The IndyCar series mission statement of "One Series, all the Stars" summed it up well for the 2008 title chase.
However, New Zealander Scott Dixon's star shone the biggest and brightest, overshadowing them all.
For the first time in 12 years the warring CART and IRL factions merged and fans got to see some of the best open wheeler racers in the word go head-to-head in one series.
Although Dixon had won an IndyCar title in his rookie year in 2003, to win this year he had to substantially raise his game, as the fields were so much bigger and laden with much more talent.
"The competition level this year has been huge," said Dixon. "Next year is going to be even tougher as a lot of the new guys are going to be better on ovals. It's great, I can't wait to get back to it, I wish the season was only a couple of weeks way."
As if that wasn't a challenge big enough to conquer, Dixon also became the first Kiwi to win the much desired Borg Warner Trophy.
"With everything happening in the run up to the last race there wasn't any time to think about it," said Dixon. "I've been told it doesn't really sink in until you go back the following year and see your flag go up in the main street and all that kind of stuff."
Just how great a feat that win was, needs to be put into perspective. When you consider that despite the number of very talented Kiwi drivers over the years, only four have ever qualified to race at Motor Speedway - Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme, Graham McRae and now Dixon.
Ex-Ferrari Formula One driver Chris Amon did a few laps around Indy in the late 1960s and early 1970s and found it to be a daunting place if you didn't have the right car. "I couldn't get to grips with how the cars and drivers went around that track, that fast," said Amon after his 1970 trip when the McLaren wasn't set up for ovals.
"I think Scott winning the 500 is huge. He's done a tremendous job and every time I see him race I appreciate what a great thinker in the car he is. He plans things and thinks on his feet as it were."
Long-time motorsport commentator Brian Kelly has watched a vast number of aspiring race car drivers over the past 30 odd years.
"Scott's up there with the likes of Hulme," said Kelly. "In winning Indy he's right up there with the best. I can remember seeing him competing in the Formula Vee championship at 12-13 and around other tracks in New Zealand and he was winning quite comprehensively then."
Another who noticed something in the boy from Auckland was Peter Johnston, who has a long and generous involvement in many forms of racing. He and a group of like-minded businessmen backed Dixon's dream to the tune of $1 million.
"What Scott achieved this year rates as the highest achievement a New Zealand motor racing driver has ever had," said Johnston. "He's been so consistent throughout his career always featuring at the top of every class he's raced."
Ex-McLaren F1 team member Bob McMurray spent 33 years with Ron Dennis' outfit and was involved with some of the best names in the business.
"It's probably the greatest achievement of any driver we've ever had that's gone overseas in our history in terms of simple achievement," said McMurray.
"It may not be Formula One but IndyCar series is one of the most competitive forms of motor racing in the world. You have to be multi-disciplined to be able to race on ovals and race circuits."
It was recently announced McRae had been honoured by having a street named after him at the new international motorsport park being built at Hampton Downs, south of Auckland.
Managing director Tony Roberts has already named the apartment blocks after Hulme, Amon, McLaren and Howden Ganley and has now proposed the main 2km public road into the complex be named Dixon Drive.
"It's before council at the moment but I can't see them having too much of a problem with it," said Roberts. "We always had Scott in mind and being the only Kiwi to win Indy clinched it."
"I would be very honoured to have a street named after me," said Dixon. "Can't wait to check the place out next time I'm in New Zealand."
New Zealand can now lay claim to the Triple Crown of motorsport; Hulme the Formula One title in 1967, McLaren and Amon won the 24 Hour Le Mans in 1966 and now Dixon with the Indy500.
No mean feat, and there's a lot more talent coming up through the ranks.By Eric Thompson