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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Danica Patrick’s replacement at Go Daddy: James Hinchcliffe?

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Since March, Go Daddy IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe has been campaigning to be the new face on the GoDaddy.com homepage.  “Hinch,” as he is known, wants to replace the iconic Danica Patrick as the “face” of the GoDaddy.com brand. Now, it looks like his “Hinch for Homepage” viral campaign worked … at least to keep him in the running. GoDaddy.com is officially opening up the campaign to a public online vote.

Hinch is Go Daddy’s charismatic IZOD IndyCar driver who earned 2011 “Rookie of the Year” honors and is now running in the Top Five of this season’s IndyCar competition. He is also an avid Internet “geek” who enjoys engaging with the world via his website, Hinchtown.com. He’s affectionately known as the “Mayor of Hinchtown,” which might explain his campaign-approach to appear on Go Daddy’s website.

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New Changes Indycar Should Make in Wake of Dan Wheldon

Following the tragic death of Dan Wheldon during the Las Vegas 300, the Indycar series has received harsh criticism from both within motorsport and from outsiders, suggesting that lessons needed to be learned and that the sport needs to make changes.

Guest post from Isabella Woods.

Mostly criticism has centered on the circuit, the Las Vegas Speedway, and how a congested field of 34 cars, the largest field outside the Indianapolis 500, was allowed to compete on such a narrow and short oval. But critics have also condemned the sport as a whole, suggesting Indycar racing is generically unsafe. Critics say that tragic accidents, such as the one in Las Vegas where 15 cars piled into each other and resulted in the death of the 33-year-old Wheldon, were inevitable.

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Indianapolis 500 Winner Dan Wheldon Dies in Crash During IndyCar Finale

It was supposed to be a great day for the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Instead, it was one of the worst, darkest days in the recent history of U.S. open-wheel racing.

Mere laps into the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, an horrific accident collected 15 of the 34 cars, including that being driven by Dan Wheldon, the winner of this year’s Indianapolis 500. Wheldon’s car was launched over the back of another machine and went airborne, was collected in the catch fence along the back stretch of the 1.5-mile oval, and rendered Wheldon unresponsive. He was airlifted to a nearby health center where he was pronounced dead from “unsurvivable injuries.”

It’s a heartbreaking and crushing loss. INDYCAR, a professional sporting organization that seemingly has experienced more than its fair share of misfortune, was robbed of one of its best drivers, ambassadors and, most importantly, one of its best people.

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J.R. Hildebrand, Dan Wheldon and Crazy Indy 500 Ending (Video)

Are you familiar with the German word “schadenfreude?” It’s notoriously untranslatable because no other language has word for enjoying the suffering of others.

Then again, us Americans have reality show television. But we certainly saw this concept in action Sunday at the Indianapolis 500.

J.R. Hildebrand took the lead in the Indy 500 into the last turn when the rookie driver made a huge mistake. (You’ll hear the announcer say “he’s this close to winning the Indy 500”) In an attempt to pass, Hildebrand went and smashed into the wall.

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100th-Anniversary Indianapolis 500 Could be a Transformational Race

Call me delusional. Call me naive or caught up in the fanfare. Call me whatever. All I can do is go with a gut feeling.

And that gut feeling is that this Indianapolis 500, which falls on the 100th anniversary of Ray Harroun’s inaugural victory in 1911, is going to be different.

The centennial running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” which takes the green flag at noon today at the venerable Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has incredible potential compared to its predecessors of the last few years — maybe even the last few decades. Amidst honoring and celebrating the history of the Indy 500 and the opening of a gateway to a new era in U.S. open-wheel racing lies an opportunity to instill the excitement, the buzz that has been missing from this race for far too long.

By Drew Allen

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