August 2020 News
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INDY 500 Will Be Closed To Spectators

Aug 4 - The Indy Speedway announced today that no
spectators would be allowed in for the 104th Indy 500.
This includes all practice and qualifying days as well.

According to their statement, the reason is that "the
number of cases in Marion County has tripled while the
positivity rate has doubled. We said from the beginning of
the pandemic we would put the health and safety of our
community first, and while hosting spectators at a limited
capacity with our robust plan in place was appropriate in
late June, it is not the right path forward based on the
current environment."

At least there is a silver lining...

The 104th Indy 500 will still take place this month and race
fans can watch practices, qualifying and the race on

All of the action from IMS can be viewed via NBC Sports
Gold, NBCSN or NBC.

Indy 500 Broadcast Schedule
Local Fans Get to Watch Race Live on TV

Central Indiana fans will also be able to watch the race live
on television.  This will be the second time in 5 years.

In 2016, the 100th Indy 500 was broadcast live locally.  
This was allowed because the race was sold-out.

The race has always been blacked out in Indianapolis to
encourage local fans to attend, except in 1949.

That was the first year the race was broadcast and was
shown live locally.  That was also the last time, at least for
66 years.

The race always airs on local television in the evening, after
the race is over.  Many people who attend the race, watch
the race later at home.  (I seem to remember having to wait
about a month after the race was over, to watch it on TV in
the 70s.)

Even though the race was shown live in 2016, it was still
re-aired later that day, as it will again this year!

The 1949 broadcast was on Indianapolis’ first TV station,
WFBM (Channel 6).  They aired about 40 minutes of the
final day of qualifying and on Race Day, offered coverage
of the entire race using three cameras.  Local trial lawyer,
Earl Townsend, was the announcer.  He was assisted by
two color commentators.
The Famous INDY 500 Radio Broadcasts

I have heard numerous stories from people who have only
been able to listen to the race via radio.
For instance, US soldiers stationed abroad, have for
decades been momentarily "Back Home Again" as they
gathered around a radio to listen to the race.  Hard-
working farm families, from grandpa to junior, gather
under a shade tree each year to picnic and listen to the
race, using their imaginations in place of video.  Fans
fascinated by America and the Indy 500, listen to the race
each year from the outback of Australia to Vietnam to

In 2014, nearly 11 million Americans listened to
the race via radio.

It just goes to show that the people who attend the race are
not the only ones who enjoy a Indy 500 tradition!
Indy 500 Purse Drops

Aug 4 - Due to the lack of revenue that would typically come from fan attendance – from ticket sales to camping, parking,
concessions and other items – as well as the general financial hit all season long due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s
Indy 500 purse has been nearly cut in half. Back on Feb. 14,
Roger Penske announced he was adding $2 million to this
year’s purse on top of last year’s total of $13.09 million to reach $15 million – the largest ever in the race’s history.

The revised purse will total just over $7.5 million, and this year’s winner will be promised just over $1 million. In 2019,
Simon Pagenaud took home $2,669,529 in race winnings from his first-ever 500 victory.
New Vette Is "500" Pace Car

Aug 12 - As I hoped and expected, the new mid-engine
Corvette will be the Indy 500 Pace Car.  What I didn't
expect was that the race would be held in August and
closed to the public!  Looks like I'll have to wait longer
before I get to see one of these cars in person.

The Pace Car will be driven by GM President Mark Reuss.

This marks the 17th time a Corvette has served as the Pace
Car, starting in 1978, and the 31st time a Chevrolet has led
the field dating to 1948 when a Fleetmaster Six convertible
held the honor.

No other brand or vehicle has served as the “500” Pace Car
more often than Chevrolet and the Corvette, respectively.

The Torch Red 2020 Corvette Stingray Pace Car features:

*    All-new mid-engine LT2 6.2L V8 engine
*    8-Speed Dual Clutch transmission
*    Z51 performance package
*    Corvette accessory spoiler and ground effects package
*    Carbon Flash exterior accents and badge package
*    GT2 Bucket Seats
*    Unique Indy 500 Livery

With 495 horsepower, the Torch Red Corvette Stingray
can accelerate from 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, capable of 194
mph. It has been named MotorTrend Car of the Year for

Chevrolet was founded in 1911, the year of the inaugural
500-mile race, and company co-founder Louis Chevrolet,
along with brothers Arthur and Gaston, competed in early
Indy 500s. Arthur competed in the 1911 race and Gaston
won in 1920.
Pace Car Driver
GM President Mark Reuss
Wednesday Aug 12th                              DAY 1                  Rookie and Veteran Practice
Aug 12
Aug 13
Aug 14
Aug 15
Aug 16
Aug 21
Aug 22
Aug 23
The opening practice day saw the first use of the aero-
screen on the Indy oval track.

