While we can never have Dan Wheldon back, his hard work and brilliance lives on in these DW12 cars. He really shaped the series back to its glorious past—great racing, competition, excitement. Many of us (myself included) feared a single chassis series was the wrong direction. Considering what Dallara had produced before was less than great. I was upset the Swift concept was not picked. For now, people like myself can eat humble pie, and I’ll gladly take seconds. The DW12 is great at IMS. And perhaps the best is yet to come with it at IMS—and Pocono.
As for the winner, could you get a better guy? TK is one of four great guys the series currently has. (Justin Wilson, James Hinchcliffe, and Josef Newgarden being the others). Tony is a guy who is great to work with on the press side. Always a pleasant interview, even when things are not going well. I’ve never had a problem with TK at the track. Nor have I ever had him use PR people to avoid me asking questions. The guy is great. And he always stops for fans and signs items, takes pictures. I know fans who have had TK pick up their kids and give them hugs for pictures, without being asked. The guy is just as down to Earth as they come. He may be famous, rich, and live a colorful lifestyle, but he is a great person. And I am glad we can now call Tony Kanaan an Indy 500 champion. Well done TK!
Is it too early to talk Pocono Raceway, and Triple Crown? Because I think TK would be a great Triple Crown Champion as well. Just putting that out there.
But, lets not forget one other amazing tale today, rookie of the year, Carlos Munoz. After all the questions if he was ready for the big series, and having never run a race in an IZOD IndyCar until today, the kid did not disappoint. Heck, coming from Lights, he never had a hot pit stop until today. Did very well with his stops. And at the end found himself in P2. Often just a top 10 is an impressive debut, P2 is out of this world. To heck with the critics, lets see more of Munoz. And I doubt Michael Andretti is going to let talent like this get away. Just imagine what he will do with some actual experience?
This all begs to ask the most obvious question—what will we do without the Indy Lights Series? Marco, Munoz, Hinch, Newgarden, Hildebrand, Pippa, Kimbell, Saavedra, and Daly are all drivers in just today’s race that were shaped by Lights experience. Sure the car count is a joke these days. I won’t argue otherwise. But is killing off the series of any benefit? I think today’s P2 says otherwise. But what do I know? I’m just looking at the obvious.