- Jacques Villeneuve will attempt to make Indianapolis 500 starts 19 years apart, bettering Cy Marshall & Roland Free's 17-year gap set in 1947.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 10 IndyCar Events Of The Decade

10) August 11, 2002 - Sarah Fisher became the first woman in North American motorsports history to win the pole for a major-league open-wheel race at Kentucky Speedway.

9) May 28, 2006 - With the 2nd closest victory in the history of the Indianapolis 500, Sam Hornish jr. beat out Marco Andretti by .0636 of a second to take his first and only victory at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Hornish overcame his struggles at IMS, only to extend those of the Andretti family.

8) April 20, 2008 - After 3 years of continues improvement, Danica Patrick broke through to become the first female to win a major closed-course auto race, prevailing at Twin-Ring Motegi in Japan.

7) May 24, 2009 - After a trying first couple of months in 2009, Helio Castroneves returned to the IndyCar Series circuit on April, 18th, just a day after being acquitted on 6 of the 7 tax evasion counts against him (the 7th charge was later dropped). Just 36 days later Spiderman became only the 9th driver to win 3 or more Indianapolis 500's.

6) August 7, 2008 - With race fans growing more and more unhappy with the sub par coverage of America's premier Open-Wheel circuit, the IRL announced a revamped television package for 2009 and beyond. VERSUS signed on to broadcast at least 13 races for the next 10 years while ABC would return, broadcasting the Indianapolis 500 and four other races through 2012.

5) May 29, 2005 -After a wiggle in the first turn of her first qualification lap Danica Patrick came back to make history with the highest qualifying position of 4th by a female in the Indianapolis 500. The then 23 year-old Patrick went on to smash more records with a finishing position of 4th and becoming the first female to lead the Indy 500.

4) December 6, 2001/March 2, 2003 - In early December 2001, Penske Racing announced their intent to compete exclusively in the IndyCar Series in 2002. Then in early March 2003, Andretti Green Racing, Mo Nunn Racing, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and Rahal Letterman Racing announced that they'll make the switch and will compete in the Indycar Series.

3) November 5, 2009 - The IndyCar Series announced that IZOD has signed on to become the Series' Title Sponsor in 2010 and beyond. Although the full affect of the deal will not be known for some time, when looking back on this moment in 20 years, it could be one of the major turn around milestone for American Open-Wheel Racing.

2) May 1, 2002 - The Indy Racing League announced that the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) Barrier would be installed in all 4 corners of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In development since 1998 by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Midwest Roadside Safety Facility and the IRL, the system can now be found in nearly all major oval tracks in North America. The barrier is constructed in 20-foot sections, each consisting of 4 rectangular steel tubes, welded together to form 1 unit. The sections are connected with 4 internal steel splices with bundles of 2-inch-thick pieces of extruded, closed-cell polystyrene placed between the concrete wall and the steel tubing sections.

1) February 22, 2008 - Merger, blendification, hostile take over, or what ever you want to call it, February 22nd is unquestionably the biggest moment for the IndyCar Series over the past decade. With great turmoil in American Open-Wheel racing over the previous 12 years, the first steps were finally made to once again reestablish itself, in its rightful place, in America's conscious.

5 comments:

  1. Clay Carter, Greencastle, IndianaDecember 28, 2009 at 2:35 PM

    James, thank you for all of your work. Sarah Fisher claimed the pole at Kentucky in 2002 with Dryer & Reinbold rather than 2001 with Walker Racing.

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  2. No problem, I really enjoy doing it. Thanks for the heads up, mistake fixed.

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  3. Raising my hand.....

    But, but , but.....I thought NASCAR developed the SAFER barrier!!!! Darrell Waltrip says so!

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  4. I appreciate the good intentions, but please don't refer to the events of the past decade as IZOD Indy Car events. They aren't. IZOD has yet to participate in an Indy Car event. Thank you for not re-writing history.

    Randy R.

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  5. Randy,

    First off, thanks for reading, It's much appreciated.

    Although I see where you are coming from, that is the way the IRL wants it. All events since 1996 on the IRL's side of things, are now supposed to be referred to as IZOD IndyCar Series events.

    -James

    ReplyDelete

 
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