Three practice sessions were ran on a warm overcast day
at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The first two-hour session was for full-time IndyCar drivers
who have competed in the Indy 500 before.

There were no wrecks.  The Hondas of
Marco Andretti
and Graham Rahal had their cars shut off due to
electrical problems, and rolled into the pits.

The second two-hour session was for rookie orientation.  
It was also a refresher for Indy 500 veteran who had not
been in an IndyCar this year, such as
Fernando Alonso.

Four rookies completed the three stages of orientation during
that session -
Rinus VeeKay, Alex Palou, Oliver Askew
Pato O'Ward.

Then there was a final 2.5 hour session that included

James Hinchcliffe posted the fastest lap of the day at
224.526 mph.

Tony Kanaan was the slowest and the only driver not to
exceed 219 mph.

Marcus Ericsson ran 129 laps, the most of any driver.
Aug 12
Aug 13
Aug 14
Aug 15
Aug 16
Aug 21
James Hinchcliffe
Scott Dixon
Marco Andretti
Ed Carpenter
Takuma Sato
Pato O'Ward
224.526 mph
Aug 13
Aug 13
Aug 21
Fernando Alonso
Scott Dixon
Sage Karam
He crashed in Turn 4
He crashed in Turn 4
Brushed wall Turn 4
He's ok
He's ok
He's ok
James Hinchcliffe was Fastest
Example of Tear-Off Strips for Aeroscreen
Colton Herta
Thursday Aug 13th                         DAY 2                                PRACTICE
Takuma Sato was fastest throughout the day until Scott
turned a lap in 39.805 seconds late in the day to
secure the fastest lap of the day - 226.102 mph.

Max Chilton had the slowest time today - 221.147 mph.

Marcus Ericsson drove 252 laps, the most of anyone.

Two-time Formula One World Champion
turned 155 Laps today.  At 4:40 p.m. – 50 minutes
before the end of practice – he clipped the inside apron in
Turn 4 sending him high into the corner where his car made
contact with the outside wall.  He then slid across the track
and down into the pitlane, coming to rest against the inside
wall.  His car suffered moderate damage to the right side,
but Alonso was ok.  Coincidentally, he was also the first
person to crash last year, also on the second day of practice.

Ben Hanley completed the first phase of his refresher test
after practice today.  He will attempt to finish the final
phase during practice Friday.
Dario Franchiti and old pal Scott Dixon
Walking through Gasoline Alley
Takuma Sato was 2nd Fastest today
Sage Karam's livery is one of my favorites.
I like Conor Daly's livery too.
Marco Andretti's Car
The nose of Santino Ferrucci's car
Helio Castroneves' livery takes me back to 1980
and Lone Star JR's Indy winning Chaparral!
Friday Aug 14th                       DAY 3                      FAST FRIDAY PRACTICE
IndyCars get to raise their turbo boost pressure today in
preparation for qualifying this weekend when they also get
to use higher boost.

This year they get to use 21.7psi, 1.4 lbs more boost than
last year.  This is to make up for the added weight of the
new aeroscreen.

23 drivers exceeded 230 mph today.  
Marco Andretti was
the fastest, turning a lap with an average speed of 233.491
mph in his Honda.  This was the quickest Fast Friday lap
in 24 years!
Conor Daly was second fastest in his
Chevrolet-powered car.  He was the only Chevy in the
Top Ten.  Only the Hondas of
James Davison, Santino
and Felix Rosenqvist were in the slowest half
of the field.  It's looking good for Honda at this point.

The drivers all enjoyed the bump in power.  Andretti’s
James Hinchcliffe gushed, “That’s crazy jumping in with
that extra boost, man,  That is fun. 231, 232 — good God,
this is why we do it, man. It’s so awesome to get out of
here with that extra boost."

