Indy 500 2012: Drivers Who Should Be Encouraged After Strong Showings at Indy

Austin GreenCorrespondent IMay 27, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27:  Takuma Sato of Japan, driver of the #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, races during the IZOD IndyCar Series 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 27, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Dario Franchitti took home his third Borg-Warner Trophy, but he's not the only driver who should be feeling good after the 2012 Indy 500.

With a race-record 35 lead changes, this was one of the most competitive Indy 500s in recent memory. And although they weren't able to etch their name into racing lore, the following three drivers should be very encouraged by their performances.


Takuma Sato

As he said above, Sato was disappointed in his failure to pass Franchitti on the last lap. That's only natural.

But although he missed an opportunity at history, Sato should be happy that he left it all on the track. His all-or-nothing mentality on the final lap was exactly what the situation called for, and he gained plenty of respect from media members and fans alike.

Things are looking bright for Sato, who finished third and eighth in the two races prior to Indy. And despite technically finishing 17th on Sunday, we all know that he was one of two best drivers at the 2012 Indy 500.

Sato has nothing to hang his head about.


Scott Dixon

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27:  Scott Dixon (R) of New Zealand, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda congratulates Dario Franchitti of Scotland, driver of the #50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda in victory lane after Franchitti won the IZOD Indy
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Dixon came close to winning his second career Indy 500, finishing just behind his teammate Franchitti.

It was Dixon's third second-place finish of the year, and put him at fourth place overall in the IndyCar standings with 153 points.

With plenty of time left in the season, and only 47 points separating him from leader Will Power, Dixon is in a great position to claim his third career IndyCar championship.


Marco Andretti

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 19:  Marco Andretti the driver of the Team RC Cola car prepares for his qualifying run for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 19, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The young Andretti failed to win his family's second Borg-Warner Trophy, but he had another strong showing at "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

He led a race-high 59 laps, and he was still near the front before crashing while trying to make a move with 12 laps left.

Andretti will certainly be disappointed with his result, but this was his fourth good performance at the legendary race. He's had four top-10 finishes here before, and he certainly could have added another if it wasn't for the crash.

Eventually, Marco will lift the "Andretti Curse" at the Indy 500.