Written by Sean McKean
Amidst all the chaos, headlines, and red flags, Josef Newgarden came out victorious in the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 in a thrilling fashion.
The race was mostly controlled by Patricio O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist, and Marcus Ericsson. All-in-all, McLaren appeared to have the quickest package. However, as we all know, that’s not how the cookie crumbles in the Indianapolis 500.
Despite the relatively low amount of yellows, there were still plenty of DNFs from this race. Katherine Legge became the first on lap 33 when she spun on the entrance to the pits. After her, RC Enerson became the second following an unspecified mechanical problem.
Sting Ray Robb then became the first driver to crash out on lap 90 after washing up high in turn one. This caution period didn’t go without drama, as Alex Palou would collide with Rinus Veekay in the pits, which only happened after Veekay spun. For this incident, Veekay would receive a drive-through penalty, effectively curtailing his chances to win.
The pit road crashes wouldn’t stop there though, as Andretti teammates Romain Grosjean and Colton Herta collided on lap 133. The damage wasn’t terminal for either, but for Grosjean, it would all go down the drain. Romain Grosjean was next to crash not too long later, as he would lose the rear and slam the outside retaining wall in turn two on lap 149.
In a more unusual retirement, Will Power became the last single-car retirement of the race following a broken toe link after a brush with the turn two wall.
Though there were not many yellows, the race was marred by late red-flag periods, the first of which came out with 15 laps to go. The first red flag was brought out following a massive crash in which Felix Rosenqvist crashed and clipped Kyle Kirkwood, who then slammed the outside wall and flipped upside down. Both drivers were thankfully okay.
During the late-race restart, Patricio O’Ward crashed battling with Marcus Ericsson on the entry to turn three. He spun and hit the wall, collecting Simon Pagenaud and Agustin Canapino, the latter of which caught air after piling in late. Ultimately, this would cause the second red flag to come out. Despite the big hits, all three drivers thankfully ended up without serious injury.
The race would occur a third red flag, when on the restart with four to go, Ed Carpenter made contact with Christian Lundgaard, causing the former to spin which collected Graham Rahal and Benjamin Pedersen. Though we all thought the race would end under the yellow flag, they would red flag the race for a third time so we could get a one-lap dash to the finish.
Out of seemingly nowhere, Josef Newgarden would win his first Indianapolis 500, a feat he sought after for his whole career. Marcus Ericsson, despite seeming like he had it won, had to settle for second. Santino Ferrucci would wind up third, being a contender the entire day.
Some other notables include Alex Palou, who rallied back from his pit lane crash to finish fourth. Even Rinus Veekay, who seemingly had no chance after his drive-through penalty, finished tenth place. The highest-placed rookie would be Foyt’s Benjamin Pedersen, who finished P21, albeit out of the race.
If you would like to catch the next bit of IndyCar action, they will be back at it in the streets of Detroit next Sunday, 4 June.