The Arrows McLaren SP team was successful getting
Fernando Alonso's car repaired over night after he hit the
wall yesterday.  He was 25th fastest. Alonso is returning to
Formula 1 next year, driving for Renault.  They announced
they would not allow Alonso to race in the Indy 500 next

Ben Hanley finished his refresher course today and got
some practice in.
1. Graham Rahal
2. Takuma Sato
3. Dalton Kellett
4. Rinus VeeKay
5. Jack Harvey
6. Scott Dixon
7. Spencer Pigot
8. Pato O'Ward
9. Josef Newgarden
10. Will Power
11. ​​​​​​Sage Karam
12. Alexander Rossi
13. Fernando Alonso
14. Ryan Hunter-Reay
15. Zach Veach
16. Marcus Ericsson
Marco Andretti Quickest
Conor Daly
17. Oliver Askew
18. Felix Rosenqvist
19. Ed Carpenter
20. James Hinchcliffe
21. Ben Hanley
22. James Davison
23. Alex Palou
24. Santino Ferrucci
25. Conor Daly
26. Charlie Kimball
27. Simon Pagenaud
28. Marco Andretti
29. Tony Kanaan
30. Colton Herta
31. Max Chilton
32. Helio Castroneves
33. JR Hildebrand
Qualifying Order for Saturday
Marco Andretti's Garage
Saturday Aug 15th                   DAY 4                  1st DAY OF QUALIFYING
It was sunny and 70-degrees F this morning for pre-
qualifying practice.  Only 7 Chevy-powered cars came out
to practice.

Ed Carpenter, Conor Daly, Helio Castroneves and
Simon Pagenaud all posted laps over 230 mph, raising
hopes that the Chevrolets will be competitive later in the

Qualifying began at 11 a.m.  

As of 12:30 pm,
Ryan Hunter-Reay has been fastest,
posting a 4-Lap average speed of 231.330 mph.

As of 1:30 pm,
Marco Andretti is fastest - 231.351 mph
In the very last run of the day, Scott Dixon came out
turning a very fast 1st lap over 232 mph.  He may have
been able to have the fastest speed of the day, but his team
waved him off.  He had already made the Fast Nine.  
Later he said,  "I don’t think you want to go fastest today
because that means tomorrow you’ll go last in the hottest
part of the day."  We will have to wait until tomorrow and
see what he's got during the Fast Nine Shoot-out!

If there had been more than 33 drivers, there would have
been bumping tomorrow.  There is not, so only the fastest
nine drivers will shoot it out to determine the Pole Position
and grid spots 2-9.

Each of the nine drivers will get one chance to qualify.
The order in which they qualify tomorrow is determined by
their qualifying speeds today, with the slowest going first.
James Hinchcliffe
Marco Andretti - Fastest Again!
Ryan Hunter-Reay
A Gun Shot Signals End of Qualifying
Could this be Tony Kanaan's Last "500"?
Sunday Aug 16th                         DAY 5                                POLE DAY
It was a sunny 80-degree day in Indianapolis.

Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato came out this morning
and ran a dozen practice laps.

Qualifying for the Fast Nine to determine the POLE
POSITION and the first three rows of the Indy 500 grid
began at 1:45 p.m. EDT.

Scott Dixon was the the 5th driver in line to qualify.  He
put it on pole with what looked like an unbeatable time,
averaging 231.051 mph.  
Takuma Sato sat in 2nd with a
speed of 230.725 mph for his 4 laps.  

Marco Andretti went last. While the other Andretti cars
had not performed as well as expected today, Marco's
first two laps were over 231 mph!  It looked like he could
topple Dixon from the pole if he could hang on and be

It came down to the last lap and Marco pulled it off!  
He has the pole!  Something his famous father,
never accomplished.  

Mario Andretti won the Indy 500 pole in 1966, '67 & 87.

It's a great accomplishment and everyone is really happy for

Afterward, Marco said that he was thinking this morning of
what grandpa had told him, “'The wind may scare you, but
the wind will never crash you.'  He was right."
There are some surprising upsets in the Indy 500 grid.

The most surprising is the reigning winner,
, will start down in 25th.  

Other famous drivers who also could not reach 229 mph in
qualifying include
Fernando Alonso, Helio Castroneves
Charlie Kimball, all of whom are using Chevrolet
Proud Dad / Happy Son
Michael & Marco Andretti
Thunderbirds To Perform Flyover

Aug 17 - The Air Force's Air Demonstration Squadron,
the Thunderbirds, will be performing a fly-over for the
Indy 500 next Sunday.

That is super cool.  

