INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — From the sweet taste of victory to the crushing feeling of defeat, Indianapolis Motor Speedway sets the stage for a dramatic showing only she can provide. Yes, I said “she.”
“The track is a she first of all. And she picks the winner,” said Tony Kanaan.
You hear countless drivers make that statement right there: The track has already chosen her winner. No matter the time, effort and data teams have collected, the speedway knows who will take the checkered flag.
“This place owes nobody nothing. Eventually if you keep knocking on the door, it might open up,” said Scott Dixon. “It’s a tough place I think for everybody involved on a team. To get everything right in a three-and-a-half-hour period is nearly impossible.”
“I’ve been here in many circumstances with a fast car, with a very bad car, with a decent car. We’ve had problems in the pits then all of a sudden overcome all those obstacles. All of this, people can call it what they want, but that’s when the track says today is going to be this guy’s day,” said Helio Castroneves.
Hold on. So you’re telling me that this track has some magical power? It may sound silly to an outsider. But for these drivers, the just hope she throws them some of that magic come race day.
“That’s why every time I drive into the track, I say ‘Hello beauty! How are you?’ Kiss the asphalt a little bit. Don’t do burnouts in the parking lot. Try to treat her nice,” said Kanaan.
That strategy has worked well for Kanaan, who won the 500 in 2013. But some say you have to take matters into your own hands.
“This place is so unique that way, and that’s why we all respect it that much. But I think that on race day, everything has to be perfect in order to win here, and that’s the key,” said Ryan Hunter-Reay.
So how do you win this race? Show up with the perfect game plan? Or show her a little love? We’ll let you decide.