The Indy 500 got into a fight under a bright sun but chilly weather. 130,000 people were in the stands for this highly esteemed race, and from the start, a first twist almost happened even before the first lap.
Will Power couldn’t get started and luckily was able to start after a few seconds of worry at Penske. He was able to reach his 32nd place on the grid and take the start as planned.
Dixon gave the start slow and the peloton moved into group formation on the start line. From the second lap, he let Herta pass, as he wanted to play on consumption and save fuel.
Then it was VeeKay who took the lead in front of Herta and Dixon. Behind, Power was the most aggressive during the first laps, climbing to 25th place from 32nd place on the grid, at the expense of Simon Pagenaud and SÃ © bastien Bourdais.
The first stops took place under the green flag just after the 30th lap. Ed Carpenter, who qualified fourth, stalled. But it was Stefan Wilson who spawned the first yellow flag by hitting the wall in the pit lane, as his cold brakes sent him into the pit wall.
No injuries were to be deplored as he remained in the single-seat taxiway, but the pitlane was closed and several pilots had stopped. Dixon and Alexander Rossi pulled up anyway because they ran out of gas.
But for the two men, the problem was much deeper because their car suffered a mechanical problem when it was time to start again! Dixon was one lap behind the leaders, 32nd and last in the race. Rossi was also pushed back to the bottom of the standings.
Rossi and Dixon then came back through the pits as they were around one lap of the field. Tony Kanaan also returned to refuel as much as possible, and thus optimize his strategy.
After the pit stops, Conor Daly took the lead for Ed Carpenter Racing, ahead of his teammate Rinus VeeKay then Helio Castroneves, Colton Herta, Alex Palou, Pato O’Ward , Takuma Sato, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott McLaughlin and Graham Rahal.
Juan Pablo Montoya was moved up to 13th place while SÃ © bastien Bourdais was 16th, and Simon Pagenaud 22nd. VeeKay took the lead on lap 68 and regained his stand immediately for his second stop.
The drivers all came back through the pits in about 15 laps, with the exception of Rossi and Dixon, who were still one lap away from the leaders.
Daly, VeeKay and O’Ward emerged as leaders, putting three Chevrolet engines in the lead, ahead of Hunter-Reay and Herta. Power was up to 13th place, 19 places gained on the 93rd lap. Pagenaud and Bourdais were 17th and 19th.
The peloton was still tight by the time the halfway mark was passed, and Newgarden came to a halt in turn completely out of position. Daly was still in the lead and allowed VeeKay, whose stoppage had been anticipated so far, to extend his third stint a bit.
Ed Carpenter Racing missed Daly, who started again one lap away. The latter had inherited the head of the race, while VeeKay emerged in the aspiration of Newgarden.
Rahal took the lead briefly before his pit stop. The American came out with a loose wheel and lost his wheel on the way out. The impact against the wall was not too violent but the car was destroyed and it was the second abandonment of the event.
Daly hit the wheel with his front wing but was able to pull away without problems, even though the front wing of his Dallara was damaged. The former proofreader was again stricken with bad luck, but fared quite well.
Palou was in the lead in the recovery, he was overwhelmed by Castroneves before taking his property back from the Brazilian. O’Ward followed ahead of VeeKay, Newgarden, Hunter-Reay, Herta and Pagenaud, who was very well put together.
Sato and Daly completed the top 10, ahead of Harvey. Montoya was 12th ahead of Carpenter and Power. Bourdais was in 25th place, just behind Simona de Silvestro.
Thanks to the pit stops, O’Ward overtook Castroneves, while Power did a head-to-tail in the pits. The Australian’s misunderstandings in May continued to continue.
Dixon came to a standstill 38 laps to go as he regained the lead in the race. The championship leader, who had taken pole, had completed 41 laps in his previous stint. Although he had a lap after the start of the race incident, he was coming back into the race for victory thanks to the strategy.
Castroneves stopped a lap after Palou, and the Brazilian managed to get his property back. Hunter-Reay got a stop and go for speeding in the pits.
Dixon was not back in front of this group and saw his chances of victory soar. In contrast, Rosenqvist, Hildebrand and Sato were still leading, but it seemed hard to see them go to the end without making at least a short stop, a splash and dash.
Palou and Castroneves fought for the virtual head of the show, while O’Ward was behind the two, and ahead of Pagenaud, who had taken advantage of McLaughlin’s aspiration to get back on the head group.
Hildebrand stopped first among the three leaders, as victory now seemed to be played between Palou, Castroneves, O’Ward and Pagenaud, who had said in the week that he had a great car for the race.
Rosenqvist stopped seven laps from the finish, leaving Sato in the lead in front of Palou, but Castroneves took second place to Spaniard Ganassi Racing. Sato then stopped, and Castroneves, Palou, O’Ward, Pagenaud and Carpenter found themselves in the lead.
Palou regained the lead with 5 laps to go. Castroneves regained the lead with two laps to go. On the other hand, the two pilots came back to a huge group of pilots, who were in struggle.
Castroneves took advantage of Ryan Hunter Reay’s draw ahead of him to claim his fourth Indy 500 win! A freelance writer this year for Meyer Shank Racing, the Brazilian shows that he is still a legend in the Indianapolis 500.
He joins AJ Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser, who have also won four Indy 500s!
Palou finished second in front of Pagenaud, who signed a very good result in the perspective of the championship. O’Ward and Carpenter round out the top 5, ahead of freelancers Ferrucci and Karam.
VeeKay, Montoya and Kanaan round out the top 10 ahead of Ericsson, Newgarden and Daly then Sato, Hildebrand, Herta and Dixon, who are now losing the championship lead.
Twentieth, McLaughlin is the best rookie of the event, five places ahead of Pietro Fittipaldi. Bourdais finished 26th, Rossi 29th, Power 30th and De Silvestro, who retired, is ranked 31st.