Un-Freakin-Believable Finale!

Chicagoland: This last points race of the season was completely wild. This track, for the IndyCars, just brings out the closest, most exciting races we see every year. Unbelievable performances today, loads of excitement, and some sad moments. Today we saw:

  • Scott Dixon clench his second championship
  • The second-closest finish in IndyCar history (.0033 – a few inches). Race all afternoon at 214 mph and it comes down to that. (The closest IndyCar finish was .0024 – 2002 at Chicagoland Speedway. And the closest finish in motor sports history happened in an Indy Lights race last year – .0005 was the difference. Where? Chicagoland Speedway, of course.)
  • The results reversed – at first we were told that Scott Dixon won the race, but a review of the video tape showed it was Helio
  • The record set for the winner starting from the farthest back in the field. (Helio started 28th – dead last – due to a penalty during qualifying. The previous record was 26th.)
  • The record set for most laps led in a season (Scott Dixon)
  • The record tied for most wins in a season (six)
  • E.J. Viso come from 26th to race as high as 4th before a punctured tire put him into the wall and out of the race
  • Mario Moraes starting 27th and running well into the top 10 for a good while before crashing out
  • Milka Duno leading a few yellow flag laps and a single green flag lap and holding a good speed and line as she got passed by the contenders on that restart
  • A “true” rookie (Hideki Mutoh) winning Rookie of the Year
  • Will Power having his best oval finish and sounding exhilarated at the close racing, saying he’d had the most fun all season
  • Three wide racing for the lead for 3-4 laps just shy of the midpoint of the race, with lots of other three wide and pack racing all day. I found myself holding my breath on numerous occasions.
  • Vitor’s last race for Panther end with an mechanical failure that put him in the wall (real bummer)
  • Tomas Scheckter out early with yet another mechanical issue (not drive shaft this time)
  • Both Vision cars showing some speed (though not showing great final results)
  • Another chance to use “Graham Rawall” (or “Graham in the Wall Camps”) as the 06 found the wall on an oval yet again
  • Sarah Fisher crashing out and suffering a foot injury

There was so much going on today that I’m sure I missed some – it was a terrific finish to the championship and I can’t wait for next season. There’s a non-points race in Surfer’s Paradise, Australia (Oct 25 at 10:30 PM eastern on ESPN Classic; re-air Oct 26, 11 PM ET on ESPN2) and then the long, cold winter sets in.

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