The Grid: 33 Greatest Indy 500 Drivers of All Time—Ranked
Ladies and gentleman, start your arguments.
Sports observers waxed sarcastic and mournful about the Colts’ ugly home loss to the Rams—but hey, they won four nights later! Meanwhile, Dario Franchitti closed his IndyCar and 500 racing career as the Indiana State Museum’s resident mastodon tweeted, “I’M STILL HERE.”
On the night of Jan. 16, racing legend Parnelli Jones joined a new era of racing history. While attending the Automotive News World Congress Dinner to present Dario Franchitti with his “Baby Borg” replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy that drivers have received since 1988, Jones was honored with his very own “Baby Borg.”
When you’re a reporter, you’re supposed to keep fandom to yourself. Cheering (and, sadly, beer) is frowned upon in sporting-arena press boxes. There’s never a sign telling you not to; you’re just supposed to know, much the same as no sign tells you to wear pants in public. It’s okay to be breathless in your description of high sports drama, so long as the excitement is not tied to one side in the contest. And you’re not supposed to fawn over the competitors (a dictum many of ESPN’s reporters and commentators seem to have lain aside, but I digress).
Top Indy 500 drivers—and their fans and arm candy—descended on downtown’s Sensu late Sunday night for the “Big Finish” party. First-time 500 driver Wade Cunningham hosted the affair, where dance songs zoomed by as uproariously as an Indy car, and where the day’s big winner himself elected to celebrate race night.
It was a race to remember, with Indianapolis 500 darling Dario Franchitti winning his third Borg-Warner Trophy and embracing both his wife, actress Ashley Judd, and his friend Dan Wheldon’s widow, Susie, with warmth to match the day’s second-hottest temperatures on record, 91 degrees.