Who do you love?

Posted by Iannucci | 5/20/2008 | 23 comments »
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It’s that time of year for everyone to make their picks for who’s going to be the winner at Indy, and as you are probably aware there will be a Cheat Sheet showing my picks soon enough. For what it's worth my TSO Fantasy team for the race includes Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Alex Lloyd, Danica Patrick, and Tomas Scheckter.

(Note: After a solid 2nd place performance at Kansas the My Name Is IRL team is in 27th of 267 teams overall. Is It May Yet? is 76th and pressdog is 184th – not that there’s any kind of competition going on here.)

While who will actually win is anyone’s guess, one thing we know for sure is who we will be cheering come Sunday. Since we’re all fans now is the best of weeks to say who you’ll be pulling for and why. I’ll go first.

Once again for the 30-something-eth year I’ll be rooting for the Andretti, or in this case Andrettis. John doesn’t really have a huge chance, but for the third straight year Young Marco has got the goods to once and for all break this freaking curse. And I’m saying this as a guy who in no way believes in curses, but when the Andretti family has gone 0-53 since Mario’s win in 1969 you just have to think there’s something going on here.

Come one, these are ANDRETTIS – they’ve won championships everywhere except this place! Zero for fifty three? Yes, since I was but a few months old Mario (0-24), Michael (0-16), John (0-8), Jeff (0-3 with a horrific injury), and Marco (0-2) have all gone milk-free despite leading somewhere in the neighborhood of a combined 1000 laps. Talk about lactose intolerance.

Looking back I think my fandom started when I saw a name that ended in the same vowel as mine, so if I were a bit younger my guy might have been Teo Fabi. Yikes! Regardless, I’m now so invested in cheering for them at this race that I’m one of the few people who empathized with Marco’s now infamous “second place is nothing” comment. If this means I’m being held hostage by my own folly then so be it, but if when one of them finally wins – and I don’t care if it’s one of Marco’s yet-unborn children – whatever happens to me will involve an injured vocal chord.

So how about you – who’s your driver this year?


  1. Tabernerus // May 20, 2008 10:22 AM  

    Taking it in three group (likely, maybe, and no way), I'll be rooting for:

    Helio Castroneves (likely)
    Anthony Foyt (maybe)
    Buddy Lazier (no way)

    A win by Graham Rahal or Justin Wilson would be cool, too, since it'd give Paul Newman his own taste of milk, but Anthony Foyt, much maligned, on his birthday, out of nowhere, would be too damn cool, so he gets my maybe vote. And yes, I do think Newman Haas will be competitive enough to count as a maybe team.

  2. Carrie // May 20, 2008 11:12 AM  

    Who I want to win: Wheldon, Marco, Hunter-Reay or Servia

    Who I think will win: Briscoe Inferno or Helio

  3. TK // May 20, 2008 11:29 AM  

    Kanaan or Dixon are due

  4. mmack // May 20, 2008 11:35 AM  

    Okay all, I'll break it down by categories:

    Easy Money\Safe Bet: Iceman. Doesn't mean I'll cheer like mad for him, but I see the race as his to lose.

    Likely Choices If Dixon Falls Out\Falls Short: Kanaan, Castroneves. I would definitely cheer either driver on. Mrs. mmack wants Helio to win, climb the fence, kiss Julianne, and propose to her. Well, I don't know if that will happen, but I'd cheer, or at least laugh if it did. :^)

    Cheering Them On To Make History: The Young Padawan and\or The Princess, aka Marco and Danica!. If Marco wins, he'll be the youngest winner in 500 history and the first grandson of a former winner to drink the milk in Victory Circle (take THAT Unser family!). Plus if an Andretti wins, they'll tear the grandstands down in celebration. If Ms. Patrick-Hospenthal wins, it will be Defcon 1 down in Daytona Beach at the N-word headquarters and the very time\space continuum will rupture in excitement. Plus many knuckle dragging sportswriters will need to come up with new excuses on how easy it is to win in the IRL.

    Darkhorses: Tomas and Briscoe Inferno. More so the former than the latter. Tomas needs to redeem himself since he hit the wall right in front of us while leading the 2002 race, which allowed a certain Canadian to think he won the race. Briscoe, well, if he stays off the wall, he could surprise.

    Sentimental Fool Favorites:
    Buddy Rice, Ed Carpenter, Vitor Meira.

    I'd hope for a top ten for Buddy Lazier, AJ Foyt IV, and Sarah.

  5. SS Minnow // May 20, 2008 11:52 AM  

    Just seems to me that this will be Dixon's year. I cautiously say that because it somehow happens that "the" guy going into this race rarely fairs well at the end. For a coolness factor, I'd like to see Graham win it. From a conversation standpoint, it would be interesting if ANY of the refu.., former Cha.., rook... (well, you know what I mean) were to win. However, not exactly sure what it would mean for the casual fan. I just hope it's a GREAT show and generates some buzz for us AOW folks.

  6. The Dude // May 20, 2008 1:05 PM  

    I'm rooting for Son of Stache, but knowing Dixon will lilely win, the writiing on the wall.

