

So, thanks for the links. Still I will maintain that Musheadberger should be sent to a retirement home just for being a yahoo idiot for so many years. I will also say the any telecast should have at least a 2-1 content of coverage vs. advertisements. Yes, there was the split screen but as soon as they went to regional that disappeared. Also, some of the ads, such as the Honda Civic ad, were horrible beyond belief. And, I hate the Progressive ads and would not buy from them just because of their ads. I am so offended by their ads that I would willingly pay extra not to be in any way associated with them.

After all that, thanks for your input.

The “Thrill of Victory” changed; the “Agony of Defeat” was, and shall always remain, Vinko Bogotaj.

You’re welcome. I don’t know how I remember things like that, I just seem to have an affinity for it.

Racing has long been an interest of mine, going all the way back to the early days of ESPN when NASCAR was the only major sport they had. I was also a fan of A.J. Foyt, though long after his 4th Indianapolis win, because I had the Tonka A.J. Foyt Indy Builders Playset. But I digress.

Because they went to the smaller fuel cells (this was quite awhile back in fact) that will mean more stops and hence a greater chance that fuel economy will decide the race. They deep-sixed the huge 80 gallon tanks after the 1973 fiery wreck-filled race (they’re 23 gallons now).

The small fuel cells also keep playing a role in turning NASCAR races into gas mileage events. They used to use 22 gallon cells, now it’s 18 I believe.

Don’t forget that there have been a lot more final-turn passes than final-turn wrecks. Had he let up too much, there’s an excellent chance he would’ve been passed, especially on a straight-heavy course like Indy where it’s easy to draft. He needed to strike the right balance and just couldn’t do it.

Indycar racing regaining prominence? Good luck. The thing, for me, that stuck out most glaringly about the Indy/CART split was that not one fan in fifty could even explain what the hell it was about. (Even the dumbest baseball fan knew that the '94 strike had something to do with the players and owners both wanting more money.) It’s tough to heal a wound when you don’t even know where to place the bandage.

Fuel economy is just one things a racing team has to deal with. It’s a pretty serious issue too; I vaguely remember a flap, probably in NASCAR, involving a car that was too fuel efficient. Yeah, with cautions and all it turns the race into a bit of a crapshoot, but luck has always been a fairly big factor in this sport. (Dale Earnhardt Jr. was once knocked out of a Daytona 500 by a seagull. A FRICKIN’ SEAGULL.)

And for what seems like the 5,000th time, the game was tied! The tying run scored on a wild pitch! The Red Sox couldn’t have won the game in that inning! Furthermore, the only reason Buckner was on the field in the first place was that they had a 3-run lead at the time, and the manager…oh, forget it, look it up on TVTropes. :slight_smile:

I watch all the races every season, and if you want to see good coverage of a race, watch one on Versus. They know how to cover a race.

I bet a lot more people on the fringes would watch Indycar if they could see a race without ABC’s crappy coverage.

I was a little disappointed with this race - almost none of the drivers who drive all season and are competitive in the points standings did much. I know the rules are that anyone can try to qualify, but with so many single race drivers at Indy, it made the race much less enjoyable for those of us who follow the entire season.

That was Dale Sr. back in 1991 (Video). It did not put him out of the race put did cause an overheating problem that probably put him out of contention.

Al Unser, Sr. hit a rabbit @ Indy in 1988…he was leading at the time. He wasn’t seriously damaged, but the caution allowed Rick Mears to get back on the lead lap and he eventually won.

Indycar has nowhere to go but up, and I think this year they can finally say they’ve managed to tip their rate of change curve into positive territory. Obviously they are still far behind NASCAR in general fan interest.