All seems right at 96th Indianapolis 500

The Month of May has come and gone again with the completion of another 500-mile stroll around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

There have been plenty of Mays in the last 16 years — the time in which U.S. open-wheel racing endured a crippling 12-year civil war and its aftermath — that have gone by without much of the luster that traditionally has accompanied the Indianapolis 500, that have left observers wondering if the race could ever again truly live up to its billing as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

I’m here to tell you this: On Sunday, the 96th running of the 500, which Dario Franchitti claimed for his third career Indy victory, it did. In every way imaginable.

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The 96th Indianapolis 500 ushers in a new era

Perhaps what truly makes the Indianapolis 500 “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is tradition.

Indeed, few things change about the most significant annual event in motorsports. Whenever you enter the storied 2 1/2-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you often feel as if you have never left.

As firmly steeped in tradition as the 500 is — the festivities during the Month of May, the singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana” before the race, the drinking of ice-cold milk in Victory Lane — one of those very traditions is evolution.

We’ll get just that in this, the 96th running of the race, which begins at noon Sunday. New cars, new stars, new hope — a new era.

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