I hope they return when fans are in the seats!

As far as I can guess, fans won't be able to return until a
vaccine is created or an immediate, accurate virus test can
be given to everyone attending,  Everyone keeps talking
like everything will be normal come 2021.  I think it could
be several years before we get to go back.
Hoosier Hundred Hangs On

The Hoosier Hundred sprint car race has been held at the
Indiana Fairgrounds 1-mile dirt oval since 1953.  

IndyCar drivers used to compete in it.  AJ Foyt, Mario
Andretti, Bob Sweikert, Al Unser, Jimmy Brian, Parnelli
Jones and Rodger Ward have all won both the Hoosier
Hundred and the Indy 500.

It was thought that last year would be the final race, as the
track is being turned into a horse track.  However, those
plans have stalled and so the race will be ran this month for
the 65th time!

The Hoosier Hundred will start at 8pm next Sunday, Aug
23rd - the same day that the Indy 500 will be ran.  
will be racing!

Dan's 2019 Hoosier Hundred Photos
Aug 24 - Kyle Larson cannot be stopped on dirt.

Whether it’s USAC Midgets, USAC Silver Crown cars or
winged sprint cars, the Californian is in a league of his own,
winning the 65th Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State
Fairgrounds on Sunday night.
After the Fast Nine Qualifying was over, there was an open
practice session.

Scott Dixon, who had just qualified in the middle of the
front row, spun coming out of Turn 4, rubbing the wall
with the rear, then spinning and finally tapping the inside
pit wall with the left side.

Luckily it was not too serious, some light damage to the left
front suspension and Dixon was fine and hopped right out
of the car.  “Just getting up to speed, turned in, got a little
wider than normal, kept turning — there’s actually a big
bump there — and I hit the bump, put more lock in, and
then the rear just came around,” Dixon said. “Got lucky
104th Indianapolis 500 Front Row
Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon, Marco Andretti
New Qualifying Record:
There are 16 drivers qualified at 230 mph or faster.  
The previous record was In 2017 when 15 drivers
accomplished this.

Previous Faster Pole Speeds:
Scott Dixon
qualifed in 2017 at 232.164 mph.
Aire Luyendyk qualifed at 236.986 mph in 1996.
Williams F1 Team Sold

Aug 21 - The Williams Formula 1 team has been sold to
U.S.-based private investment company Dorilton Capital
for $179.5 million.

Dorilton Capital now owns Williams' F1 business, the
remaining minority stake in Williams Advanced Engineering
and all other trading assets and liabilities.  Williams reports
the sale received unanimous support of the Board, including
Sir Frank, who determined the transaction delivers the best
outcome for the company’s shareholders and secures the
long-term success of the Williams Formula 1 team.

The team will not reloacate and will retain the same name.

Williams Racing was founded by
Sir Frank Williams and  
Sir Patrick Head in 1977.

Nicholas Latifi and George Russell are Wiliams' 2020 F1

Williams has been a strong supporter of Liberty Media’s
plans for F1 moving forward, especially the introduction of
a budget cap that will come in at $145m next year. After a
strong start to the hybrid era in 2014, the team has
struggled in recent seasons, finishing at the bottom of the
constructors’ championship in each of the last two seasons
and currently sitting there again in 2020, having scored a
total of eight points since the start of 2018.

All 10 teams signed up to the new Concorde Agreement this
week, that features a more equitable distribution of revenues
and protects the value of the existing teams by introducing a
much higher new entry fee.
Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams says
making the Formula 1 team successful again and securing
its future were central to its sale to Dorilton Capital.

“As a family we have always put our team first. Making the
team successful again and protecting our people has been at
the heart of this process from start. This may be the end of
an era for Williams as a family-owned team, but we know it
is in good hands. The sale ensures the team’s survival but
most importantly will provide a path to success."
Claire Williams
Friday Aug 21st                         DAY 6                             CARB DAY

It is a gorgeous day in Indianapolis!  Sunny, blue sky and in the mid-70s.  It would have been a perfect day to be at the track!  
Darn you Coronavirus!

Drivers are on course practicing for the big race in two days.  This is their final chance to practice.

