Just Another Halo (& Helio) Victory: Castroneves dodges Dan & Danica, then burns rubber on a seriously wide-open Freeway to win his 3rd Indy 500, while Angels burn Dodgers, winning 3rd & rubber game of Freeway Series
He-men of the World can breathe easy: Despite getting a scare from Danica Patrick on Sunday, still no Women Drivers have ever won the legendary Indianapolis 500.
Danica made a decent run in the latter part of the race, finishing a somewhat-distant third, behind Dan Wheldon, and now three-time Winner Helio “Spiderman” Castroneves. Danica made one mistake during the race, when she overshot her pit crew, but she classily admitted fault immediately, and apologized. And that mistake did NOT cost her the race. Pole Sitter Castroneves had a lot more car, which was obvious as he pulled away from Dan and Danica in the last several laps, despite cutting the wind and driving conservatively to preserve his lead, while she had a chance to draft off of Wheldon. But 3rd Place is still pretty good, and it is her best finish ever. Her previous best was her 4th place finish as a Rookie.
This year didn’t have an “exciting” finish, considering that it was the largest margin of victory in 9 years, but if you like crashes at 200 miles per hour, then it lived up to the moniker of “Greatest Spectacle in Sports.” Of course, the UCLA Dance Team is REALLY the greatest spectacle in Sports, but it was pretty damn cool seeing a driver walk away from his vehicle after being completed engulfed in flames during a refueling.
There was also an incident where a car drove sideways along a wall — with all four wheels gripping the wall. The announcer said he had NEVER seen that in all his decades of watching auto racing.
There were several other accidents, especially inexperienced guys losing it into the wall. Also, veteran Tony Kanaan, who had LED the race during all of his previous 7 Indy 500’s, lost his streak when his car suddenly malfunctioned and he smashed twice into walls while still going about 200 miles per hour. Remarkably, he seemed fine — physically — when discussing it soon after.
There was even a fight, almost, when a young driver knocked Marco Andretti out of the race (for a while), but thought that it was Andretti’s fault. He went hunting down Andretti, right after being cleared by the medical staff, but he must have then been told to watch the tape before continuing. Before all of that, Andretti said that when it comes to racing, the kid has no clue, and shouldn’t even be allowed in the race.
But Helio Castroneves was able to avoid all the trouble, overcome a bad pit stop where he lost his good position, and get back to The Brickyard’s Victory Lane for the THIRD time, the first to do that since Rick Mears in 1988. When Spiderman won this time, the Race Officials seemed to try to stop him from his trademark celebration of climbing the chainlink fence, but he managed to get past them, and lead his whole team on the joyous ascension of glory.
Then he finally drank the milk, making it official, and completing a movie script year for the Brazilian driver. Recently, Castroneves was facing the possibility of spending 6 years in jail for Tax Evasion. His Sister/Manager was also in serious jeopardy. Apparently, the IRS accused them of setting up some sort of illegal offshore shadow corporation as a bogus tax shelter (or something like that). But the IRS was not able to prove their case, so Castroneves was free to tax the other drivers, and evade the rest of the pack, and continue being the best race car driver on the Planet (or at least: continue getting the fastest car to drive).
Meanwhile, just when everyone thought that the Dodgers were the best Baseball team on the Planet, the Angels came into Dodger Stadium and took 2 out of 3 from the Home team, who was 17-3 in Chavez Ravine before the Halo’s landed.
The Dodgers had their Ace Chad Billingsley going on Sunday, against the Angels’ 5-0 Matt Palmer, but the expected Pitcher’s Duel never materialized. The Angels delivered Chad his first NON-quality start of the year, coming back from a 4-0 deficit to win 10-7. Torii Hunter made his third miraculous catch of the series, and basically every Angel but one got into the hit parade.
The victory gave the Angels the Freeway Series 2-1, and a lot of confidence. The Dodgers might be a BIT more formidable when they get Manny back from his 50-game drug suspension, but the Angels are due to get back Vlad Guerrero and Kelvim Escobar pretty soon, and that PAIR may outweigh an un-juiced Ramirez.
But there is certainly a chance — especially with Pierre and Hudson hitting so well — that the Freeway Series might have been a preview of this year’s World Series.
If so, it looks like the Angels will have every right to expect to drink the milk.