Via The Journal Gazette
They were all in Juan Pablo Montoyas kitchen, down there at the finish. Ten laps to run? Three desperate men chasing a moment that would ring forever, with the miles blurring away beneath their wheels?
Shoot. Who do you thinks gonna win that one?
It was bare-knuckle racing, a mano-a-mano throwdown, and so of course Montoya passed Scott Dixon and passed Will Power and then passed him again, and won the 99th Indianapolis 500. Won with a primal scream as he came through Turn 4 for the last time, because he knew the thing was his. Won because hes the best eyeball-to-eyeball wheel man in the business, and for the second year in a row thats what the biggest day in motorsports came down to.
The second-closest finish in Indy history was followed Sunday by the fourth-closest, and so give Montoya his duel-at-dawn moment. But understand, too, that the moment was about much more than just him.
It saved May, is what it did. The whole day saved May.
After all the crashing and flying shrapnel and race cars turning ominously into box kites, Indy does what it always seems to do. It redeemed itself with another breathtaking day. It redeemed itself with another safe day.
Oh, there were crashes. Takuma Sato went three wide 500 yards into the 500 miles and took out Sage Karam. Bryan Clausen crashed. Ed Carpenter and Oriol Servia crashed, and Tony Kanaan crashed, and Stefano Coletti, Sebastian Saavedra and Jack Hawksworth crashed. Four incidents in all, and shrapnel flying again in the warm May air.
But no one got airborne. No one got upside-down or hurt or spewed the shrapnel where it shouldnt have gone. If there was more than the usual apprehension coming into Sunday, it was sponged away by the 37 lead changes among 10 drivers, by Montoya and Dixon and Power playing high-stakes poker everywhere on the premises as the laps got skinny, by the cars (and their demon aero kits) behaving.
I think youve got to ask yourself what were here for, and we put on a heck of a show today, said Charlie Kimball, who finished third.
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[caption id="attachment_2265" align="aligncenter" width="626"] Photo via INDYCAR[/caption]