My Car Is Invincible! No One Can Stop … D’OH!

I like the Indianapolis 500 because it’s a lot like life: One minute you’re on top, and the next you’re hurtling into the wall, missing certain critical parts. Also there’s lots of beer. Your leader as of this moment is Scott Dixon of New Zealand, who won the race from the pole position last season. Wait, here comes Helio Castroneves!

Indianapolis 500

Update: Your winner is Castroneves, who won his third Indy 500 five weeks after being acquitted of tax evasion charges. As CBS Sportsline said, what a country.

The race, also known as Vitor Meira’s Wild Ride, featured the Brazilian hitting the wall in a fiery crash after colliding with Raphael Matos on lap 173. It’s always fun when you’re scraping the wall for 400 yards in the wrong direction.

Meira, whose Dallara-Honda was on fire in the pits some 40 laps earlier, was removed from the car and put on a stretcher by the safety team. The Turn 1 wall needed repairs, and the caution continued through Lap 180.

Tony Kanaan crashed just before the halfway point, bringing the “yellow caution,” which is coincidentally also the name of the next virulent strain of flu.

The intrepid Ryan Hunter-Reay, last year’s rookie of the year, suffered from the sophomore jinx on lap 20, as we see in the photo above. Graham Rahal also was sent to his trailer after a fender-bender. But the most significant crash involved Mario Moraes and Marco Andretti near the start of the race, and I say that because it produced the best quotes.

“The kid doesn’t get it, and he never will,” Andretti said, blaming Moraes for the crash. “He’s just clueless out there.”

When a TV crew told Moraes what Andretti had to say, Moraes was visibly upset.

“I know the 26 hit me, OK? I was in front,” he said. “I was holding my line, and he just hit me. I don’t know from where.”

Neither driver was hurt, and Andretti went back out on the track on lap 61.

If all that’s not enough to make you dizzy, how about ESPN’s split-screen pit stop coverage? At the moment I’m watching four cars get tire changes at the same time; which is kind of sad considering all of the outdoor activities I’m missing.

ESPN is also featuring split-screen ads, which I’m sure is nothing new, but I’ve never really noticed them before. Are we ready for a world where half of the screen is a commercial, and the other half is a live sporting event? This may work in auto racing, but how long before we see it during NFL or NBA games? Kobe’s shooting a jumper, and Shaq is holding hands with Ben Stein. I feel oddly conflicted; again, I need to go outside.

Your Danica Patrick update: Third place. Still somewhat hot.