If it was going to be the last race at Homestead for awhile, everyone involved in last night's Café do Brasil Indy 300 made sure it would be one to remember.
Multiple lead changes. The heartbreak of a championship run come to an end. As epic a duel for 2nd place as we've seen in the past few years.
Yep, Homestead had all that and more. Scott Dixon ran away with this one in the last few laps, but his teammate, Dario Franchitti., won the series championship over Will Power by a mere 5 points.
Keep your artificial Chase, NASCAR. We don't need the manufactured soap opera for this to be riveting.
You aren't human if you didn't feel bad for Will Power, who fought a rough race car for part of the night and eventually made contact with the wall to end it. I think many of us felt Power's story was more fascinating of the two contenders for the championship, but his bad night should in no way take away from what was an amazing season. Considering this is a man who broke his friggin' back last year, Power's success this year is all the more remarkable.
And what about that duel between Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick for second? I think TK blocked Danica every way he knew how, and she still got around him with a nifty move. Let's hope IndyCar has the presence of mind to save that clip, because it was a classic.
Lost in all the jumble is that because of Milka Duno's yellow, if Marco Andretti hadn't come in for the splash of fuel in the last 30 laps, he probably wins this race. There's a lot you can say about Marco, but he's been in a spot to win several races this year. I'm counting on it to all come together at least once. Andretti Autosport was definitely was dialed-in last night, and they have to feel pretty good going into 2011.
Vitor Meira also had a nice run, and might have been in a position to at least grab a podium, if not for the aforementioned late Duno yellow, which shot everyone's fuel strategy all to hell. Speaking of Duno, the rumor that her license won't be renewed in 2011 seems to be gaining steam. Will she suffer the same fate as Marty Roth?
Congrats to top rookie points finisher Alex Lloyd, who locked that up with a nice, if unspectacular, 12th-place run. Simona de Silvestro finished, in an underfunded, overweight tub, in 23rd. Sometimes, just finishing is the victory. I know many of us are hoping Simona knocks it out of the park in 2011.
So, we've come to an end to another IndyCar season. But, in a topic I'll be approaching in the days to come, we have a number of great reasons to feel very optimistic towards the future going into 2011. 2010 was a great year for IZOD IndyCar. 2011 should be even greater.