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MOST INTRIGUING INDY-500-RELATED MOMENTS FROM ST. PETE

What were the Top 10 most intriguing Indy-500-related stories from the IZOD IndyCar Series season opener at St. Pete? Here's a look:

10. Dario wins again – and again – and again. His chances to win another 500 just grew exponentially.

9. Crowds at St. Petersburg increase every year – and the ABC broadcast drew a 1.4 overnight rating – which bodes well for Indy.

8. Three-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves looked mighty fast. For a few yards.

7. His teammate, Will Power, made a nice recovery to finish second. Look for him to be a contender in May.

6. Lost in the drama and the box score were two interesting stories of perseverance: Rafa Matos and Oriol Servia. Keep an eye on these two come May. There’s potential to surprise.

5. Crashing in the first turn on the first lap is never a good plan. Let’s hope they clean this up before May 29.

4. Firestone is back – and everywhere at St. Pete. Their red tires were phenomenal, and their Indy 500 product is legendary. Long live Firestone!

3. Butler basketball, baby! After Saturday’s qualifying at St. Pete, the real race began – to find a television to watch the Bulldogs beat Florida in overtime to reach the Final Four. Shouting and cheering were heard from more than one hospitality tent on the grounds. Butler coach Brad Stevens waved the green flag during a practice day at Indy last year; look for a repeat performance this year.

2. He didn’t know the names of his new teammates, but Tony Kanaan showed everyone why he’s a major star. KV has been producing fast cars on ovals lately, so it’s possible that Kanaan has an unexpected platform to finally win the 500. If he wins, the place will go wild.

1. Simona Simona Simona. Her relentless late-race pursuit of Kanaan turned a sketchy show into an Event. Can she turn that moment at St. Pete into magic at Indy? Stay tuned. 

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