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And ran out of fuel right after crossing the finish line. Incredible.
 

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The last time that the race wasn't blacked out in central Indiana on tv was 1950. This year's race was sold out so they aired it. My Mom was 8 in 1950 and they didn't have a TV, so this was a first for her to be able to watch the race at home. The track stopped selling tickets at 350,000. That doesn't count workers, and people that didn't get tickets. Estimates top out at over 400,000. Truly the largest single day sporting event in the world.
 

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The last time that the race wasn't blacked out in central Indiana on tv was 1950. This year's race was sold out so they aired it. My Mom was 8 in 1950 and they didn't have a TV, so this was a first for her to be able to watch the race at home. The track stopped selling tickets at 350,000. That doesn't count workers, and people that didn't get tickets. Estimates top out at over 400,000. Truly the largest single day sporting event in the world.
I attended the race for many years and lost interest primarily because of the crowds. I used to go to Carb Day, qualifying and the race, despite it being a several hour drive each way, each time to the track. For years, I went on my Harley and we would get to park in the infield and we got an escort to the track by the Indianapolis Police Motorcycle team members, which made going to the track great when they blocked traffic and ran our group straight in.

I did notice the digital numbers on the side of the cars to indicate running position, which is a relatively new thing for Indy car, which help while watching at the race. Otherwise, at the Indy facility, it is so large and once the race gets into green flag laps, if you can't see the position tower, which is near the start finish line area, it just becomes a bunch of cars running in circles and it's nearly impossible to keep track of who's is running in what position. Then the team cars, which are painted identical make it even worse because there are lot's of places at Indy, especially in the turns and the short chutes, where you only get a brief glimpse at the cars as they fly by at 200 plus MPH.

Years ago when the George family which controls the Speedway Facility (which is NOT in Indianapolis like so many people think, but is actually in Speedway, Indiana) split the Indy car family into two competing sanctioned groups, my interest in open wheel racing diminished real quick. Another aspect of open wheel racing which I don't like is how incredibly fragile the open wheel cars are. Any contact between cars and it often means the end of the day for one or both. I think it was the Dover NASCAR race this year where 35 of the 40 starting cars were involved in incidents, yet still three fourths of the starting cars finished the race.

I did watch parts of this years Indy 500 race and find the crew chiefs planning ability to deal with green flag runs disappointing. In NASCAR, especially in some of the tracks like Watkin's Glen or Road America in Wisconsin (for the Infinity league teams) or the Napa Valley race which is coming up in a few weeks, the crew chiefs run the race calculations backwards so they can anticipate the minimum number of stops by planning the process and using "short pitting" approaches. This helps reduce the "fuel mileage only" aspect of racing, which I personally don't like. The mere fact that a rookie wins the race on fuel mileage when he had been running in the middle of the field all day long I find both great for the rookie, but also incredibly disappointing that the "Big Name" drivers crew chiefs can't plan better for this often inevitable event in Indy car racing.

Pit strategy often plays a huge part in the NASCAR races, but the dominant teams usually dominate based upon performance and they execute pit strategy extremely well. Just like the Coke 600 on Sunday night, at one of the later restarts in the race when Jimmie Johnson (one of my favorites) could NOT get around and stay in front of Martin Truex, even after Truex missed the shift or hit the rev limiter on the restart, it was clear that Truex was dominating that race. I was very glad to see the single car Furniture Row team win the Coke 600 as Truex has had tremendous performance this season, but also a bunch of tough luck, including losing the Daytona 500 by a few thousandths of a second...........

The single car teams often seem to be at a tremendous disadvantage in racing. The "alliances" help mitigate some of this, but it is a sport still heavily dominated by the top 5 multi car team owners, Hendricks, Gibbs, Penske, Ganassi and Childress.
 
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