Ken de la Bastide: A weekend for the record books

Ken de la Bastide: A weekend for the record books

May 28—For many years, I have done the weekend double of open-wheel racing in central Indiana on Memorial Day weekend.

Attend the Little 500 at Anderson Speedway, catch a few winks and head to the Indianapolis 500.

Although it is always exciting to watch both events, there is never any guarantee on what the competition will provide during the weekend.

But this weekend fans got to see not one but two thrilling races that will make 2024 remembered for decades to come.

Two races determined on the last lap in the span of less than 24 hours made for a special weekend.

While two drivers celebrated victory in two of the biggest races of the year, two others were left with the proverbial "agony of defeat."

Dakoda Armstrong was poised to get that first Little 500 victory when two caution periods in the final five laps changed the outcome.

His cousin, Caleb Armstrong, took advantage of the last restart to diamond off the second corner on the final lap and was able to make the pass in Turn 3 to record the victory.

After the race Dakoda Armstrong said his car got tight on the final restarts, and he was also concerned about having enough fuel.

Through the disappointment, Dakoda Armstrong still celebrated with his cousin following the race.

The Indianapolis 500 fans witnessed an epic battle in the closing laps between defending race-winner Josef Newgarden and Pato O'Ward.

Lap after lap they swapped the lead position. I believed O'Ward made a mistake on the final lap when he took the lead from Newgarden in Turn 1.

Newgarden used the draft on the back straight to make the deciding pass in Turn 3.

Two races, two exciting finishes.

Anderson's Colin Grissom, a late Little 500 entry with the help of Pendleton's Travis Welpott, got to make his first Little 500 start by earning a spot on bump day.

Grissom drove an impressive race to claim the rookie of the race honors.

For the Little 500, the highest finishing rookie is awarded the honor.

At the Indianapolis 500, the rookie of the race is determined by a vote of the media.

NASCAR champion Kyle Larson was named the rookie of the race at Indianapolis.

Larson started fifth, led laps and finished 18th after a pit-road speeding penalty.

Christian Rasmussen started 24th and finished 12th but was denied the rookie of the race honors.

I don't have a problem with Larson winning the rookie of the race honors because of the month-long interest he brought to the Indy 500.

I'm already looking forward to next May.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.


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