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Your Top Five IRL Races

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  • Your Top Five IRL Races

    Just wondering what everyone's top five memorable IRL races were. Not particular critieria, just races that come to mind easily.


    1. Indy 1999 - My first time to make it in person. Brack chasing down Robby and then Robby running out of gas (after Menard told him over and over again they were fine.) Arie dominated the race until trying to pass Tyce going into turn three. Later saw Tyce as Union Jacks erasing the memory.
    2. Texas Spring 2000 - The grandaddy of them all. Nuff Said.
    3. WDW - 1998 - Tony Stewart chasing Dismore down for the win - passed Mark before he ran out of gas. Flew down for the race on my birthday.
    4. Indy 1997 - Eddie's last 15 laps were flat out and he was flying. Buddy was pushing him. Tony's engine let go right after taking the lead on lap 22.
    5. Dover 1998 - Couldn't believe they could run here. Tony dominated early and then Sharp covered the field. Midway Eddie and Greg Ray collected each other and begin a fierce rivalry. Eddie draws moustaches on Greg's picture on the IRL autograph card later that year at Texas.

    Honerable mention - 1. Guthrie over Stwert at Phoenix 1997. David and Goliath. Proved the IRL low-cost premise.
    2. Every heart-stopping, edge of the seat, that can't race like that , don't go three wide you guys , intense acton pack race we've seen the last 3 years.
    I'm talking high banks man. Texas - 24 degrees. - Kenny Brack

  • #2
    Top 5 IRL Races

    These are my "top 5" IRL races I've attended

    1)2002 Finale at Texas. Helio and Sam racing side by side for the win and championship. It doesn't get any better

    2)2003 Chicagoland. Large packs the entire race. And of course, the finish..

    3)2000 Finale at Texas. First time I'd seen the IRL in person at Texas. The sound (the old engines) was incredible!

    4)1999 Indy 500. Same reasons as the person above

    5)1996 Indy 500. All the "experts" thought it wouldn't work. A bunch of lesser names put on one of the more entertaining 500s ever. I'd never liked the way CART did business, and '96 proved it could be done without them.


    • #3
      1. Phoenix-1996. Our first IndyCar win.
      2. Texas II-1998. Our second IndyCar win. First with the IRL spec equipment. Returned John Paul, Jr. to victory lane in an Indy car after a 15 year absence.
      3. Indy-1996. The one that got away (thanks alot, Salazar). Watching Buddy Lazier do what he did knowing what he had been through brought tears to my eyes and still gives me goosebumps.
      4. Las Vegas-1998. Nearly pulled off two wins in a row with John Paul, Jr. Schmidt clipped off the front wing with four laps to go.
      5. Indy-1998. Watching the video of Cheever running those last fifteen laps is awesome.

      Honorable mention-the first race at Texas. Who knew that the IRL was going to be able to put on that kind of race, and then do it every time?

      The thrilling finishes are great, but my favorites take a different twist.
      Twitter: @ByrdRacing
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      • #4
        Too many good ones to limit it to five but among those not mentioned:

        1998 Texas I: Greg Ray in the black AT&T car trying to run down Billy Boat in the Conseco car.

        1996 Disney: Where it all began...Tony Stewart cutting his teeth in a rear-engined formula car.

        1997 Charlotte: My first Indy Car race under the lights.

        2000(?) Kentucky: Sam Hornish, Jaques Lazier & Jimmy Kite put on a show
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        • #5
          1999 Indy 500 - Worked the 500 as a spotter, although I like Robby Gordon, I was glad to see him run out of fuel, he was a CART guy at the time

          Michigan 2002 - The last 15 laps were incredible, even the Tomas pulled away at the end, the battle for second was great

          1997 Texas - First time to see an Indycar race outside of Indy, first under the lights, heck of race for a while between Buddy and Tony, explaining to some of the fans there that as big as Texas is it would still fit inside IMS, only thing is I missed the post-race excitement

          1991 Indy 500 - First ever in person, saw Mears win his fourth

          Disney 2000 - Hopefully not the last at that track, there was a good fight at the end between Buhl, Lazier and Cheever
          It's a Hoosier thing, you wouldn't understand...


          • #6
            Indy 2003. Watching Sam just drive the crap out of that slow yellow car all day was something I'll never forget.

            PPIR 2003, Richmond 2003: See above.

            Michigan 2003: Seeing Sam finally on equal footing with the rest was a real treat.

            Chicago 2003: What a finish, what a fine drive by Sam.


            • #7
              How about...

              1996 WDW Speedway (I attended): They said it would never happen... they said a wheel would turn...the media parked out in front of the hospital instead of in front of the track (because of all the lies that those guys could not drive and would literaly die)

              1996 Indy 500 (I attended): One of the more exciting races of the decade, and again, they said it would never happen, they said the people would never show up, they said the stands would be empty. Buddy wins, and silences they masses...

              1997: Texas-June: They said they couldn't race at a track like that, they said it would be a dud, they said it would never work...well, again they proved them wrong wrong

              1997 Charlotte: They said nobody would go to an open-wheel race in NASCAR country, they said night races wouldn't work, well, Charlotte was one of the better races of the schedule until the tragic spectator incident.

