Raise the cue-card to start the cheering, roll the film and clack-snap the scene-board one last time. This is how it's supposed to end in the movies. For a globe roiled by four dollar a gallon gas, protracted war and bad home loans the scene was...
Raise the cue-card to start the cheering, roll the film and clack-snap the scene-board one last time.
This is how it's supposed to end in the movies. For a globe roiled by four dollar a gallon gas, protracted war and bad home loans the scene was refreshing respite.
Scott Dixon motored into Victory Lane at Indy on Sunday with a gushing team-owner, a pretty girl, and a huge $3 Mil pot of gold awaiting. He even drank, and showered in, the milk.
Fade-in the closing overture and roll the credits, raise the house lights and cherish the vision of traditional hero conquering all.
The 92nd running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing had its moments: eight crashes and the flyover coinciding with 'land of the free', Sarah Fisher's car balking at the starting command, and heroes Graham Rahal and Tony Kanaan failing to finish. But overall, the 2008 Indianapolis 500 was an exercise in reassuring and happy normality, at a time when normal outside the bounds of the Speedway seems harder and harder to find.
The record books won't fully reflect the real glory of Dixon's win at Indianapolis on Memorial Day 2008. They'll simply note that the nineteenth pole-winner to win the race did so in a Dallara, powered by a Honda, shod with the perennially victorious Firestone tires.
Unseen from those pages will remain earthquakes, Barry Bonds and the fate of the polar bears.
It wasn't so much that Dixon's win was devined from the start as he certainly had to fight to take it. A late-race restart threatened to rewrite the script with Indy bridesmaid Vitor Meira, another deserving hero, emerging the star.
Scott Dixon finished second at Indianapolis in 2007 when rain shortened the race and lucky Dario Franchitti was in the right place, at the right time. This year seemed Dixon's to lose, as he won pole and set fast laps on the oval throughout the month of May. In the wings stood Chip Ganassi, itching for a hat-trick of Indy wins.
Dixon admitted to feeling the pressure, apologizing to his wife Emma later for his "moods."
At 169 laps the Kiwi was trailing Meira, until Milka Duno spun in the grass and the leaders came in for the last time. Meira's pitcrew failed him at this critical juncture, letting the Ganassi team reclaim the front spot as tiny Vitor sat waiting for the fuel to flow in.
When the Brazilian pulled out of his pitbox behind Dixon he had only one chance to reclaim the lead. Meira stalked Dixon around the oval, plotting an ambitious restart. He got snookered when Dixon slowed, then gassed it, throwing poor Vitor off-stride.
When it was time to compete Dixon did it, nudging the sub-plots aside.
Popular Marco Andretti was thwarted in putting his own name on racing's most brightly-lit marquis. Andretti's teammate Danica Patrick stalked down the pitlane for nothing as she threatened to steal the whole show.
Dixon came out and grabbed the brass ring, winning a tough race with a determined drive.
"What a day, man," he said when it was over, after leading 115 of 200 laps. "I just couldn't believe it. You just thought something was going to go wrong."
Scott Dixon emerged with the victory, and offered the rest of us an escape to our own hopeful dreams too.