As of 11:30 am,
Pato O'Ward has achieved the fastest lap - 225.355 mph

12:30 pm -
Sage Karam went wide in Turn 4 and barely touched the wall with his right rear tire.
1.  Pato O'Ward
2.  Scott Dixon
3.  Alex Rossi
4.  Takuma Sato
5.  Oliver Askew
6.  Zach Veach
7.  Josef Newgarden
8.  Marcus Ericsson
9.  Jack Harvey
10. Alex Palou
Arrow McLaren SP
Chip Ganassi
Andretti Autosport
Rahal Letterman Lanigan
Arrow McLaren SP
Andretti Autosport
Team Penske
Chip Ganassi
Meyer Shank Racing
Dale Coyne w/Vasser Sullivan
TOP 10
It has been 33 years since an Andretti has been on the pole
at Indy.  Marco is 33 years old.  There are 33 cars in the
Indy 500 field.

Helio Castroneves
Tony Kanaan
Ed Carpenter
Scott Dixon
Marco Andretti
Graham Rahal
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Will Power
Takuma Sato
Charlie Kimball
JR Hildebrand
James Hinchcliffe
Josef Newgarden
Simon Pagenaud
Conor Daly
Sage Karam
James Davison

# of 500





Alexander Rossi
Spencer Pigot
Jack Harvey
Max Chilton
Zach Veach
Ben Hanley
Colton Herta
Felix Rosenqvist
Fernando Alonso
Marcus Ericsson
Santino Ferrucci
Alex Palou
Dalton Kellett
Oliver Askew
Pato O'Ward
Rinus VeeKay

Blair Julian
Clint Brawner Mechanic Award
Fernando Alonso & Mario Andretti
Two Formula One Champions
Graham Rahal
Mustached now like his dad,
1986 "500" Winner Bobby Rahal
Josef Newgarden
Santino Ferrucci
IndyCars leaving the pits for Carb Day practice
# of 500

Bobby Rahal
Saturday Aug 22nd                         DAY 7                           LEGENDS DAY
This morning at 10 a.m., the drivers all gathered in the
Pagoda Plaza for the annual pre-race Indy 500 Drivers

Usually 10,000 people show up for this.  

Normally, everyone would head downtown for the 500
Festival Parade afterwards.

Of course things are different this year with the pandemic.  

There is no parade, nor will there be any spectators at the
"Greatest Spectacle in Racing".

But IndyCar and IMS are coping best they can.

For the first time, the Drivers Meeting was televised.

You can watch it on
Note: the video doesn't start until 10-minutes in.
The event was MC'd by Leigh Diffey, long-time motorsports commentator.

Special guests who were present:
George Silverman, Presidnet of FIA-USA and VP of NASCAR
Jean Todt, President of the FIA  (Looking to have Formula 1 here again?!)
Roger Penske, Owner of IMS & IndyCar
Greg Penske, CEO of Penske Motor Group, Roger's son.
Mario Andretti, 1969 Indy 500 Winner.

Douglass Boles, the president of IMS, spoke.

The drivers first received their Indy 500 participant rings, made by Jostens.
All drivers were introduced, from 33rd position to 1st.  A few were called up to the podium to talk.

Conor Daly was called up and told that he was chosen by the fan's as "Favorite Driver".

Race director
Kyle Novak came up next and read the driver instructions.

At the start of the Indy 500 in recent years,
Mario Andretti has driven a celebrity around the track
in a two-seater IndyCar ahead of the Pace Car, during the parade laps.  They announced that tomorrow,
Michael Andretti will be riding shotgun to Mario.  Pole-sitter Marco Andretti got a laugh when he
quipped, "It's special, but even if I'm on pole, I still start behind these guys... it's unbelievable."
Normally the drivers are on the "track side" of the Pagoda
Tower, gathered close together in some stands.  But this
year, while exercising safe pandemic practices, the drivers
were "socially distanced" and wore face masks.
Kyle Novak
Race Director
The Drivers Meeting
Sunday Aug 23rd                           DAY 8                                RACE DAY!
End of Indy 500 News
6:30 a.m. - It's 66 degrees now, but temperatures are
expected to rise to mid-80s for the race.  Partly sunny,
5-10 mph wind and small chance of pop-up showers
forecast for late afternoon.

11 a.m. - It is now 77-degrees.  It is sunny.
Weather Forecast
10:30 a.m. - Race cars are being towed out to the track.

Some race fans are showing up to sit outside the track, or
in local restaurants.  One guy is sitting in a tree 40-feet up
in the air.

Pre-race coverage was already on the local news when I
got up at 6:15 a.m. today!  Excitement is building.
There were no balloon release today.  No marching band.
The stands sat empty.  

