Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

marco 26

— Photo credit: Dan Helrigel / Indianapolis Motor Speedway —

Indianapolis 500 Insights

By: Jeff Majeski — Jeff’s Indy Talk

— 30 Days in May — Day 26 —

No. 26 — Marco Andretti — 2006 NYSE Group Dallara/Honda

Say this for Marco Andretti: He added to the family legacy of frustration and heartbreak right off the bat.

As a 19-year-rookie, Andretti led coming out of Turn 4 on the last lap before Sam Hornish Jr. blew past to nip him by 0.0635 of a second.

Andretti has run well at Indianapolis, with eight top 10 finishes in 12 previous starts entering this year’s race and has completed every lap the last five 500s.

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ongais

— Photo credit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway —

Indianapolis 500 Insights

By: Jeff Majeski — Jeff’s Indy Talk

— 30 Days in May — Day 25 —

No. 25 — Danny Ongais — 1978 Interscope Racing Parnelli/Cosworth

Some cars and drivers just sum up an era at Indianapolis and are indelibly linked.

While not a legend of the Brickyard like, say, A.J. Foyt or Rick Mears, if you went to the track in the late 1970s to mid-1980s, you remember Ongais and the black Interscope No. 25.

Danny On the Gas was fast, fearless and spectacular (in both good and bad ways).

When Tom Carnegie or John Totten piped up on the PA system that Ongais was on the track, you paused from munching your Sno-Cone and gave the 2 ½-mile oval your undivided attention.

In 1978, the Flying Hawaiian started second and led 71 laps before the engine blew.

Ongais wound up 18th with 145 laps to his credit.

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Robbie

— Photo credit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway —

Indianapolis 500 Insights

By: Jeff Majeski — Jeff’s Indy Talk

— 30 Days in May — Day 24 —

No. 24 — Robbie Buhl — 2001 Purex G Force/Infiniti

Buhl was one of the drivers who benefited from the infamous split in open-wheel racing.

The former Indy Lights champion (1992) had trouble finding a ride in CART, but the arrival of the Indy Racing League in 1996 provided an opportunity.

He had success with both John Menard and Dreyer & Reinbold, winning a race for each.

Buhl’s Purex machine was one of the more striking liveries of that era.

In 2001, he started ninth and finished 15th in the 500.

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floys

— Indianapolis Motor Speedway photo —

Indianapolis 500 Insights

By: Jeff Majeski — Jeff’s Indy Talk

— 30 Days in May — Day 23 —

No. 23 — Floyd Roberts — 1938 Burd Piston Ring Special Wetteroth/Miller

The first Indianapolis 500 program I got was from the 1973 race.

I would spend time poring over its contents, absorbing various facts and figures about the race – sort of a 5-year-old Donald Davidson.

Of particular interest to me was Wilbur Shaw’s success from 1937-40. (The summary for each of these races was listed on one page.)

I noticed that had it not been for Floyd Roberts winning in 1938 that Shaw would’ve won the 500 four times in a row.

At this time, A.J. Foyt was trying to become the first four-time winner, a feat he finally achieved in 1977.

Anyway, Roberts beat Shaw by a wide margin (more than four minutes), but Shaw, so vital in helping the Speedway survive after World War II, won in 1939 and 1940 to become the first back-to-back winner.

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tony

Photo credit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis 500 Insights

By: Jeff Majeski — Jeff’s Indy Talk

— 30 Days in May — Day 22 —

No. 22 — Tony Stewart –1999 The Home Depot Dallara/Oldsmobile

Stewart was the first homegrown star of the Indy Racing League.

His pedigree was Hollywood-perfect: An Indiana native who won national titles in Midgets, Sprints and Silver Crown (all in the same season!) who proved immediately adept at driving Indy cars, too.

Alas, Stewart instead decided instead to pursue a full-time career in NASCAR. He was fast right off the bat in stock cars, too, and finished his NASCAR career with three Cup titles and two wins in the Brickyard 400.

In the 1999 Indianapolis 500, Stewart finished 9th, four laps down to winner Kenny Brack.

But Stewart’s workday was just beginning, because he flew from Indianapolis to Charlotte, N.C., to compete in the 600-mile NASCAR race that night and finished an impressive fourth.

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cale_edited

Indianapolis 500 Insights

By: Jeff Majeski — Jeff’s Indy Talk

— 30 Days in May — Day 21 —

No. 21 — Cale Yarborough — 1971 Gene White Firestone Mongoose/Ford

A three-time consecutive Cup champion and four-time Daytona 500 winner, Yarborough was a legendary driver in NASCAR.

For the 1971 season, however, he found himself “between manufacturers” on the stock-car circuit, so Yarborough basically ended up being a full-time Championship (IndyCar) division shoe in USAC.

He finished 16th in the point standings in 1971, with a pair of fifth-place finishes (at the first Trenton race and at Michigan) his best results.

At Indianapolis, Yarborough started 14th and finished 16th, retiring with a cam failure after 140 laps.

He made the last of his four Indianapolis starts in 1972, when he finished 10th.

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