IRL: Live Tweeting of the Indy 500

By Andy Darley

CalendarMonday, May 25th, 2009

 
 

Throughout the Indy 500 – from the first false start to Helio Castroneves celebrating in Victory Circle – fans, bloggers, journalists and race teams pumped out a steady stream of updates using microblogging service Twitter.

With a 140-character limit and the necessity to post quickly and often, live blogging using Twitter doesn’t encourage deep analysis – but its strengths include immediacy, diversity of voices and the ability to capture the raw emotion of a passing moment.

BritsOnPole was among the Twitter users bashing away at the keyboard during the 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500, and here is what we said:

  • Got Twitter running in Safari, @estradawriting ‘s liveblog in Opera, live timing / video in Firefox. What to put in IE and Chrome?
  • Holding the green flag – too strung out, not side-by-side. And who’s surprised Helio and Tracy were the ones who jumped?
  • Dario grabs an early 2nd – Moraes already wrecked – I knew he was too good to be true… fast but inexperienced. His day will come.
  • Have we lost Marco too? Could be… aw, what a shame! *snork*
  • Marco on Moraes: “The kid doesn’t get it. He never will.” Like he’s one to talk!
  • Dario grabs the lead on the restart, builds a lead over Helio, then Briscoe, Dixon, TK
  • Busy day for Alex Lloyd

    Busy day for Alex Lloyd

    busy day for Alex Lloyd: lap down after having to pit with problem and @furiouswedge says his pregnant Mrs has started contractions
  • Poster boy is out – Ryan Hunter-Reay, who only just scraped into the field, spins, hits wall, crashes into pit road. Oops.
  • early attrition mostly hitting the good media stories – Marco, Izod poster boy RHR, dark horse Moraes, plus Pink Lloyd a lap down.
  • mass pitting under the yellow for RHR. Dario still leads but Briscoe takes second from team-mate Helio. Dixon 4th.
  • update on Brits: Dario leads (qualified 3rd), Wheldon 13th (Q18), Wilson 14th (Q15), Conway 29th (Q27), Lloyd 30th (Q11).
  • Robert Doornbos still trying too hard… clips wall without major pileup (unlike practice). Damaged and slow and in pits.
  • and while we were watching Doorknobs, Briscoe grabs the lead from Dario Franchitti
  • And Graham Rahal hits the wall… he’s doing it less this season but clearly he still has a magnetic attraction to the barriers.
  • Lapped traffic is becoming a factor for the leaders – bunching due to it may have done for Rahal
  • Justin Wilson drops to pretty much last after screwing up his pit stop and – by the sound of it – nearly killing his crew.
  • Changes from the pitstops, Dixon, TK, Danica all gain places. Wheldon running well, too.
  • order under yellow: Briscoe, Dixon, Dario, TK, Helio, Matos, Danica, Power, Wheldon, Carpenter, Tracy, Servia, Bell, Meira
  • 4-wide on restart

    4-wide on restart

    4-wide on restart, Dixon grabs lead, Briscoe fades to 9th from 1st, Matos and Danica both take Helio. And Briscoe pits.
  • Brit report Dario 2nd, Wheldon 8th, Wilson 15th, Conway 19th, Lloyd 26th
  • Looks like we’ve lost Davey Hamilton. Shame, who didn’t want him to do well? Elsewhere, Danica drops to 7th, Meira sliding back too
  • pitstops under caution following crash, 86 laps complete, Dario gets lead back. Then Dixie, TK, Helio, Matos, Power, Danica, Dan W.
  • Tagliani has gone from 33rd to 11th but he’ll still get booed because of the way his team dumped Junqueira to get him into the race
  • Dixon grabs a big lead on the restart, Dario holds second from TK who’s led every Indy 500 of his career but might lose that streak today.
  • And TK loses his record of leading every 500 of his career with a big hit. “Only half a car left” says @curtcavin
  • Almost everyone pitting again on lap 99 / 200. Servia’s engine seems to have died. Leaders on restarts aren’t doing well this year.
  • Order under caution is Dixie, Dario, Power, Matos, Helio, Wheldon, Bell, Tracy, Carpenter, Danica. Conway 13, Wilson 21, Lloyd 22.
  • TK no idea what happened: “Something broke in the rear suspension and I hit head on, then I went for a ride – it was pretty wild”
  • The Ganassi cars running away with it at the moment, Power holding off Helio for 3rd. Alex Lloyd back on lead lap, gaining places.
  • RT @FuriousWedge Tags deserves a serious black flag, he’s lucky he didn’t hit Conway with that block
  • RT @paddocktalk Pink Lloyds wife’s contractions are down to 10 minutes… @MyNameIsIRL says she plans to wait for end of race
  • Yellow again for Nelson Philippe’s inevitable exit from race. Still Dixon, Dario, Power who on past form will be the next to crash.
  • Meira on fire in Foyt pitbox

