Q: Hope you enjoyed the race from a nice air-conditioned area. I was sure glad I got my upgrade, because that shade was a lifesaver as the day progressed. I was mostly rooting for Carpenter, although I can’t root against Kanaan really, so some of those laps were pretty tough. Once Kanaan got knocked out of the equation, it became pretty simple for me.
I just don’t understand how Power got such an advantage on Carpenter on the pit stops. They both had good stops. ABC totally missed it. They just came back from commercial and said Will had taken the lead. No explanation. Do you know what happened? It basically came down to Will negotiating traffic so much better. He got around Dixon in one lap near the end, while Ed was stuck behind him at the later yellows. I think it was a very exciting race. I don’t know how they made it through Turns 1-2 at times! I know I saw four-wide in Turn 1at least once! It was a crazy race. I was happy to meet you finally in the garage area. Thanks for the selfie we did together.
RM: Will had a great in and out lap on that deciding pit stop, and was a fraction quicker and that was how he got in front. Of course ABC didn’t bother to show us, and we were screaming for a replay – which we never got. Power said afterwards if Ed had remained in front, he doubted he could have beaten him.
Q: A lot of talk in sports today is about one’s legacy. With an Indy 500 win under his belt along with his other accomplishments, what is Will Power’s IndyCar legacy, and where would he rank in the Penske driver pantheon? Also, were you nostalgic or sentimental for the last Indy 500 to be broadcast on ABC? Good or bad, a 54-year media partnership is the end of an era.
Jesse Murphy, Hummelstown, Pa.
RM: Statistically, Will has now tied with Al Unser Jr. for victories (34) and is eighth on the all-time list. His 51 poles put him third all-time behind a couple guys named Andretti and Foyt. And his 3,627 laps led is 12th on the list. He legacy remains to be seen since he’s only 37, so ranking him in the Penske line-up has to wait as well. ABC was good in the 1970s and 1980s with McKay, Stewart, Page, Uncle Bobby, Posey, but it’s been a downhill slide the past three decades. And it’s time for a change.
Q: The race was excellent. The new aero package threw a curveball at just about everyone, and it was a near nail-biter until the very end! Local hero Carpenter being up there all day, alternate strategies, rookies and veteran Servia hanging it out there at the end, and you have to give the epic hard-charger award to Rossi, bar none! When the dust settled, it was great to see Power finally pull it out. I think Eddie Cheever nailed it when he stated that the “curveball” was the result IndyCar was looking for. Now, if only Servia and Daly can get a full-time ride.
Also, being an airline pilot by trade, I have to tell you about a passenger I had recently. He said he was working with a promotion group working toward bringing Burke Lakefront Airport back on the schedule in 2020, maybe even 2019 if they’re lucky. Have you heard anything from the “head shed” across the street from IMS regarding this? I have layovers in Indy next month, so I’ll be making a mandatory stop at The Workingman’s Friend! Lunch is on me if you’re there!
Brian L, Spring, TX
RM: I love the fact that drivers were lifting in the corners because that’s what most of them wanted, and it had to be one of the most challenging races in recent memory. Maybe an aero tweak next year would allow them to get closer, but like I said earlier, a lot of fans like yourself thoroughly enjoyed the scenario that played out. As for Cleveland, if what you say turns out to be true, IndyCar fans will rejoice and I’ll buy your lunch at the Friend.
Q: When you see good race car drivers crash (Helio, Kanaan, Bourdais, Danica) plus many others making unforced errors, I figure the track had to be really, really tough. Makes it all the more impressive for those who finished, and Rossi’s outside moves.
One bad thing about the coverage. At the end of the race they focused completely on Power, and ignored what was going on with positions two, three and four. I’m assuming Servia dove into the pits because he was way down the finishing order. Nice to see Stefan Wilson leading the race, must have felt pretty cool! And when was the last time a Foyt car led Indy? While there were a lot of heartbreak stories this year, there were more good and great stories.
RM: We didn’t see Carpenter get around Dixon for second, Servia wasn’t ever mentioned again after losing the lead, and yes he did have to pit and that’s why he finished 17th. The last time one of A.J.’s car led Indy was in 1999 with winner Kenny Brack.
Q: First off, thoroughly enjoyed the 500, despite the lack of lead changes at full speed. Differing strategies, plus the lack of handling was very good. Just need a little more adjustability in the speedway kits. So to quote yourself, we need to stop with the double points! Beyond that, we need to stop with the wave-arounds. In a largely spec series, we have great competitive balance before the green flag drops. However, it should end there. I’m fine with waving cars around so the leader is first on a restart, but those cars CANNOT be allowed to pit as well! Even NASCAR isn’t so pointlessly generous.
Greg, Belleville, NJ
RM: I hate double points at Sonoma more than I do Indy, but to your point, Newgarden and Rossi have been the class of the field so far in 2018, and in one race Power overtakes them and now leads the standings. That sucks. Wave-arounds on ovals come within the last 15 laps and simply screw the leader sometimes, but it does give the fans a better show.