              2000 Texas: the great one, of course...


              • #8
                There are just too many. It would just be easier to name the ones that I thought were stikers....Atlanta with the pileup and Ray's runaway win, last year's Naz, last years'.....and that's about it.

                Since the 2000 season (or so), I think I've found every one of them thrilling. There are memorable one like Sunday and Michigan, but I think the whole series has been hugely rewarding to watch.
                "Is that my *** that I smell burning?" ... Helmet Stogie from "Death spasms of the Mabuchi"


                • #9
                  1. Phoenix - Jim Guthrie slaying Goliath (man has Menard Fallen).

                  2. Kentucky last year. - Watching my dad go hightech (scanner) and seeing his first indy race with unobstructed sightlines.

                  3. Texas II02 - Sam and Giant killer

                  4. PPIR03 Sam on the highline.

                  5. Atlanta 01 - My first night race.
                  Natural Born Cynic

                  What irks me (maybe its too soon for the truth), DW was a 16-oval WIN specialist, yet the vast majority those boohooing for him, hardcarders & fans, alike are the same ones trying to kill anything with more than 9 deg banking & 4 corners, where Dan ultimately made his home...


                  • #10
                    This is pretty easy for me, so watch me screw it up somehow.

                    1. Texas 2000. WOW!
                    2. The first Texas night race
                    3. Indy 1999, my first I500 too.
                    4. Texas II 98. I'm really a big fan of JPjr after meeting him in person.
                    5. Wards win last year, with all other TMS races close behind.
                    Some people will do nearly anything in order to be able to not do anything.


                    • #11
                      5. Last Sunday at Chicago. Throwing a third car in there at the end one-upped the two way finishes.

                      4. Indy '99. Sitting in turn 4, I kept telling anyone who would listen that Robby couldn't make it on fuel.

                      3. Phoenix '97. I like rooting for the underdog. Guthrie came through.

                      2. Texas I, 2000. The first time for the side by side finish.

                      and my number 1 all time favorite:

                      1. Texas II, 2002. I remember sitting in front of the set thinking (no, actually, I believe I was yelling), there's no way! The points race comes down to the last race and 1 and 2 are racing side by side for the last several laps! There's just no way!


                      • #12
                        I'll get called out on this, but the 2001 Casino Magic 500 is the top one for me. Why, you may ask?

                        It was a summary of the old IRL, the final race in that style. You would turn on an IRL race and see some really crazy ****.

                        Insane passes, 3 wide driving-to-kill, chop blocking insanity. It was a show. The last race of Greg Ray's prominence, the last IRL start for Davey Hamilton (who had started every previous IRL race). They were passing outside, inside, 3 wide, on the apron, on the grass and they would have tried the parking lot if there weren't walls. They could finish passes and get in line, they weren't stacking up. How they did it was not pretty, but it worked.

                        Lunacy, sheer lunacy. I loved it. That race was the end of an era.

                        (Yes, I know people got hurt, don't start with the injury talk.)

                        EDIT: Speeling erors.
                        Last edited by Marc P. Gregoire; 09-10-2003, 07:30 PM.


                        • #13
                          1. Texas II 2002 - If you had to point to 1 race to sum up what IRL racing is all about, it would be this one. Racing almost too close to watch, coming down to the final lap of the final race for the championship. Plus you had Panther beating the Goliath MTP.

                          2. Michigan 2002 - Sarah Fisher fighting her way into the lead, the Red Bull cars charging from the rear, and the 7 or more cars battling for the lead for seemingly countless laps at the end.

                          3. Chicago 2002 - Probably the most exciting finish ever for me personally outside of a few Indy 500's. Young vs. old, Sammy vs. Little Al in a 20 lap shootout.

                          4. Walt Disney World 1996 - The race that began the renaissance of Indy Car racing in terms of excitement and competition. The series that would "never turn a wheel" also introduced American hotshoe Tony Stewart.

                          5. Homestead 2001 - The arrival of Sam the Man with Sarah finishing 2nd. Seemed like we saw the arrival of 2 new stars, one to become the most important Indy Car driver in a generation.
                          "You make one **** of a caucasian Jackie." The Dude Lebowski


                          • #14
                            Any race in 1996 when my favorite drivers raced.
                            Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati


                            • #15
                              1. 2003 Indy, my first. Soaked it all in from 5 am til late. I'll never forget it.

                              2. 2002 Fontana, incredible finish Hornish over J Lazier.

                              3. 1999 Vegas, Sam Schmidt's only win in Indy Cars, he chased down and passed Kenny Brack in the last couple of laps. He was an absolute man on a mission. I've never seen anyone that happy before. Some unknown had his best finish of his career thus far, Sam Hornish Jr. finished 3rd, he must have caught the eye of someone that day.

                              4. 1998 Vegas, the winner was Arie Luyendyck, but the story again was Sam Schmidt, every time a yellow flag came out, it went against Sam, he pitted under green, the track goes yellow for everyone else's pit, he ends up at the back, but he was the fastest car in the field, He could have done it, he just ran out of time.

                              5. 97 Phoenix, Jim Guthrie held of Stewart in the David and Goliath story that was just incredible.
                              "You have not converted a man because you have silenced him."
                              -John Morley


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