No one does tradition, pomp and circumstance like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indianapolis 500 race. And this 93rd running of the race was no different. As the race is held during the Memorial Day weekend – an American holiday honoring those US military personnel who died in the service of our country – there were a variety of military ceremonies, and taps.
There were two starts. Pole sitter HELIO CASTRONEVES/No.3 Team Penske jumped the start and the top three/front row were strung out in order instead of three abreast before they reached the green flag. So around they went and tried again, and while it wasn’t nearly so ragged, Castroneves was clearly eager to get out and get going.
For two drivers, the National Anthem took longer than their race. Two young guns were vying for the same real estate between Turns Two and Three on the first lap. They went into each other and the wall, and their day was done, almost before it started. First Caution of the race.
MARCO ANDRETTI/No.26 Andretti Green Racing pitted (which technically credited him with a lap), with a sheared right front wing, and retired. His angry remarks included “That kid doesn’t get it. He never will. He’s clueless.” Some say that Andretti was the innocent in this accident, which was caused by Moraes who didn’t heed that Andretti was up above him and pinched him off.
MARIO MORAES/No.5 KV Racing Technology sustained the most damage from the incident – the right front and side of his car, which hit the wall hard. His car was towed. When caught up with by pit reporter JAMIE LITTLE, who asked what happened, he said “What do you want me to say? What does he (Andretti) want to hear? I was in the front and I was holding my line.” In response to where he was going now (to talk with Andretti?) Moraes said “I’m going to the bathroom.” He was checked and released from the Clarian infield medical center – first one out of the race.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY/No.21 Vision Racing hit the wall exiting on Lap 22, bringing out the second caution. He was running up high in Turn Four, hit the wall and spun across track and hit again. RHR, last year’s Rookie of the Year, was checked and released by DR MICHAEL OLINGER, medical director of Indy Racing League.
Meanwhile, Castroneves was raced hard by third-starting DARIO FRANCHITTI/No.10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing and the Scot passed Castroneves for the lead on Lap Eight.