Welp, our relationship status between the Indianapolis 500 and I has changed. The race first came into my family in 1959 with my grandpa’s first foray to the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” It picked up a couple new relatives via my dad and aunt in 1977. My mom was a princess in the 1980s.
It picked up another new family member in 1985. Me.
Now, it appears our love fest is over. Nearly 800 drivers have raced in the biggest sporting event in the world. None had the surname of “Smith.”
Beginning in 1959, the living, breathing race that we all know of as the Indianapolis 500 became a “Smith.” Forget that no Smith has ever raced in this famous race, we took her in. She’s been a member for 61 years.
Now, we part ways. You don’t want us there. It’s not you, I get that, it’s a pandemic keeping us apart. But, for me, I had big plans for you still. Instead, the track and INDYCAR said no.
Yes, you’re making it possible to cover from home, but my second home is there. That’s where I’m supposed to be. That’s where I learned my numbers, my colors, my youth. That’s where I’ve cared so much about and now you want me to cover the race away? That’s not fair to my wife and kids to sit in basketball shorts in my living room spending all my time focusing on something just minutes away while ignoring them.
What’s the point? People that openly bashed that place and lauded IMS to not have fans but would go steal a spot in the media center anyways if they do, they’ll somehow be there. They want your attention. Sickening.
So, instead of getting stories about this race — the build up to it, how drivers feel in an empty iconic venue, the emotions of the walk from Gasoline Alley to pit road on race day and everything after it, they’re gone. The personal stories of now and the past, they’ll go unpublished. The fans lose again.
I had 16 articles done and ready for more. Literally. The 16 already done were only waiting for some quotes from our zoom conferences and after that, off they go. Now, I can’t stomach going through those zoom calls anymore, wasting my time when I could be doing something else.
I was excited for you all to read about how Chip Ganassi Racing has 12 series titles, seven in the last 12 years, 112 wins overall but no Indy 500 triumphs since 2012.
What about my feature comparing Scott Dixon to Mario Andretti. Each has 1 Indy 500 triumph and the rest of their career stats are staggering. It’s in my drafts.
I also had one comparing Josef Newgarden and Dixon and how their stats are so comparable at this point it’s unreal. Again, eye opening stats. I was going to ask them about it.
I had two features on Alexander Rossi. One, he made up 12 spots in the points in six days and now has double points for the 500. I had another one set for him about how badly he wants to win Indy again.
I had one about Simon Pagenaud. He was hoping to be the first repeat winner since his teammate Helio Castroneves in 2001-2002. Could he be the third repeat winner in 66 years? Had a post about it.
Will Power tried that feat last year. He narrowly missed. Did you know 19 of his 1st 20 wins and 21 of 23 we on road/street courses? Did you know five of his last seven were on ovals? You would have found yet out on my feature on how he’s more comfortable on ovals now next week.
I couldn’t leave out Castroneves and his dream of a fourth Indy 500 triumph. Did you know he’s .2611 seconds from five wins? You would have next week.
I had a feature for race week about parity and non parity. Did you know we’ve had a new winner each year here since 2010? The last six winners were first timers too. Since 2003, only Dario Franchitti and Dan Wheldon are the only multi time winners in that time frame.
Sounds wild right? Well, what if I told you also that Penske and Andretti have won the last six Indy 500’s. Throw in Ganassi and you get 17 of the last 20 winners part of the “Big 3.”
For INDYCAR races in general, the “Big 3” have won 83-percent of them since 2018. If you go back to 2016, they won 59 of the last 74 races (81%). I broke all if that down into one post.
I had a feature on Andretti Autosport in general. One of plenty of popular winners in the field. Fast facts. Is the INDYCAR championship more important now than ever? Pit stops.
All of those are written. They’re done. Now, they unfortunately get to live in my drafts tab and go unread by anyone but me.
Instead, more slanted content will come out from outlets on site. It’s a shame.
NASCAR will house me. They care. I’ve been to some races during this pandemic. I can let my voice be heard there even though I feel more comfortable here in INDYCAR.
Maybe that’s why this stings so bad. I’ve studied this series, studied this race, so damn long and so damn hard and also put so much work into this, only to be denied entry even though I possess a hard card. I was hoping to put my hard card to good use this year but have been shut out of their tracks.
With such a limited amount of race weekends left in INDYCAR, it appears that I’ll be an 0-fer this year. Gateway has already said no to most media and that leaves just here again which has shut most out twice now and Mid-Ohio and St. Pete who’s future is up in the air still.
I feel I’m doing a disservice to the fans, the teams, the drivers, their sponsors, Jay Frye, Mark Miles and Doug Boles but those under them don’t seem to be care. So, onto NASCAR we go.