2024 Indy 500 Recap: Rain, Rain Go Away

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

I woke up Sunday pretty fired up for a day full of racing. Unfortunately for just about everyone involved in racing, Mother Nature didn't cooperate. Still, the 2024 Indianapolis 500 was raced in its entirety, albeit after a four-hour delay.


The rain delay affected pretty much everything. Kyle Larson couldn't do the planned Indy/Coca-Cola 600 double because of the rain delay. Officials put a stop time of 8:15 Eastern on the race -- and it finished around 7:45 Eastern. The broadcast speculated that two Honda engine failures may have been caused by changes in the ambient conditions, and it also seemed like the racing was affected -- certainly all the rubber marbles from tire wear were washed away by the rain.

It was a bit chaotic early -- drivers were pretty aggressive and that led to incidents on the track. There was a crash on the first lap! Factor in the usual pit-road chaos and there was a lot going on.

Astute observers will note that there were no cautions over the final 46 laps. I don't know if the drivers had settled down and realized that being too aggressive too early could lead to a premature exit, or if race control suggested that avoiding cautions was the best way to make sure the race finished before the sun went down.

Or, perhaps, it was about fuel. The drivers using the primary fuel strategy were running a bit slow right before the final caution -- Scott Dixon, using an alternate strategy, was about to take advantage.

When the race restarted, however, just about everyone had enough fuel to run hard until the end. And as often happens in these long races, in both IndyCar and NASCAR at least, the final 20-ish laps became a shootout.

Pato O'Ward appeared poised to win, but he may have made his move too early. Josef Newgarden passed him back and held him off. Heartbreak for O'Ward, and celebration for back-to-back winner Newgarden -- in his elation, he dove into the crowd, helmet and firesuit still on.

Indy gave us drama that was missing from Monaco and snatched away from NASCAR. I can't bag too hard on NASCAR -- had the weather cooperated we'd have had the drama of Larson trying to complete the double combined with all the usual craziness that ensues in a 600-mile race.

Speaking of Larson, he acquitted himself well at Indy, at least until a pit-lane speeding violation more or less ruined his chances at winning. Still, he led a few laps and finished the race. He came in 18th.

This recap is a bit scattershot because the rain threw everything off. I had plans that were slightly altered by my desire to watch Indy -- and my viewing of Charlotte was skunked by both the weather in North Carolina and here in Northern Illinois (check out our next podcast for more on that). I watched just about every minute of the 500, but there was so much to take in that I am struggling to remember details beyond the big stories. The race was just two days ago.

I'd have preferred it if the race started on time -- just about all of us would've. But while Monaco turned into a high-speed parade for rich people, and NASCAR had to call it early, Indy made the wait worth it.

This is why I give a huge chunk of a holiday weekend over to racing each weekend. Especially to Indy. Monaco is fun to watch for the locale, and NASCAR often gives us a good nightcap. But it's what happens at the old speedway in suburban Indianapolis that, most years anyway, that makes racing worth watching.

[Image: IndyCar]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • Redapple2 Redapple2 on May 29, 2024

    I turned off indy after the 7 th yellow (and 2nd or was it the 3rd time they couldnt make it 2 laps laps more before another crash (it was like a demolition derby)). I wanted to tune in the last 20 laps my remote got confiscated. Monaco> why does that Princess look so spaced out all the time?

  • Bd2 Bd2 on May 29, 2024

    The Elantra N winning Monaco. Oh wait, that's next year.

  • Verbal Here's a little tale about long-term Tesla ownership.In 2017 my buddy bought a three year-old Model S for $68k, which was the going rate at the time. He kept it garaged and treated it with kid gloves. It looked and ran virtually like new. The only problem he ever had with it was some kind of recurring issue with the driver's door handle. He never had to replace the brakes.A couple months ago, at ten years of age, the original battery finally bricked. Tesla quoted him $17k to do a battery replacement. But! If he replaced the battery, they would give him $11k in trade on a new Tesla!!! You don't have to be a math genius to see that those are crooked numbers.Using aftermarket parts is a non starter. Rebuilt batteries can be sketch. And the cap that goes on the battery is a Tesla-only part.Most people don't have $17k burning a hole in their pocket for a car repair. What are you going to do? Ask your credit union for a $17k loan to put a new battery in your ten year-old car? Good luck with that.A local auto recycler quoted him $1000. The recycler said that if he replaced the battery, the car would have a resale value in the low $20k's. That wouldn't give him enough headroom to make it worth his while. He said there are 150,000 dead Teslas in the national inventory (don't know where he gets this figure). And there's no demand for used Tesla parts, since most Tesla owners seem to treat their cars well. So Teslas with dead batteries have marginal scrap value.Thus, my friend's Tesla, with 80k miles on the clock and in excellent condition, with a dead battery, was scrapped. During his ownership, the car depreciated by around $800 a month.He saved a lot of money by not paying for gas, oil changes, tune ups, and consumables. But in the end, all those saving were erased by huge depreciation.Welcome to long term Tesla ownership, folks.(Cue the wailing and rending of garments from the Tesla fanboyz.)
  • Aja8888 My BIL had one of these years ago. great car!
  • Wjtinfwb Job cuts and EV's... is that a winning strategy? You're locked in to substantial labor expense after the UAW agreement signed a few months ago. And EV's ain't exactly flying off the shelves en masse. Get the new Charger out already, it's been teased more than the Bronco and Supra were combined. Get a real Hybrid option out for the RAM trucks and big Jeeps that consumers will buy. Consider bringing back a Gen 3 Hemi with an aluminum block, direct injection and perhaps a Hybrid option to counter the Toyota debacle and get a jump on GM. Dump the Hornet and build Dodge a version of the Jeep Compass they can actually sell. A Dodge with Alfa bones isn't compelling to either brands fans. Fix the Durango's oil cooler problems to avoid alienating police departments nationwide. Do you want every cop in the US driving an Explorer? Freshen up the Pacifica and get Chrysler a cool sedan or wagon that can create a buzz like the 300 did more than a decade ago. And fix your dealers, they are by a large jackasses. Plenty of opportunity for improvement.
  • 3-On-The-Tree True that’s the worst beat down in history.
  • Jalop1991 Tesla has made getting repairs a real headache for some owners, as the automaker hasn’t allowed them to get work done at third-party shops. That policy has led owners to seek  class-action status against the company,So, move next to the airport then complain about the noise.Got it.
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