Despite Danica Patrick’s absence, TV viewing
figures for the Indy 500 were up eight percent
this year, at 6. 9 million viewers (a 4. 34 Nielsen
rating). Nonetheless, NASCAR’s Coca-Cola
600 held the same day clocked a 4. 4 Nielsen.
Indianapolis 500 serves up a thriller that gives us 34 lead
changes and leaves the result in doubt until the final lap.
IT’S A NEW
The 96th running of the Indianapolis 500
blew away the event record for number
of lead changes and had the crowd on its
feet to the final lap when, heading into
Turn 1 for the 200th time, Dario Franchitti
held off an ambitious passing attempt by
Takuma Sato and took his third Indy win.
While Franchitti and Scott Dixon
celebrated Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s
first 1-2 finish at the Brickyard and the
team’s first win in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar
Series season, the statisticians revealed
there had been 34 lead changes – five
more than the previous record, set back in
1960 (see chart). In addition, 10 different
drivers had led a lap, a figure matched
several times in the race’s history, but
beaten only once ( 12 leaders in 1993).
Only four times in the last 30 years has the
number of lead changes not reached double
figures. But even by those standards, these
top five “pass fests” were extraordinary...
34 LEAD CHANGES
29 LEAD CHANGES
28 LEAD CHANGES
27 LEAD CHANGES
24 LEAD CHANGES