No. 1009
August 14, 2019

About The Autoextremist


Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. Let's dispense with the usual gamut of negatives about the current state of IndyCar racing: It's a spec series with not enough engine manufacturers that struggles to gain a notable TV audience and suffers from a lack of in-person attendance as well. Add to that the notion that the Indianapolis 500 is somehow reduced in stature and you have a recipe for less-than-healthy major league open-wheel racing series. At least on paper. And although there is some truth to that roster of negatives, fortunately none of that was on display on Sunday.

The 2019 Indianapolis 500 was a riveting display of speed and strategy that made the other two racing events - the Monaco Grand Prix and the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race - absolutely pale in comparison. The Monaco Grand Prix was over in the first corner, and NASCAR's longest race was a monument to tedium that only resonates with the participants involved. Simon Pagenaud's hard-fought win over Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato (see more coverage in The Line -WG) was everything a spectacular race should be, with Pagenaud and Rossi swapping the lead five times in the last ten laps. Ragged edge car control at 220+ mph speeds in an all-out duel for the biggest prize in racing? It just doesn't get any better.

Every time I hear the hoary refrain that the Indianapolis 500 has somehow lost its luster, I just have to chuckle to myself. "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" is exactly that. The build up to Race Day, the solemn pre-race festivities honoring the sacrifices of our men and women in the military, and then the start, which remains the most electrifying moment in all of sport. There is simply nothing like the Indianapolis 500, and there is a reason it remains the most coveted trophy in all of motorsport.

Even though many of us are jaded after a lifetime of observing races across the spectrum of motorsport, Sunday's Indy 500 was a reminder of how glorious this sport can be. Being on the edge of your seat for those last ten laps was something to behold, and something to savor and file away in your memory bank. It was truly special and memorable.

Congratulations to Simon Pagenaud and the entire Team Penske effort. And congratulations to Roger Penske on his eighteenth Indianapolis 500 win, an incredible achievement that will likely never be eclipsed, even though he is far from finished. Roger's indelible motivational statement for his racing operation is "Effort Equals Results." And that was on full display on Sunday. And congratulations to the True Believers at GM Racing and Chevrolet, as they clearly had the measure of Honda in terms of horsepower (although not in efficiency, apparently).

And I should also mention that I thought NBC Sports did a magnificent job with their coverage too. They perfectly captured the spirit of Indy, while delivering outstanding coverage of the racing itself.

And that's the High-Octane Truth for this week.

(Photo by Chris Owens/INDYCAR)
Simon Pagenaud, winner of the 2019 Indianapolis 500.

(Photo by Doug Matthews/INDYCAR)
Roger Penske and Simon Pagenaud at the Monday morning winner's photo shoot at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

(Photo by Stephen King/INDYCAR)

(Photo by Doug Matthews/INDYCAR)
Roger Penske, Simon Pagenaud and Tim Cindric.

(Photo by Doug Matthews/INDYCAR)
Simon Pagenaud, fiancee Hailey McDermott and Norman, Simon's dog. 


Jim Clark, Colin Chapman and Team Lotus the morning after winning the 1965 Indianapolis 500.