Yesterday, we saw some big names, and legends, compete at the 2021 Indianapolis 500. It was a day with few crashes, although there were some problems in the pit, no doubt. Just as Rahal, who still swears up and down that if he hadn’t lost his wheel, he’d have been champion.
In addition to that, we also saw the return of fans, to the speedway. It was a welcoming sight, after last year, when the race was not only postponed, but when the stands looked like a ghost town, and several drivers couldn’t make it here, due to the pandemic. To hear the cheering, the gasping, and even the booing, it was a nice welcome home, for fans, drivers, and pit crew alike.
I was on the edge of my seat, for the last 15 laps. However, In the last few laps, it came down to the gutsy newbies and the veterans, who matched that gutsy game play. Rosenquist and Sato were up front towards the end, but had no choice but to pit, and thus, gave up their leads. Regarding the final results though, it was history in the making. We saw a 4 way race for the title, when it came down to the last, minimal 5 laps. That is typical though, but somehow grows more exciting, every year. These drivers, O’ward, Pagenaud, Palou and Castroneves, all raced with the excitement we expected, when we tuned into the 105th Indy 500.
In the end, it came down to a true battle between Palou and Castroneves. Castroneves took a bet on his spent tires, and it paid off, big. With just 2 laps, he passed up Palou, to take the lead. After this it was a battle for Castroneves to maintain this lead, but he managed to pulled away, and thus won his FOURTH, history making, Indy 500! (For names only: https://www.sportingnews.com/us/motorsports/news/indianapolis-500-live-updates-results-highlights/j9mmni0ahoez1oosvdr6sz66r).
I still get chills, and I’ve now seen this win 5 times, to be sure I gave you all the most accurate reporting, I possibly could. It was 1991, 30 years, since a driver won 4 Indy 500 Championship Titles. To put that in perspective, I wasn’t even born yet, when this last happened. Castroneves is only the 4th driver, in history, to win 4 times, in the 105 year history of this prestigious event. Now, he joins the club of only Foyt, Unser Sr., and Mears; an élite group of spectacular champions. (For names only: https://www.sportingnews.com/us/motorsports/news/indy-500-wins-helio-castroneves/1qu0himrrx4kp112i94k9marpc).
You also have to love the celebration, climbing the fence with his entire crew, as to see all the fans. Then, drinking not just the milk, but also a pink strawberry milk, to match his team color! The shock of being a four-time-champion, the exhilaration of history, and the surge of knowing your name will never be forgotten. At 46-years-old, he has shown us that greatness can be achieved at any age, any. Not only did he win his fourth, he won by less than a second, and with the historic fastest time, in all 105 years. Not only that, but I must also highlight his sportsmanship, understanding that there was a force behind him, and that all of them together, won this race, not just himself.
Can he beat it, next year? I’ve got to be honest with you, I wish Memorial Day weekend, 2022, was tomorrow! What a race, what a win. Congratulations, Mr. Castroneves, his full team, and Meyer Shank Racing.
“Tom Brady won a Super Bowl, Phil (Mickelson) won The PGA…the old guys still got it, kicking the young guys’ butts, teaching them a lesson.” ( https://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2021/05/30/helio-castroneves-wins-the-105th-running-of-the-indianapolis-500-on-nbc-notes-and-quotes/).