There were songs.  There was a spectacular fly-over.
Roger Penske finally got to say "Gentlemen Start Your

While race fans everywhere are disappointed not to attend,
we did get to see a very exciting, close race on our

Scott Dixon leapt into the lead by the first turn. He was
the overwhelming favorite to win today.  But at Indy,
nothing is ever certain.

Pole sitter
Marco Andretti was soon passed by Takuma
.  Before long, teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and
James Hinchcliffe got by him.  Many fans had hoped that
Marco would win today and bring his famous last name
some new glory.  But it was not to be.  He and his team
avoided trouble all day, finishing in 13th.

Dixon continued to lead through the first 1/4 of the race
Alex Rossi behind.  They were likely in fuel-
conservation mode, while drivers in the rear of the pack
needed to push it, so as not to get lapped.  By lap 59,
Dixon was upon the rear of Ed Carpenter, who was 13
laps down due to earlier trouble with a wall.

The third caution of the day made Sato happy as it gave
him a chance to pit and get a wing change.  It also let him
close the gap to Dixon.  Everyone pitted, which put all the
drivers back to square one strategy wise.  Hinchcliffe
though had some problem and couldn't pull out of his pit
box until all the other cars were gone.  That bit of bad luck
dropped him 10 places for the restart.  But before the cars
could even reach the line, there was a spin by
Conor Daly
coming out of Turn 4, followed immediately by a bad
wreck by rookie
Oliver Askew into the inside wall.  The
caution continued to the half-way point of the race.

1. Dixon
2. Sato
3. Rossi
4. O'Ward
5. Newgarden
6. Andretti
7. Ferrucci
8. Herta
9. Hunter-Reay

Rossi and Dixon began passing each other every few laps,
with Pato O'Ward sticking behind them in 3rd, followed by
Sato and Ferrucci.

On Lap 125, as cars hustled to get out of the pits, Rossi
came out into the path of Sato, bumping him.  Rossi got
penalized and forced to move to the back of the field
Max Chilton!  This must have made Dixon very
Rinus VeeKay and Felix Rosenqvist were the
only cars not to pit.

Lap 131 - restart.  Rossi was in 21st, he began a mad
charge forward, passing six cars in an attempt to get back
to the front. Graham Rahal was in 3rd, in front of his
teammate Sato.

Dixon got a tow from VeeKay and by Lap 138 he had a
3.3-second lead over Rahal, as 2nd-place Rosenqvist pit.  

Sato was now up to 3rd.  It wasn't looking like anyone
could challenge Dixon now that Rossi was back in 18th
position.  Six laps later Rossi hit the wall and was out.

1. Dixon
2. Sato
3. Rahal
4. Newgarden
5. Ferrucci
6. O'Ward
7. Herta
8. Power
9. Kanaan

Two laps after the restart on lap 155, Sato got by Dixon
going into Turn 1.  This is Sato's first time leading today.

Jack Harvey, driving for Meyer Shank Racing in partner-
ship with Andretti Technologies, had crept into 10th!  
Hunter-Reay was back in 14th.

As Dixon watched his fuel mileage, he kept about .3-.4
seconds behind Sato as the laps ran down.

Newgarden was holding onto 3rd, followed by Rahal.

Sato had a clean pit on Lap 168 while Dixie's pitstop on
Lap 170 had a brief delay.  None the less, Dixon retook
the lead.

Three laps later, Sato passed him along the front straight.  

Dixon's attempt to pass Sato on Lap 185 failed as Sato
protected the inside line.  If Dixon was going to get by him,
he'd have to pass on the outside.

With ten laps to go, the lead pack began closing on traffic.  
Sato was running 221.5 mph and the cars he was
approaching were only running 214 mph!

After being slowed up for several laps, Sato got by
in Turn 2.  Dixon and Rahal didn't get by him
until Turn 1.  

Dixon was now a whole second behind Sato.

With only five laps to go,
Spencer Pigot crashed near the
pit entrance bringing out the caution.

Drivers, announcers and fans everywhere all wondered if
the red flag would be thrown so that a 3-lap dash for the
end could be ran.

