As the IndyCar season draws to a close we can reflect upon the excitement of this year…that’s if you have even been watching it. So before you miss out on the final race I’ll give you a rundown of what’s gone down in 2013 and why you can’t miss another race!
In case you also missed my article before the season, IndyCar – A Motorsport Overlooked, I went over the story lines surrounding this year and all the events that set up the drama that unfolded over the 2013 season.
What You Missed
There have been 10 different winners in 18 races…7 different winners in the first 8 races! In Sao Paulo the “Mayor of Hinchtown” pulled off a last lap, last corner pass for the win!
The month of May saw copious amounts of action, with the weeks of festivities and excitement leading up to the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500. There was plenty of excitement in the Firestone Indy Lights race the Friday before the 500, with a 4 wide drag race to the finish line! Watch the last lap here: 2013 Firestone Indy Lights Freedom 100 Final Lap.
The Indiana boys had a good showing as well with Ed Carpenter grabbing the pole for the 500. A good friend of mine, Jimmy Simpson, made his Indy Lights debut with a solid finish beating his teammate in the sister car for Team Moore Racing.
Another friend of mine, Conor Daly, had an eventful month making his Izod IndyCar Series debut in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. During practice he almost ended up on his bright green lid, however came back to run a solid, smooth 500 picking uwp 11 spots by the end of the race.
The Indy 500 was no exception, as fans witnessed a record-breaking 68 passes for the lead that included 14 different leaders.
It also had one of the best…and possibly only “non-save saves” in the history of motorsports. James Hinchcliffe looses control at 220 mph, lets go of the wheel as he slides sideways, almost T-bones a fellow Canadian…and the car rights itself. You will have to see it for yourself:
The final restart was a literal explosion of crowd noise unlike anything I have ever heard or witnessed at any sporting event.
Tony Kanaan was sitting in 2nd for the final restart with 4 laps to go, and got the jump for the lead before the first turn. Every year this guy passes for the lead the crowd erupts, and in 2013 everybody finally saw the fan favorite and heartbreak kid get his 500 win, and join his fallen friend Dan Wheldon on the Borg Warner trophy.
Most recently there have been several street races. These are popular because the fans get up close and personal with the cars and drivers while they race through the same city streets that they commute to work on. Sometimes the cars get a little too close. In race 2 of the Houston GP Dario Franchitti had a massive crash. If you’re an adrenaline junkie…or a rally fan, this might appeal to you. But for most this was a very scary moment.
Also see the video below, and fast forward to 1:28 to see how fast everything happens in an IndyCar crash. Fortunately, no one had life-threatening injuries and Dario, along with the 13 injured spectators, are all recovering.
What You Need To Know
This Saturday night, the points battle comes down to 2 men in the final race! Scott Dixon, Indy 500 winner and 2 time IndyCar Champion, and Helio Castroneves, 3 time Indy 500 winner.
Helio has had much success in American open wheel racing between Cart and the IndyCar Series, but the Championship has always eluded him. After a string of bad luck he lost his points lead in Houston, and has one race to get it back and win the title all in one night. Scott Dixon will try to ensure that doesn’t happen with a race win.
This is the 8th consecutive year that the title has come down to the final race! The race airs at 8pm ET on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN).