The 100th running of the Indy 500 was a milestone, but there is electricity around the 101st running. The Fernando Alonso story has brought a global interest to the race that the series that hasn’t seen since the mid 1990s. I remember first hand watching the Nigel Mansell draw and multiple races.
The story, similar to Formula One is speed. The year after the split in 1997 the Indycar series switched to naturally aspirated engines and the speeds dropped. The pitch was fans can’t tell the difference between 220 mph and 230. Add a ton of downforce and cars were having no problem running flat out lap after lap. The racing was more pack mentality. Watching the cars trimmed out and twitching bring back an element of running on the edge.
Scott Dixon pole speed of 232.164 and the top fifteen drives qualifying speed of 230+ are a signal to the rest of the motorsports work, speed is back at Indy.