Indy 500 Notes

Dario Franchitti?s win in the Indy 500 is the first for a Scotsman since World Champion, Jimmy Clark won in 1965. Clark was the first driver to win in a rear-engine car when he won the 1963 Bettenhausen 200 at Milwaukee. Franchitti won the A.J. Foyt ABC Supply 225 at Milwaukee in 2004. This is Franchitti’s fifth career IndyCar Series victory and his first victory of the season. His last win came at the California Speedway in October 2005.

Helio Castroneves? third place finish kept intact his top-10 streak in all six Indy 500?s he has completed in. He has four top-3 finishes to go along with his two wins (2001, 2002).

Scott Sharp?s sixth place finish was his best at Indy and third consecutive top-10 Indy 500 finish.

Seven-time NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion, Richard Petty made his first race-day appearance at the Indy 500. Petty would usually show up at the Speedway in past years was a guest of driver, John Andretti. “I’m here to support John Andretti. He’s going to drive for Kyle (Petty) later on in the year. You know, he’s drove for us before. This is his first time in 10 or 12 years since he’s been here. So I’m here to give him moral support.” (About IndyCar Series cars compared to stock cars): “They are just so much different. They are just airplane wings with wheels on them. They put on a heck of show, and that is what we came to see.” (Are you interested in starting an IndyCar Series team?): “No, I don’t think so. I think these things are little bit beyond my years. I’m still from the old school. I still like to see windshields, wheels, fenders, bumpers and stuff like that. I never did really look at the Indy car. Stock cars were all we ever did, and that is where I stayed.”

Super Bowl Champion Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts was honorary starter, “Before coming here in 1998, I always heard what a big deal the Indianapolis 500 was. I’ve been to the race a few times, but this year is special because I’m a part of the parade yesterday and waving the flag today. I’m kind of worried that it may be me causing this bad weather between the Super Bowl and this. I’m just glad to be involved. I live here, so the party comes right through Indy, and I just stay out of the way. It’s a great time to be in Indianapolis. Obviously, the more awareness this city can get from events like the Indianapolis 500, the Final Fours and with the Super Bowl. It’s been a lot of fun to be a Hoosier and to be a part of this community.” (What’s bigger bling: the Borg-Warner or the Super Bowl trophy?): “Obviously, I’m biased. I’m excited about being a part of the Super Bowl. It’s the first championship brought back to this city. The most special times have been to share it with the fans. It’s been a team and city-wide state effort.”

According to the IMS press department, when Tony Kanaan took the lead in the 2007 Indianapolis 500 on Lap 1, it represented the sixth consecutive race that Kanaan has led in his Indianapolis 500 career. Kanaan now shares the Indianapolis 500 record for most consecutive races led with Rick Mears, who also led six consecutive years (1979-84). But Kanaan is the only driver to have led six consecutive races starting with his rookie year. Mears failed to lead the race his rookie year in 1978.

When #26 Marco Andretti led the race on Lap 104, it represented the 1,000th leading lap by the Andretti family in the Indianapolis 500.

This is the third consecutive Indianapolis 500 that the leader of the opening lap has started second.

This was John Andretti?s first DNF at the Indianapolis 500 since 1990 when he was eliminated in an accident. Andretti had three consective ?running at finish? in a row (1992-1994). This was his first Indy 500 since 1994.

Dan Brown, right rear tire changer for #50 Unser, was transported to Methodist Hospital by ambulance for further X-rays on his left foot. He was being held overnight at Methodist Hospital due to fractures of his left foot that will require surgery. He is expected to be released from the hospital on Monday.

The American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) named Chris Economaki as the third annual recipient of the Bob Russo Founder’s Award. The Association’s most prestigious award is presented to a member who has worked diligently furthering the organization in its goals to represent the media who cover the sport of motor racing throughout the United States. The Award was presented at the Association’s annual breakfast at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Russo was the initiator in organizing AARWBA. Economaki is the dean of motorsports journalists. With a lifetime of reporting on all forms of motor racing all over the world for National Speed Sport News, television (ABC, CBS, ESPN, TBS and others), radio and even public address at events, he has thoroughly covered the sport for more than 65 years. His ?From the Editor’s Notebook” column remains the most read regular feature in any racing newspaper.

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