Dixon certainly hoped so, but the yellow caution remained
and Sato got to cruise around a few laps enjoying the fact
that he just won his 2nd Indianapolis 500 mile race!
The Race
There were about twelve instances of contact today:  

Ed Carpenter pulled into the pits on Lap 3 after brushing
the wall in the South Short Chute.  As he went through
Turn 1,  he came up on
Zach Veach's right. Veach moved
up to the wall forcing Carpenter into the wall. Carpenter
was upset; thought Veach should have known he was
there, but race stewards disagreed.  Carpenter's car was
repaired and he returned to finish the race, but he remained
at the very back, finishing 13 laps down.

Then, several laps later,
James Davison made contact with
the wall igniting his right front wheel. Their wheels are made
of light-weight magnesium, which also has a low-heat
threshold.  The center of the wheel glowed like molton lava
and caught fire.  Then it exploded!  When Davison finally
came to a stop, only the quick response from the AMR
safety crew kept his entire car from becoming engulfed in
flames from the burning wheel.

On Lap 25, Swedish driver
Marcus Ericsson had a wiggle
in Turn 1 and he pancaked the wall hard and slid down to
Turn 2. The rear of his car caught fire and he quickly got
out and was ok.

On Lap 70,
Rinus VeeKay came in wrong to his pits and
may have nipped some teammates and the wall.  The
Dutch rookie had been running in 3rd and came out two
laps down in 29th! And he got hit with a stop and go
penalty for contact with a teammate.  

On Lap 85,
Ben Hanley came down across the nose of
Canadian rookie
Dalton Kellett which upset his air and
his car went high into the Turn 4 wall.  That accident
brought out the third caution of the race.

On the restart, before the cars even reached the line,
Conor Daly started spinning coming out of turn 4 and
headed toward the pit lane.  A second later,
car suddenly went left and he shot right into the
inside wall hard!  He ricocheted back, clipping Daly as he
spun a few more times back out onto the track. He got the
wind knocked out of him but the young rookie was ok.

On Lap 122,
Alex Palou got up too high going into Turn 1,  
locked up brakes trying to slow down before hitting wall.  
Palou had been in 12th place at the time.  All the cars
pitted during the caution this wreck brought out.  

During the wild race out of the pits, Rossi was released into
traffic.  He clipped Sato's front tire.  Sato had no where to
go.  Sato said later that he braked, but it wasn't enough to
avoid Rossi.  No damage resulted, but Rossi was penalized
for an unsafe release.

Lap 135,
Simon Pagenaud came into the pits for a nose
change after Hunter-Reay moved up on him in the south
Short Chute and clipped his front wing.

Lap 144 - Rossi's rear got loose in Turn 2 and he slapped
the wall bringing out another caution.

Lap 195 -
Spencer Pigot suffered the worst crash of the
day.  Coming out of Turn 4, he lost the back end and hit
the outside wall facing backwards. As he slid along,
suddenly a tire came off and hooked the car across the
track sideways and into the pitlane attenuator, smacking it
square with the cockpit.  There is a tire barrier in this very
dangerous spot.  The car bounced back across the track.  
Pigot effectively went from 100 mph to zero and then
backward in a micro-second.  The safety crew lay him on
the ground to check him out.  Somehow he was ok, though
he'll definitely be feeling that in the week ahead!
The Wrecks
Interesting Tidbits
500 Winner Takuma Sato, at age 43, is the oldest driver in
the field.

Sato raced in 90 Formula 1 grand prix before coming to
IndyCar.  Two-time Formula 1 champion
has competed in two Indy 500's, 2018 and 2020.  
In both 500s, Sato won!  Maybe Alonso is Sato's good
luck charm?!

Sato was supposed to carry the Olympic Torch this summer
in Tokyo, but the event was postponed.

Scott Dixon has led 565 laps in the Indy 500 during his
career so far.  Today he surpassed
Mario Andretti and
AJ Foyt on the All-Time Indy 500 Most Laps Led record,
moving into 3rd place, behind
Al Unser (644 laps led) and
Ralph DePalma (612 lap led.)

