INDYCAR: Practice Report from the Indy 500

The opening weekend of practice for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 is behind us and things just get weirder and weirder. Rather than dwell on headlines that are already well covered in mainstream news releases, let me dive into a few behind-the-scenes observations and some educated guesswork.

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INDYCAR: Is the Dream Still Alive?

There was a day when the greatest race in the world - the Indianapolis 500 - was within reach of the average local racecar driver. Sure, it was a long shot for anyone, but it was within reach.

Larry Cannon was a barber from a small town in Illinois. He raced Indy in 1971. Long Beach hippie Jan Opperman ran Indy in 1976 after making a name in sprint cars. The dream was alive.

Roger Rager bought his first racecar at age 14. He paid $35 for it. I watched Rager drive - brilliantly - on Paragon Speedway's 3/8th's mile dirt oval in the 1970's. In 1980 he started in row 4 at Indy alongside A. J. Foyt. The dream was alive.

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