Topic 1: What are your thoughts on Rossi winning the 100th running of the 500? Also, does he still pursue F1 or stay in IndyCar?
TonyD:The guy won the race, no matter how you do it, he’s the Indianapolis 500 champion. The roll of the dice paid off huge, just like it did for Bryan Herta and Dan Wheldon in 2011. He was either in shock after the 500, or didn’t understand exactly what it meant, but hats off to him. He maybe seemed like he wanted to be in Monoco. I think he stays in IndyCar for 3-4 years, wins some road course races and goes back to Europe.
Ashley:Rossi winning the 500 was brilliant! When it comes to Indy, expect the unexpected. It just goes to show how much of a team effort IndyCar really is. It takes the skill of the driver, but the skills of the crew, engineer and spotter to make it happen. It’s hard to say what he will want to do in the future. He may end up being someone like Montoya down the road who doesn’t say no to various forms of racing.
Nancy:I think it is fantastic a rookie won. I thought I read that Rossi is tied to a F1 development team, if this is the case he may have no choice since F1 will most likely want him now. I would hope though by the fan reception he received at Indy and winning the golden jewel he would want to stay in IndyCar, he’s as American as apple pie.
Rick: Good for Rossi, and good for Bryan Herta. I hope that this win, coupled with the Weldon win from a couple of years ago, puts Bryan back into the status of a stand alone entity. It is increasing difficult to see the roster of teams dwindle. As far as Rossi goes, I hope he stays and become the champion that we all think he can be. He has the pedigree, the talent, is articulate, and marketable. It doesn’t hurt he is American. The manner in which they acquired the win, a fuel mileage exercise rather than a shootout, should make no difference.
Topic 2: Although Pagenaud didn’t have a good 500, and for that matter none of the Penske’s did, he has a huge point lead. He already has 3 wins, can anyone mount a challenge this season and if so, who?
Tony: Still plenty of racing to go, he could easily have a bad weekend in Belle Isle and see the lead get smaller and smaller. We have seen numerous times Scott Dixon get hot down the stretch and take over the championship lead.
Ashley: No doubt that Simon has been doing great, but the championship hunt is far from over. Especially with double points in Sonoma, it can still be anyone’s game.
Nancy: It is still anybody’s game to win. I believe Scott Dixon, it always seems like he’s a sleeper then bam he’s at the top.
Rick: I have a question; which is more important – winning the IndyCar Championship or winning the Indy 500? Sure someone can mount a charge and catch Pagenaud. He has a couple of bad finishes, Helio or Rahal or Power goes on a streak and viola, you have a dog fight. But I really am beginning to wonder if it matters./span>
Topic 3:Can IndyCar capitalize on the momentum of the 100th running and grow the other events on the schedule? The tv ratings were down just a tick so that has to be disappointing but IMS did a heck of a job the entire month to make it special.
TonyD: It was special, and the staff of IMS and IndyCar absolutely hit a grand slam. Rossi could be a new young American star being born. Sometimes he doesn’t come off as the nicest guy in the world, but if he can build off the media coverage for him and Indy Car, hopefully he does it. The racing was incredible, and I expect that to be the same for the 101st.
Ashley: I think there are still some events coming up this season, such as Road America and Watkins Glen that people are going to be really excited about. We all have to tip our hat to Doug Boles and all the people within the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that made that event come together. For as many people that were there, it went over flawlessly. Maybe the TV ratings were down because they were there in person instead!
Nancy: Absolutely by ads showing the crowds, the passing etc… they also need to show the driver personalities.
Rick: No. Answer based on past performance. Do I wish and hope they can, yes. Will they, no. Unless you change the definition of “grow the other events”.
Topic 4:The young drivers and rookies did a heck of a job in the 500, which shows the value of the MRTI. Do you think the old guard (JPM, TK, Helio) need to hang it up to make room for these young guns? Please be specific.
TonyD:Not yet, Indy Car needs Helio, TK, even Montoya. But I think the landscape will change in the next 5 years. I fully expect TK and Montoya to be out of the series in 2-3 years with drivers like Newgarden, Daly, Pigot, Karam and Munoz to take some of the top rides.
Ashley:I think there is value in having both the older drivers and the guys fresh out of the MRTI for now. It creates an interesting dynamic in the sport. However, it is really exciting to see the MRTI drivers doing well since they will one day be the future of IndyCar.
Nancy: I still think the old guard has a lot to offer the young guns, and are capable of winning races so why should they hang up their helmets. The young guns still have a lot of learning and the old guard should be the ones to do it.
Rick:No. An emphatic no. They should stop when they are ready to stop. The industry is based on how well these guys can raise money. If the industry was to rely on the “young guns” to raise the money, we would have one race year. Unless that is what we want.
Topic 5: What was the best part of the month of May at Indy and what was the worst?
Tony: The worst part is the complainers complaining about things like “This sucks, the race was won on fuel mileage” or “ Jim Nabors didn’t sing Back Home Again in Indiana”; best part was just the absolute massive crowds, great racing and the way the city of Indy came together for the event.
Ashley: Other than race day, Carb Day blew my mind. It was so wonderful to see so many people show up for the final IndyCar practice, Indy Lights race and the Pit Stop Competition. I can’t think of a single negative from the month. I’d be ready to do it all over again tomorrow!
Nancy: The best part of the month of May was the whole month, all the events surrounding the month. This is the first time I was able to enjoy Fast Friday, the Monday after qualifications and what a Monday that was with teams being in race mode. The friends you see in Indy every year. I could go on for hours. The worst part is the day after Indy deflation like a balloon that has been popped. Now the anticipation of 2017 begins.
Rick: The 500 is, has been, and will be both the best part and the worst part of May at Indy. For four weeks there is anticipation, expectation and build up to the Sunday race. To the point they take on a life of their own. Once the race is over, there is a deflated let down that last another 10-11 months. The 500 is such an overwhelming experience that it over shadows the entire rest of the IndyCar season. To the point that many sponsors are not even aware there is another race. The success of the 500 causes it to become its own worst enemy.