INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 around the corner, “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will be greater than ever before.
“It’ll feel different up until I get in the race car,” said Marco Andretti, who’s earned three top 3 finishes without a victory in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. “It won’t feel different once the engine is started.”
Marco Andretti has come so close, but this one, this time, it’s even bigger, and the magnitude isn’t lost on the veterans.
2014 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay is taking it all in. “As a participant in this race, you can feel the weight. You can feel that added pressure. You can feel the importance of it. This could potentially be one of the biggest events, if not the biggest, for sure, of your life.”
The man who took checkers at IMS in 2013 agrees. “I’m trying to enjoy a lot of this buzz that has been around the 500, because it’s never going to happen again, and I’m definitely not going to be alive for the 200th,” Tony Kanaan said.
But thinking about it too much could work against the task at hand, winning a race and making history.
Another former winner, 2008 champ Scott Dixon knows thinking about the event too much isn’t healthy. “No I don’t think that would benefit you in any way, to be honest. You’ve just got to try and, as I spoke earlier, treat it as just another race. We all know what this is and how big a deal it is.”
“It is another race,” added Penske’s Will Power. “You’ve got to treat it that way, and you attack it like another race. You can’t put this unnecessary pressure on yourself. Any time you try to force yourself into a race win, it does not happen.”
Will the pressure to be the 100th winner change the way drivers approach the race or react in traffic on Sunday? Only time will tell.