  7. Ansen B. // May 20, 2008 1:32 PM  

    Dixon will probably win, and I'd be ok with that. He's a cool guy.

    However, I have a bad knack for choosing favorite drivers that are good but never win a race.

    My first favorite driver was Raul Boesel. He broke my heart numerous times. Vitor Meira is one of my favorites now...

    Also, I like Townsend Bell. With the way he qualified...I think he has a (very) slim chance.

  8. John Edward // May 20, 2008 1:32 PM  


    So let it be written, so let it be done. ,,,, ;)

  9. Bob Mc // May 20, 2008 1:40 PM  

    Ah, a Teo Fabi reference. Now my Indy 500 experience can truly begin!

    Dan Wheldon will win. Believe it!

  10. Billy Coy // May 20, 2008 1:50 PM  

    my pick Ryan Briscoe or Vitor Meira

    my wife picks Dental Plan Dan

    my quiet pick that I will keep to myself is Marty "The Rocket" Roth !

  11. Derek // May 20, 2008 1:55 PM  

    I pick Wheldon for the win and Duno to be lapped by lap 5

  12. Tabernerus // May 20, 2008 1:57 PM  

    Oh, that's it! A new nickname for Wheldon! Delta Dantal!

  13. John Edward // May 20, 2008 3:41 PM  

    I pick Duno to hit the wall by lap 5...

  14. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // May 20, 2008 3:56 PM  

    Based on the last syllable of my last name my picks are, in qualifying order, Ed CarpentER, Tomas SchecktER, Sarah FishER, and Buddy LaziER.

    (But my true secret fantasy pick: Anthony Foyt)

  15. Anonymous // May 20, 2008 4:12 PM  

    I am going to guess the top 10.
    1-briscoe inferno-
    5-ed carpenter
    6-vitor meira
    7-justin wilson
    9-bruno junqueira
    10-davey hamilton or anthony foyt

    wife's pick kanaan then wheldon

  16. pressdog // May 20, 2008 4:14 PM  

    I missed the lock time for the TSO fantasy league Indy 500. So I'm a DNQ, which is ok with me since it means Jeff will feel good about himself now.

  17. Demond Sanders // May 20, 2008 5:03 PM  

    This is Dixon's race. It's too bad he bores me somewhat.

    Who I want to win: Marco, Danica, Helio in that order. I'm all for the series getting as much pub as possible, and the big three draw eyeballs, obviously. I'm totally with you on the Andretti disappointment of 2006. It's even worse now that we know Hornish used his win just to pad his resume. Everyone seems to be looking for their one Indy win so they can move on to other things. Helio is in the minority. He wants to go for 4+ wins. Gotta love that.

    I'd be very excited for: Tony Kanaan. The race has become a lifetime acheivement award of late with Hornish and Franchitti both being very deserving of the win. I'd like to see Tony get his.

    I'd be disapointed with: Really no one. I like almost all of the drivers. I think we're all so excited about unification that we haven't taken time to pick out the new villains of the series. Used to be anyone racing for Penske, but I softened quite a bit on this. Now I find myself rooting against anyone looking to use the series as a stepping stone to stock cars. Maybe that's everyone, I don't know, but I've definitely heard about interest from Wheldon and Manning. So I'll start there. Gotta keep the talent in order to grow this thing longterm.

  18. Bash // May 20, 2008 5:20 PM  

    my favs: Danica Helio Marco Vitor Davey

    Who I think will win: Dixon (no worries)

    Touching down in Indy Thursday morning - woo hoo!

  19. faniqeric // May 20, 2008 7:51 PM  

    Like others, Dixon is my pick to win, which is probably the jinx for him.

    As for who I want to win, that's tougher, because for the most part, I'll always liked, or at least not disliked, all the drivers. I'd be truly happy for whoever wins.

    Mostly though, I want an exciting race where everybody gets through it safe and uninjured. This'll be my first one in person, and I know that no matter how many times in my life I get to go in the future, it will never be like my first one.

  20. John in Speedway // May 20, 2008 8:41 PM  

    Due: TK
    Personal favorite: Scheckter
    Best chance: Dixon
    Monumental: Danica
    Would love to see: Vitor
    Make History: Helio (#3 with a 4th in sight??)
    Great headline: Andretti (Marco)
    Dark Horse: Will Power or Oriol Servia

  21. Anonymous // May 21, 2008 6:28 AM  

    My wish list for the 500:
    Helio Castroneves (great guy, great press, great for the IRL)

    John Andretti (Imagine his Christmas card to Mike "Hey, I won the Indy 500 this year by beating a car owner who had 4 cars in it, what did you do?)

    Buddy Rice (with blank side pods - wouldn't that be a hoot!)

  22. The American Mutt // May 21, 2008 8:39 AM  

    For the sake of the series--Danica, Graham, or Marco.

    I'd like Dixon and Wheldon to not finish the first lap, but not get hurt.

    I know, I'm spiteful, but I can't stand those two. I expect them to step out, and go into block step right off the bat.

  23. Nan S // May 22, 2008 8:09 AM  

    Expected: Dixon
    Wanted: Tony K