A thrilling Indianapolis 500 which never wanted to end finally did with Josef Newgarden snatching victory in a last-lap dash.
With red-flag delays ultimately setting the final stage for one final lap to the chequered flag, Santino Ferrucci and last year’s Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson looked to be the drivers gunning for the win.
Newgarden though had other ideas!
Graham Rahal’s emotional rollercaster continued. Bumped from the Indy 500 only to return in the place of the injured Stefan Wilson, an issue on the grid saw him miss the parade laps and the opening two laps of the race, wrecking his hopes of a fairytale result.
McLaren F1 reserve Alex Palou meanwhile was very much a contender for the win, but his chances took a major hit, literally, when Rinus VeeKay got sideways coming out if the pits, sliding into an innocent Palou who was also leaving his pit box.
Former Ferrari junior Callum Ilott had his name up in lights by briefly leading the Indy 500, while former Renault/Alpine junior Christian Lundgaard made headlines for the wrong reason by accidentally pulling into Jack Harvey’s box and then hitting a tyre for good measure.
Romain Grosjean meanwhile, formerly of Renault, Lotus and Haas in Formula 1, crashed out on Lap 150 of 200, having got up on the marbles at Turn 2 and clattering the wall, the Frenchman having earlier collided in the pit-lane with team-mate Colton Herta.
A more frightening incident was to come though, triggering a red flag delay as Kyle Kirkwood and Felix Rosenqvist collided, which scarily saw a tyre detach and fly into the stands, striking a car behind, though thankfully both drivers and all in attendance were completely unharmed.
The eight-lap dash to the end saw a further red flag delay when Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward was involved in a race-ending shunt.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown watched on in bitter disappointment as their final shot at the Indy 500 win dropped out.
Would the race this time run to its conclusion without further delay? No, as at that restart, Ed Carpenter and Benjamin Pedersen would collide, cooling Ferrucci’s attempts to pass leader Ericsson.
It was not over yet though, as the red flag appeared again to mean a one-lap dash to the finish awaited.
And what a dash it was, Newgarden emerging to become an Indianapolis 500 winner for the first time!
Indianapolis 500 finishing order
1 Josef Newgarden
2 Marcus Ericsson +0.0974
3 Santino Ferrucci +0.5273
4 Alex Palou +0.7638
5 Alexander Rossi + 0.9934
6 Scott Dixon +1.4316
7 Takuma Sato +1.5770
8 Conor Daly +1.8855
9 Colton Herta +2.2248
10 Rinus VeeKay +3.2648
11 Ryan Hunter-Reay +3.4223
12 Callum Ilott +4.0470
13 Devlin DeFrancesco +4.7432
14 Scott McLaughlin +5.0045
15 Helio Castroneves +5.4631
16 Tony Kanaan +5.7158
17 Marco Andretti +8.9800
18 Jack Harvey +1 lap
19 Christian Lundgaard +1 lap
Sting Ray Robb