Ever since the season started the CW has been documenting the goings on of the IndyCar season in a series that counts down the 100 days until the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. With the final episode, we finally got to the end of the countdown and got to see the driver’s day-to-day in the final weeks leading into the 500. The series finale was full of interesting tidbits that dive into the mentalities and expectations of the drivers.
Rahal’s Painful Optimism
He really thought he was going to be fast this year, even with all the evidence to the contrary (i.e RLL’s poor performance at Texas). That hurt so much to watch knowing he wasn’t even going to make the field based on merit.
Tony’s Last Ride
The fans got a real treat with the timing of this documentary series and it’s that we got a camera crew to follow around Tony Kanaan for his final 500 miles. Anyone close to the sport knew that the time was coming for Kanaan to retire, but I still don’t think many of us were ready. We got a lot of good moments and lines from Tony about it being his last race, but my favorite was when he did his best to sum up the pre-qualifying nerves. Tony said it well when he told the cameras, “It’s the worst feeling, but it’s the best and I’m glad to feel it one more time”. I couldn’t have said it any better myself, Tony. Indy will miss you.
RLL Qualifying Struggles
As I mentioned before, RLL’s optimism was painful. Just as painful, however, was watching them trying to quickly grapple with the fact that they were struggling mightily for speed. Katherine Legge surprised the fans, and according to the 100 Days to Indy show, she also surprised her teammates with both Graham Rahal and Jack Harvey having surprised reactions to her speed and being the only RLL car who wouldn’t be fighting for their life on bump day. Pretty impressive for a driver who is just running her first laps in an IndyCar all season.
Ericsson’s Defeatist Attitude
Vice’s coverage of the 500 is fantastic. I will save a bunch of things that stuck out to me during the actual race so you can discover it on your own when you do eventually sit down to watch. But if you have seen it already you know the kind of stuff I’m talking about. There is one thing, however, that I can’t help but bring up and that is Marcus Ericsson’s radio transmissions before they went back to racing with one lap to go.
Marcus was quick to complain about IndyCar’s decision to red-flag the race with three laps to go. Marcus took issue with the fact that seven-eighths of a lap is not enough time to warm your tires and safely go back to racing.
Which, you know…Marcus may have a point there, but we also know damn well that he wouldn’t be complaining if he wasn’t in the lead already. Marcus would come over the radio and say, “It is a sport. Not a show.” Seemingly missing the word “spectacle” in Indianapolis Motorspeedway’s favorite slogan. All of this defeatest attitude from Ericsson before he actually lost the race led me to a very definitive conclusion about him…Ericsson doesn’t have that dog in him.
I highly recommend 100 Days to Indy as a whole. Like, watch all of the episodes. There is so much good there from driver conflicts, personalities, and friendships that are a must-see if you call yourself a fan of the series.