by Kent Sterling
A year after I moved to Indianapolis, I grabbed a bunch of old and dusty reel-to-reels of Indy 500 highlights and sat down to try to understand the allure of this event.
So many feel such enormous passion for the Indianapolis 500 that I must have missed something as I watched it the previous year.
One of the reels contained memories of Sid Collins, the voice of the race from its first broadcast through 1976. There were also race highlights, and when he spoke of the 1955 crash that claimed the life of Bill Vukovich, everything clicked.
Sid did an amazing job of conveying the sense of loss, daring, and risk that built the race in both the horror he expressed during the highlight and his remembrance.
He ran the 500 only five times, won twice, led 485 laps, and led 50 or 56 laps during the race in which he was killed. If not for that incident, there is no telling how many 500s he might have won.