• May 29, 2012
Indianapolis 500. Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, on either side of him.



While the order of finishers was anything but staged, the race itself saw a number of moments that were purposely dedicated to Wheldon and his family. The event opened with car owner Bryan Herta driving a single parade lap around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the car Wheldon won with last year. Fans were also given white sunglasses to wear in tribute during laps 26 and 98, which marked the numbers of both cars that Wheldon drove to his pair of Indy 500 wins. Wheldon's wife, Susie, was also in attendance – her first visit to any racetrack since her husband's death last year. She reportedly spent the day watching the race with Scott Dixon's wife, Emma, and then after congratulating Dario on his win, accompanied him and his wife, actress Ashley Judd, on the same victory lap she took last year with her own husband.

There was a race that happened this day, though, and despite a relatively clean running – only 39 of 200 laps were run under caution – the ending was decided by the all to familiar sight of a car spinning out and hitting the wall.
The race to the finish began with Kanaan, Franchitti and Dixon leading the pack in that order after the race's last restart with six laps remaining. A few laps later the order had reshuffled and left Dixon in the lead with Franchitti following and being pursued by Takuma Sato. Kanaan had fell to fourth. With just a couple laps to go, Franchitti passed Dixon in Turn 1 and pulled Sato along with him. Rolling the dice, Sato attempted the same pass against Franchitti on the last lap but wound up with no where to go on the inside and spun his car into the wall, leaving Franchitti, Dixon and Kanaan to cross the finish line in that order under caution.



For his efforts, Franchitti pocketed a cool $2.47 million for the win, with Dixon earning $1.1 million and Kanaan over $636,000. Also of note is the fact that three Honda-powered cars were battling for the win at the end, despite the fact this season's first four races have been won by Chevrolet-powered cars, which also earned the top four spots in qualifying.

The IndyCar season moves on to Detroit next weekend on June 3 for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      boston6r
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great race. I really believe after watching the replay many times, that the real winner was Sato. Reason Franchitti pinched Sato down below the white line where all the start of the crashes would start. Franchitti was not stupid, but Sato was beside him when Franchitti left Sato no room. In the winners circle I could see guilt on the winners face and voice. Sato went for it for sure. What a great racer he showed.
      twofingersneak
      • 2 Years Ago
      it was a great race weekend all the way up until the public address announcer congratulated Ashley Judd and her husband for winning the 500. can we please send that sideshow away? kinda surprised by the amount of booing that Mr. Judd received as he swung past the NW Vista on the yellow/checker and his victory lap. appears that he's quickly becoming heel.
      Kumar
      • 2 Years Ago
      Most people there were standing for the last 30 laps or so due to the combination of yellows and restarts. Sure, that last 6 laps were exciting too, but there was a lot of action for the last part after a dull first 100 droning laps. So far, I'm liking what I'm seeing from the new cars. It was confirmed as well after another relatively boring F1 race. From my seats, I could see all of the crashes and stalled cars, and I must say the safety crews were FAST at clearing the track. There were guys out there on their hands and knees at one point scrubbing the track with the oil dry stuff to get the race back to green. It will also be interesting to see if the ex-F1 crew fares better at road races from the way Barrichello drove around a wreck that most would drive in to.
        gtv4rudy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kumar
        How short of an attention span do people have in order for a race to be exciting there has to be crashes and yellows? Monaco is a historic Grand Prix track more suited to the older cars from long ago and not to todays F1 cars where it's near impossible to make a pass. Compare apples to apples.
        jvshenderson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kumar
        Sure, this looked more exciting because there was so much passing, but the passes didn't mean anything until the last 5 laps. Passing was so easy that the leaders were just leapfrogging each other, waiting to get into 2nd on the last lap so they could draft into the lead. You're right that overtaking is too hard in F1 (especially in Monaco) but I think it was too easy in Indy. There needs to be a middle ground.
      Luke
      • 2 Years Ago
      Indy says they want to grow the sport and have more 'visibility'. One suggestion: Don't end your biggest race of the year (or any race) under caution. Kinda anti-climactic for me. I was surprised when they said the race was over, but then I remembered this isn't NASCAR.
        Jason
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Luke
        Then you're not ever going to be interested in really enjoying or watching the race. It was as good of a race as you can see in today's big series and the finish was as dramatic as any. Did you like the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 finish better because it was under green? Seriously.
      burkevillebum
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great race! I watched Franchitti's on-board as he picked his way through the field twice, legendary stuff.
        Luke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @burkevillebum
        He sure put on a hell of a show.
      jvshenderson
      • 2 Years Ago
      While F1 has been doing everything it can to make passing easier, this race showed what happens when passing is too easy. The lead must have changed 20 times in the last 20 laps because drafting was so easy. Everyone wanted to be in second place coming onto the last lap because they knew they could draft the leader. As others have said, Sato would have easily taken the lead on the last lap if he hadn't been squeezed to the inside by Franchitti...
        Justin Wilkinson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jvshenderson
        Yea, there was a lot of passing... Guess what... That's what makes racing exciting! This is how it used to be in the 90's and early 2000's. Makes for good TV unlike watching an F1 race.
          jvshenderson
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Wilkinson
          Passing is exciting when you're not sure where and when a pass will take place, and whether it will stick. When the fans and the drivers know that they can pass the leader any time they want, and the only way to prevent a pass is to squeeze the driver off the track, well then it gets boring. And by the way, I attended the 500 multiple times in the 90's and early 2000's and I can guarantee you that passing was not this easy.
      Kevin Potts
      • 2 Years Ago
      I was at this race at turn 3, It was scorching hot, but there was slight breeze for much needed relief. It was said that track temperature rose to 133° and it was hottest race day. When Tony Kanaan took the lead for the first time...the crowd went bonkers! He's a big fan favorite at Indy. He was so close to winning, but Dixon, Sato and Franchitti pounced him like cougar when green flag dropped for restart. This was great year and I'm loving the new body style, the motors are little bit quieter, but track speed remained very fast. If you haven't been to an Indycar race, I'd highly recommended it this year. Competition has been tight despite Will Power dominating the standings.
      Kai F. Lahmann
      • 2 Years Ago
      The restarts are just crazy with the new cars; I can't remember, if anybody was able to stay in the lead on a restart. I' just not sure, if this doesn't end with a big one any time soon.
      Justin Wilkinson
      • 2 Years Ago
      As a long time Indycar fan, I can honestly say, that was the best racing I've seen at Indy since the mid 90's. A ton of passing, no leader had more than a 3 second lead, and there was a lot of underdogs actually competing for top spots. And the end was another fitting historic Indy heartbreak. I do wish Tony Kanaan could have pulled off the win. That would have been huge PR for the series and pushed it more in the spotlight among the media. On another note, after watching both the Indy 500 and the Coke 600, in my opinion, the 500 was way better than the 600. That hasn't happened in a while. I think Indycar is starting to make some headway on the competition. I've actually really enjoyed they racing so far this year as are alot of other folks. Can't wait to see what's next for the series!
      • 2 Years Ago
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