May 11, 2012  |   By Cassie Conklin

The Next Chapter

If last year was the end of the Centennial Era for IMS, then this year is the beginning of a new one. Last year’s Indianapolis 500 wasn’t the closing of a chapter; it was the opening of the next. From 1911 and Ray Harroun to the incredible finish between Dan Wheldon and J.R. Hildebrand in 2011 – this race course has held true to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”. As the 96th running of the 500 mile race grows closer, I can’t help but wonder what historical moments are in store.

I could begin to rattle off a list of the historical moments this race track has given us, but you and I both know that would take 100 years (pun intended). What’s important is that those events happened, and they will live inside this oval forever. It will continue to make IMS one of the greatest places on Earth.

But this month of May marks the beginning of the next 100 years, and who knows what’s to come. Will Helio join the elite group of 4-time winners? Will a woman win the Indy 500 for the first time? There is still a lot of history to be made. And whether you’re in the viewing mounds or E Penthouse, you’re about to be a part of it. How cool is that?

So it all begins now with this track, these drivers, and these fans. We are all about to be the beginning of something incredible. There will come a time when people talk about the Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by saying things like “back in the days of Helio Castroneves”, “back in the days of Dario Franchitti” or “back in the days of Dave Calabro”. It will happen and you will be a part of that. You’ll be a part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 and all the history that lies here. Forever.

So what’s next? What would you love to see happen in the next 100 years?