The Indy 500 Championship Race Coverage TV Special, of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, was a very exciting show that in a shocking finish, 24 year-old rookie Alexander Rossi of Andretti Herta Autosport won the race on fuel mileage (see photo on left) over Carlos Muñoz and Josef Newgarden. Two-time (2000, 2015) winner Juan Pablo Montoya entered the race as the defending champion (see photo on right) :
Over the final ten laps, most of the leaders were cycling through pit stops, as no one was expected to make it to the finish without pitting for fuel. Most drivers had not pitted since the previous caution that ended on lap 166. Alexander Rossi’s team took a huge gamble and coached the driver into saving fuel. As the other leaders made their stops, Rossi inherited the lead on lap 197. He slowed down to save fuel, but on the final lap Carlos Muñoz began charging to catch up. Coming out of turn four on the final lap, Rossi pulled to the inside and literally coasted across the finish line, to take the checkered flag :
Muñoz finished 4.4975 seconds behind, his second runner-up finish at Indy (2013, 2016). Rossi was out of fuel, and came to a stop during his cool down lap. A tow truck brought him in, believed to be the first time in Indy history the race winner was towed back to victory lane. The Average speed was 166.634 mph (268.171 km/h).
The National anthem was sung by music artist Darius Rucker, and “Back Home Again in Indiana” was sung by Josh Kaufman. The Pace car driver was auto racing legend Roger Penske, and the field in turn one on the pace lap is shown in the photo below right, and The Honorary starter was Star Trek Actor Chris Pine.
The Indianapolis 500 is an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, an enclave suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. It is held on a 2.5 mile oval circuit. Drivers race 200 laps, counterclockwise around the circuit, for a distance of 500 miles. The 2016 race marked a milestone as the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. The race came five years after the event’s Centennial Era, a three-year long commemoration which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the opening of the circuit (1909), and the 100th anniversary of the first Indy 500 (1911). The 2016 running was the ninety-ninth scheduled 500-mile race of the canon, as the 1916 race was scheduled as a 300-mile race. It also commemorated the bicentennial of Indiana statehood. In the below photo is the interview with Ryan Hunter-Reay, who set the fastest time of 228.202 mph, during The May 18th practice :
The month of May activities at the Speedway opened May 14 with the third annual Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Indianapolis 500 practice began on Monday, May 16 and was led by Marco Andretti (see photo on right) . Carb Day, the traditional final practice session, and the annual Pit Stop Challenge, was held May 27. Considerable pre-race hype surrounded the milestone event, and for the first time the race was announced as a complete sell out (both grandstand tickets and infield). Due to the sellout, the local television blackout of the ABC broadcast was lifted for the first time ever!
Time trials were held on May 21–22, as James Hinchcliffe set the fastest qualifying speed on Saturday May 21 with a time of 230.760 mph (371.372 km/h), and winning the pole position on Sunday May 22. (Photo below)
Since its inception in 1911, the race has always been scheduled on or around Memorial Day -originally Decoration Day. Since 1974, the race has been scheduled for the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Practice and time trials are held in the two weeks leading up to the race. It is contested as part of the Verizon Indy Car Series, the top level of American Championship Car racing, an open-wheel formula colloquially known as “Indy Car Racing”. The name of the race is often shortened to Indy 500.
Traditionally, the field consists of 33 starters, aligned in a starting grid of eleven rows of three cars apiece. The event is contested by “Indy cars”, a formula of professional-level, single-seat, open cockpit, open-wheel, purpose-built race cars. As of 2015, all entrants utilize 2.2 L V6, twin-turbocharged engines, tuned to produce a range of 550–700 horsepower (410–520 kW). Chevrolet and Honda are the current engine manufacturers involved in the sport. Firestone, which has a deep history in the sport, dating back to the first 500, is the exclusive tire provider. Below photo of Race winner Alexander Rossi:
This Indy 500 news story, is by sports & racing reporter, and TV Show Host Richard Marcella who as been covering every Indy 500 Championship for over 25 years ! Richard has worked as a TV show host, news reporter, and camera & film tech person, for over 20 years for Entertainment & Sports Today ! For the complete story go to: entertainmentandsportstoday.com, on Facebook & Instagram: @entertainmentandsportstoday , and Youtube.com/entertainmenttodaytv #indianapolis500