Midseason Inside Line: Most Entertaining Race?

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Scott Dixon

Note: The panel will take a look back at the first half of the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season in this four-part, special Midseason Inside Line from June 25-28.

Today’s question: What was the most entertaining race so far this season?

Curt Cavin: The answer is always the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, so let’s look to a next best. I particularly enjoyed the dueling mid-race strategies in play last weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, but I’ll go with the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, where Scott Dixon was masterful with fuel saving while still holding off the pack of challengers. Having Josef Newgarden, Colton Herta and Alex Palou putting extreme pressure on Dixie in the late going was dramatic, and a little bump from Herta on Newgarden added the requisite spice.

Eric Smith: The 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge is mine. A second straight year with Josef Newgarden making a daring final lap pass entering Turn 3 with a raucous crowd on its feet cheering is my top moment. The race winner was in doubt for all 500 miles, with varying pit strategies and an exhilarating finish with six lead changes in the final 10 laps. Can’t beat another Indianapolis thriller.

Paul Kelly: It’s pretty tough to top Will Power’s return to the winner’s circle at Road America after a winless drought of more than two years, especially considering his family’s ordeal during the serious illness of his wife, Liz, during that time. The pure joy of Will, Liz and their son, Beau, was palpable. Eric also made a great point: The Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge was another last-lap corker. But I must agree with Curt: The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach was the most entertaining race of the season. We’ve started to take for granted “Scott Dixon doing Scott Dixon things,” and we shouldn’t. The legend’s ability to squeeze performance out of tiny amounts of fuel and have the discipline and skill to execute seemingly impossible strategies never gets old. The same thing happens to me every time during races in which Dixon pulls off the impossible. I say to myself, “There’s no way in hell he can pull this off.” Then about 30 minutes later, I’m muttering, “Christ on a bike, he did it again.” The combination of Dixon pulling another fuel rabbit from his helmet and excellent racing up and down the field makes The Beach the best show of the season so far for me.