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Tuesday, June 25
The Indiana Daily Student

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Indianapolis 500 Notebook: Green-flag racing leads to records, excitement

Tony Kanaan’s ultimate triumph came alongside an abundance of side-stories and headlines.

Kanaan’s win was the fastest in history.
Speeds were high, aided by a lot of green-flag racing. Laps 61-193 were run under a green flag, the longest stretch of consecutive green-flag laps since caution laps were first recorded in 1976. This long stretch of full-speed racing, along with cool temperatures throughout the race, sent speeds into a spike — Kanaan’s average speed of 187.433 mph was the fastest in Indy 500 history.
The higher speeds can be seen as nothing but positive, as interest in open-wheel racing has declined as speeds have. No driver reached the mystical “230,” but speeds in the high 220s throughout the week are a positive step for IndyCar.

The “Andretti Curse” continues…
The curse, which refers to the fact that no member of the Andretti family has won at Indianapolis since Mario did in 1969, has haunted Michael, John and Marco during their entire careers at IMS.
With a fourth-place finish this year, Marco now has four top-five finishes in eight attempts, finishing as high as second place in 2006, his rookie year. A strong performance in 2013 in which he led 31 laps, pacing the field on 15 different occasions, had him sitting in fourth position at the final restart, but Dario Franchitti’s crash in Turn 1 erased any hope of making a run at victory. The curse continues.

…but Andretti Autosport was dominant.
Each of the five Andretti Autosport drivers led at least one lap, and the team placed three drivers in the top four by the end of the race. The team was consistently fast all month — all five drivers started in the first three rows — and was in good position to overtake Kanaan had the final few laps been raced under green.

Chevrolet engines top Honda
Kanaan won his first Indy 500 using a Chevy engine. In his 12 Indy 500 attempts, he had only used a Chevy engine three times. The third time was the charm for him. Honda struggled all month, as eight of the top 11 finishers were powered by Chevy. In the starting grid, the first 10 cars each had Chevy engines.

Carlos Muñoz shines in first Indy 500

This year’s 500 was the first IndyCar race for the 21-year-old, who has spent the last two seasons in the Indy Lights series. Yet, he drove like a veteran. He was the fastest driver in two of seven practices, qualifing second and finishing in second place. He was awarded Rookie of the Year honors.

Lead changes lead excitement

The race featured 68 lead changes (doubling the previous record of 34), saw 14 different drivers lead a lap and was never led by one driver for more than eight consecutive laps. Ed Carpenter paced the field with 37 laps led, the fewest by that category’s leader in Indy 500 history.

— Alden Woods

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