This year is
A.J.Foyt's 65th consecutive Indy 500.
1955-1957 as a spectator, 1958-1992 as a driver and
1993 - 2020 as a team owner.
Several years ago, some stands were removed in the
outside of turn 3.  Two years ago a small platform was
erected and a tented patio area created in that spot as a
sort of higher priced suite.  I noticed that platform was
missing this year.  
Joe Malia, while taking a bus tour
around the speedway some weeks ago noticed the gap
AND that it was close to a neighborhood.  He approached
the home owner and offered them $400 to build him a
platform in one of their trees so that he and some friends
could watch the race there.  The homeowner agreed and
the man and his treehouse made the local and national
Gap in Turn 3 Stands
With the loss of tens of millions of dollars from ticket
revenue, the purse for the Indy 500 was cut in half.
Takuma still won $1,370,500 for his Rahal Letterman
Lanigan Racing team.  3rd place finisher Graham Rahal
brought in an additional $403,500 to the team.
Alex Palou
Conor Daly's Car
Sato hugging team-owner David Letterman
looked like a kid hugging Santa!
Takuma Sato chugging the traditional milk
of the Indianapoilis 500 Champion!
Max Chilton's helmet for the race
looks lIke the Borg-Warner trophy!
Click on thumbnail to view larger.
Saint Louis - Race 1.

Aug 29 -  There were spectators at the race today, but they
were sparse and spread out.

Before the race this afternoon could get under
way, there was a big smash up at the back of the pack.  
Heading to the green flag, the leaders apparently slowed
down and people had to check up.  This caught some
drivers unaware.  Cars spun and cars got hit.   
car left the ground.  Zach Veach came in fast
and nailed
Marco Andretti,  After all was said and done,
the wreck ended the race for
Alex Rossi, Andretti,  
Carpenter and Veach.
Alex Palou pulled out of line to
avoid hitting the car in front of him, but the race
stewards charged him with being 'Out of order on the
Start' and him to the back.  The stewards also penalized
Oliver Askew for 'Avoidable Contact' and sent him to the
back as well.  
Simon Pagenaud got hit in the fracas, but
was running.  His Penske pitcrew tried repeatedly to make
repairs, but eventually they threw in the towel on Lap 66.

Once the race got underway, 20-minutes later on Lap 13,
it ran accident free.

Will Power, who won the race two years ago, led from
pole.  He dropped to 3rd by lap 69.  He pitted on Lap 101,
then a yellow came out out for raindrops.  That dropped
him down to 13th.  The Top 8 drivers had 3 pit stops each
today, but Power needed four plus another for a tire
puncture and finished down in 17th.

Jack Harvey made a daring pass early and got by Josef
and Takuma Sato.  He was running in 4th
when he made the same mistake Power did, pitting right
before the yellow came out for rain.  Taking four pit
stops during the race, he finished in 11th.   That caution
ruined the race for other drivers too, including

The new Indy 500 winner,
Takuma Sato, was running in
the top 8 until his first pit stop, which dropped him down
to 12th.  By the time the rain caution came out, he had
worked his way up to 6th where he remained until Lap
155.  At that point, he began to move up.  He got by
Marcus Ericsson and Colton Herta, moving into 3rd.

Pato O'Ward had been leading since the first pit
stops on lap 68, with
Scott Dixon right behind him. This
rivalry continued all the way to Lap 161, when both cars
pitted.  The Chip Ganassi team got Dixon out a little faster
than O'Ward's Arrow McLaren SP team, to give Dixon
the lead.

Sato surprised O'Ward when he blew by him, taking over
2nd place.  With 20 laps to go, Sato began reeling in Dixon,
but did not get a chance to pass him.  Dixon won his 50th
IndyCar race!

(On Sato's last pit stop, a tire changer had a slight problem
delaying Sato's exit by a couple seconds.  Sato could have
probably re-entered the race in first place and gone on to
win if that pit stop had been perfect.)  

I'd be remiss not to mention that behind young drivers
Ericsson and O'Ward, rookie Rinus VeeKay finished 6th.

There have been eleven IndyCar races at the World Wide
Technology Raceway (previously known as Gateway) and
no one has won it twice.

There will be a 2nd IndyCar race at this track tomorrow
Scott Dixon
Melee at the Start
Will Power Leading the Field
Takuma Sato
Scott Dixon
Graham Rahal
Santino Ferrucci
Josef Newgarden
Pato O'Ward
Marcus Ericsson
Dalton Kellet
Oliver Askew
Conor Daly
Alex Palou
Alex Rossi
Ed Carpenter
Spencer Pigot
James Davison
Update (Sept 4): After 43 years and 739 races, the Williams family will leave F1 after this weekend’s race at Monza.
Claire Williams, deputy team principal, and her father, Sir Frank Williams, team principal, are stepping down from the
team to "give the new owners the opportunity to take the team into the future," according to Claire.