    Meira on fire in Foyt pitbox

    Pitstops under caution, Meira on fire in Foyt pitbox – put out and he’s racing again. Dario screwed by stuck fuel nozzle, now 8th.
  • More big changes from pitstops: Matos plunges to 20th, Tracy is 4th and Wheldon 5th. Briscoe back up to 10th.
  • And Helio BLASTS past Dixon at the restart, Power still 3rd, Wheldon and Bell take 4th and 5th off Paul Tracy
  • Brit update: Dario 12th, Mike Conway 10th (does he have a nosebleed that high?), Wilson 17, Lloyd 21.
  • Catching up after a few minutes away from keyboard, Power has grabbed second, Tracy is fading, Patrick is up to 6th, Dario to 9th
  • lap 160 Justin Wilson is the first Brit to fall, back end escapes him in Alex Lloyd’s dirty air and he’d gone.
  • looks like the whole field is pitting – most probably were about to anyway. Power has tyre-change problems and falls back.
  • Big shakeup (and likely another to come on restart). Helio leads, Briscoe back to 2nd, then Wheldon, Patrick, Bell, Power, Dixon.
  • Not sure how many are fuelled to end without another caution… Rafael Matos, near the back, certainly is and Ryan Briscoe isn’t.
  • Vitor Meira – who flew last season – has had another major, major aerial wipe-out and took Matos with him.
  • RT @the500 That was a big hit. And Meira wasn’t sliding on left side, he spun and flipped and skidded backward on car’s right
  • Still waiting for signs that Meira is OK. They’ve readied a stretcher but they did that for Ana Beatriz and she just had a cut chin
  • RT @estradawriting ABC’s Marty Reid: Meira was alert but complaining of pain.
  • Briscoe, Conway and some backmarkers take on fuel. They’ll be laughing if the leaders have miscalculated. And last if they haven’t.
  • Brit update: Dan Wheldon 2nd, Dario 7th, Lloyd 14th, Conway 17th. Wilson will be classified as 23rd. It’ll be a sprint to the end.
  • Helio speeds off into distance on restart, Wheldon holds off Patrick, Bell grabs fourth from Power
  • Just 10 laps left and it’s Helio’s bar disaster. Patrick pushing Wheldon for 2nd. Bell 4th still and WHO would have expected that?
  • Three laps left and Helio, who six weeks ago was facing jail and the end of his career, is running away with the Indy 500.
  • And it’s over. CRAZY result. Helio wins, then Wheldon, Patrick, Bell, Power, Dixon, Dario, Carpenter, Tracy, Mutoh, Tags, Scheckter
  • Helio climbs the fence

    Helio climbs the fence

    Helio climbs the fence to celebrate, his crew join him while stewards flap ineffectually, and now he’s heading for Victory Circle.
  • “This is the best Month of May ever” says Helio Castroneves, winner of the 93rd Indy 500

For those not across the mysterious world of Twitter abbreviations, the @ symbol produces a link to another user and is particularly helpful when replying, while ‘RT’ is short for ‘re-tweet’ and, like forwarding an email, is a way of repeating someone else’s post while giving credit to them as its author.

For brevity (mostly), the following shortened names were used: Dario, for Dario Franchitti; Danica, for Danica Patrick; TK, for Tony Kanaan; Marco, for Marco Andretti; Helio, for Helio Castroneves; Tags, for Alex Tagliani; RHR, for Ryan Hunter-Reay.

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