INDIANAPOLIS – Another Indianapolis 500 avoids the threat of rain, and the 103rd running concludes fully completed with a new face to adorn the Borg Warner Trophy, Team Penske driver, Frenchman Simon Pagenaud.
Pagenaud led 116 of the 200 lap race, only to be followed by his final laps challenger, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, who lead 22 of the race laps.
Rossi and Pagenaud led the last 15 harrowing laps following a red flag issues after Dale Coyne with Vasser-Sullivan’s Sebastien Bourdais had made contact and pressed Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal into the grass with 23 laps to go. Bourdais spun off, as did Rahal and took rookie driver for Chip Ganassi Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach and Carlin’s part-time driver, Charlie Kimball as collateral damage in the ordeal.
The race was restarted on a full-course yellow, allowing lapped traffic to pass and not hold up the rest of the racing traffic with the upcoming restart on lap 187 (with 13 laps to go).
As painstaking as the 5 laps for drivers to reorder before returning to green, the strategy proved worthwhile as Pagenaud slung past Rossi on the restart for lead again. The two switched back and forth several times, with Lap 198 lead by Rossi, and Pagenaud in a stunning pass in turn 3, leading Lap 199 and crossing for the win on lap 200.
There were 29 lead changes in total, with lap leaders including Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden (21 laps) and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon (13), who also posted the fastest lap of the race at 226.006 mph and the fastest lead lap of the race at 224.250 mph.
Three other cautions issued, one for Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta, who made contact with the wall on Lap 5, ending his race early. Lap 72 retired DragonSpeed’s inaugural entry with Ben Hanley, and Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s Marcus Ericsson made contact with the pit wall after hard braking on Lap 137.
Ed Carpenter Racing’s owner and driver Ed Carpenter was a promising contender for victory today after his qualifying 2nd for the 500 and several close attempts prior. He finished 6th.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato made up for the loss of the #15 car finishing 3rd from his 14th qualifying spot.
Surprise finishes include Andretti Autosport’s fifth entry for the race, Conor Daly, who hasn’t raced full-time in IndyCar since 2017. He would reach 4th as his highest position (and be the leading Andretti Autosport car), finishing 10th overall.
Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe, who was noted for not qualifying for the 500 last year, started from the 32nd position this year, having barely made the cut for qualifying, and improved an incredible 21 positions to finish 11th.
Most disappointing of the race was Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti, who qualified an impressive 10th for today’s race. In what was thought hopeful for perhaps a higher finish, especially with the celebrated 50th Anniversary of his grandfather, Mario Andretti’s Indy 500 win, he held tight to the back of the field, finishing 26th, as the last running car on the field.
Pagenaud’s win remains exemplary, considering his performance so far in the season leading into the Month of May. He finished 7th at St. Petersburg; 19th at the Circuit of Americas; 9th at Barber and 6th at Long Beach, which were much lower finishes than his fellow Penske teammates Will Power and Josef Newgarden. With back-to-back wins in Indianapolis, following in Power’s footsteps of last year, it looks to be a turn in Pagenaud’s direction this season.
The 103rd Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
1. #22 Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske
2. #27 Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport
3. #30 Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
4. #2 Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
5. #12 Will Power, Team Penske
6. #20 Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing
7. #19 Santino Ferrucci (R), Dayle Coyne Racing
8. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
9. #14 Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
10. #25 Conor Daly, Andretti Autosport
11. #5 James Hinchcliffe, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
12. #33 James Davison, Dayle Coyne Racing with Byrd and Belardi
13. #63 Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing
14. #21 Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing
15. #4 Matheius Leist, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
16. #39 Pippa Mann, Clauson-Marshall Racing
17. #9 Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing
18. #3 Helio Castroneves, Team Penske
19. #24 Sage Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
20. #48 JR Hildebrand, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
21. #60 Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing
22. #77 Oriol Servia, Fuel Battery Team Stange Racing w/Arrow SPM
23. #7 Marcus Ericsson (R), Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
24. #42 Jordan King (R), Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
25. #23 Charlie Kimball, Carlin
26. #98 Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian
27. Retired, #15 Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
28. Retired, #10 Felix Rosenqvist (R), Chip Ganassi Racing
29. Retired, #16 Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport
30. Retired, #18 Sebastien Bourdais, Dayle Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan
31. Retired, #32 Kyle Kaiser, Juncos Racing
32. Retired, #81 Ben Hanley (R), DragonSpeed
33. Retired, #88 Colton Herta (R), Harding Steinbrenner Racing
*Updated May 26, 2019 to include final results for the race.