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Thank you Mr. Penske

An empty Indianapolis Speedway for the 104th running of the ‘Greatest Spectacle’ is a reminder not to take anything for granted


2020 has been a bizarre year.

Ok, before you say, “Thank you, Captain Obvious,” realize that there are many things that we will never get back, if and when things return to normal. Things we have taken for granted. Thankfully the Indianapolis 500 and the Speedway are in good hands with a commitment for the future.

Thank you, Mr. Penske.

The purchase of the Speedway and the IndyCar series by Roger Penske last fall might have been the best news in motorsports in more than 50 years. Certainly, Penske is a racer at heart. He and his family will stand by and guard the series.

Was yesterday’s 500 a great race? No. There is a myriad of factors. It was not on Memorial Day weekend. It took place in August. It was run in a nearly spooky-looking empty Speedway. There were many caution laps. When the cars were running at full speed, aerodynamics played havoc as the single file parade had all the cars running almost equal distance. Restarts were decent, races to the pit exit were exciting. And last but not least, the 500-mile classic ended under yellow.

But I am not complaining!

Penske, Thank you Mr. Penske, ClassicCars.com Journal
#30: Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Takuma Sato wins the Indy 500

All of the above are not factors to what we saw yesterday though. We saw the 2020 Indianapolis 500! A full field of 33 took the green. Through our video-playing devices, we were to still be “Back Home Again.”

Thank you, Mr. Penske.

Thank you for standing by our sport. Thank you for giving us a show. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, that when all this 2020 weirdness finally comes to an end, we will still have IndyCar, The Speedway and the 500. Let us all guard this passion, this great American tradition.

Penske, Thank you Mr. Penske, ClassicCars.com Journal
Sato Wins the Indianapolis 500

Congratulations to Takuma Sato, the whole Rahal, Letterman, Lannigan team and organization. We look forward to the growth of the sport! Clearly yesterday was a great tradition facing down adversity – and winning!

Penske, Thank you Mr. Penske, ClassicCars.com Journal
Tom Stahler
Tom Stahler
Tom Stahler is the Managing Editor of the ClassicCars.com Journal. Tom has a lifelong love of cars and motor racing – beginning with the 1968 USRRC race at Road America, in a stroller, at eight months of age. His words, photos and broadcasts can can be found on a myriad of media. He has won the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and a Gold Medal in the International Automotive Media Awards.


  1. I want to add thank you for letting the race and under yellow. I’ve heard a lot of naysayers say it should have been done like NASCAR with a green white checker. I say that’s a contrived and ultimately unfair way to end a race. It’s a 500 mile race, when it’s over it’s over. It would’ve taken a long time to fix that pit road barrier it was best to let it end as it was. If there’s 10 laps to go or something like that and it’s gonna be a lengthy yellow, then yes red flag it. But not for one lab, it’s not fair and it’s not real.

  2. Thank you Roger, not your fault that the race was really boring and that last few laps were under yellow. Just another Honda parade, I fast forwarded most of it. Let’s change the rules and learn from NASCAR that a race should never end with the cars going 60mph in a single line.


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