Indy’s new scoring pylon is quite colorful (PHOTOS)

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One of Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s more prominent new upgrades has arrived.

A scoring pylon comprised of four LED video panels has been installed along the frontstretch, just in time for this weekend’s NASCAR and IMSA events.

It replaces the track’s “second-generation” pylon that had been in place since 1994. When that particular pylon was taken down, IMS president J. Douglas Boles talked about how the new pylon would better serve fans in attendance.

“We’re trying to take all the information that we can gather and send it to our fans in the seats,” he said. “We think this is a lot better way to deliver information to our fans and we can actually make the numbers a little bit bigger so that they can be seen from Turn 1 and Turn 4.

“The top will be able to really show the drivers when we go yellow. Right now, if you think about the old pylon, it just had those two rotating yellow lights, so this will have a yellow ribbon at the top that will flash, allowing drivers to see from a long distance away when the track goes yellow as well.”

Today, the track tweeted out photos of the new pylon and several of its video animations.

Additionally, NASCAR social media humorist @NASCARcasm has put up a funny comparison between the new pylon and Verizon IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson – who, at 6-foot-4, is known as one of the taller drivers in the IndyCar paddock.

April 5 in Motorsports History: Alex Zanardi’s amazing Long Beach rally

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Alex Zanardi entered the Long Beach Grand Prix on April 5, 1998 as the race’s defending champion and the series’ defending champion.

But the Italian didn’t seem a serious contender for much of the 105-lap event. Zanardi started 11th position and lost a lap early when he was involved in a multicar spin in the hairpin.

Alex Zanardi celebrates after winning the 1998 Grand Prix of Long Beach. Photo: Getty Images

But the race was still young, and despite emerging from the incident in 18th place, Zanardi slowly progressed through the field while battling radio problems that made communication difficult with his team.

With five laps remaining, Zanardi passed Dario Franchitti on the backstretch for second place and then focused in on leader Bryan Herta.

With two laps remaining, Zanardi made his move, making a daring pass on the inside of Herta in the Queen’s Hairpin (which no longer exists as the track layout was changed the following year).

The move was reminiscent of Zanardi’s famous last-lap move on the inside of Laguna Seca’s famed Corkscrew in 1996, which deprived Herta of his first CART victory.

Franchitti passed Herta as well, and Zanardi went on to clinch his first victory of the season.

“On a day when everything went wrong, we came back and won,” Zanardi said following the race. “I can’t explain it. It wasn’t until I saw Bryan ahead of me that I ever thought I had a shot at winning. It was amazing. I have no words to describe it.”

Following Long Beach, Zanadri won six more times in 1998 en route to his second and final CART championship.

Also on this date:

1992: Bobby Rahal led from start to finish to win the Valvoline 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. The win was the first of four victories for Rahal during his championship season.

2009: Ryan Briscoe won the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the first of three victories for the Aussie in 2009. The race was also the first IndyCar Series on Versus, which was rebranded as NBC Sports Network in 2012.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter @michaele1994