Hottest Indy was hottest

Posted: May 28, 2006 in Uncategorized
The track was about 130 degrees, making this possibly the hottest Indy 500 in its 90 year history. The teams eventually tweaked their cars just right to handle the extreme heat. In the end, it looked like an Andretti would finally win Indy, and it would be a 19-year-old rookie Andretti…but heartreak once again in the last two seconds. The second-closest finish in history. Wow, what a race.
Buddy Rice got a bad break when he was pushed up into a wall. He was so polite in the pits afterward during his interview, but if this were NASCAR, he would have been missing for the interview…cuz he would have been in a different team’s pit beating the crap out of the driver who knocked him out.
Rahahl-Letterman team still had Danica out there, and they had the perfect strategy: running in 5th, have her pit the car at lap 183, several laps before the other drivers, and give her just enough fuel to keep the car light and finish at a full-rich mixture. This would give her a chance to take the lead when the other drivers had to pit. They were playing the odds: only three yellow flags in the last 180 laps, so an average of 60 laps between yellows…with only 17 laps left, they hoped there would be no more yellows. But some guy just couldn’t control his car after being passed coming out of a turn (heat exhaustion? probably) and he just glided up into the wall. Needless to say, this yellow allowed the other drivers to pit, and Danica fell from 5th to 8th. It was a better strategy than last year for Danica, but it just didn’t pan out.
Most of the race was exciting…three lead changes in two turns, one taking top and the other bottom passing a slower car? Wow. Running over a pit crew member who couldn’t get the fuel hose disconnected, forcing the driver to stop and being penalized a lap for it, and still winning in the end? Holy smokes.

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