Scott Dixon was going to win the Indianapolis 500. Then Takuma Sato was going to win the Indianapolis 500. Then, with the “laps to go” counter down to single digits and Dixon crafting his plan to make a run at Sato, while second-generation racer Graham Rahal waited to pounce on them both from third, we had no idea who was going to win the Indianapolis 500. In that moment, we all seemed destined to win the day, three months of patience and irritation and compromise finally paying off with the gift of an all-time classic finish.
But in the end, the true winner of the 104th edition of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing was the same undefeated champion that of late has dominated every aspect of our lives — 2020.
After two weeks of traveling at some of the fastest speeds in Indy 500 history, the month of May-turned-month of August was led to the checkered flag by Sato as he cruised down the frontstretch at well less than half the velocity he used to earn his starting spot in the field one week earlier. His Honda-powered Dallara puttered along behind the pace car as a yellow flag waved next to those checkers, all happening at a slow-motion pace that ensured the empty grandstands we’d all been ignoring for 3 hours, 10 minutes of television air time.
We can recall first and foremost what we were denied, that 2020 has won yet again.