Josef Newgarden Wins the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on NBC, Peacock & Universo – Notes and Quotes

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden surged past Pato O’Ward on the final lap – and once again, ran into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway grandstands to celebrate with 300,000-plus fans – as he won the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in primetime on NBC, Peacock and Universo, becoming the first driver in 22 years to win the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in back-to-back years.

NBC Sports’ lead INDYCAR commentary team of Leigh Diffey (play-by-play) and analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe called NBC Sports’ broadcast of the Indy 500 alongside pit reporters Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Dave Burns, and Dillon Welch.

NBC Sports host Mike Tirico anchored coverage alongside analyst and former INDYCAR driver Danica Patrick and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who joined for pre-race coverage before departing to compete in the Coca-Cola 600. Pre-race coverage also included contributions from NBC Sports NASCAR analyst Jeff Burton and pit reporter Kim Coon.

The start of today’s race was delayed roughly four hours (green flag 4:44 p.m. ET) due to inclement weather.


Newgarden to reporter Marty Snider at the Yard of Bricks: “I love this crowd. I have to go in the crowd every time we win here. I’m always doing that. Honestly, that wore me out more than the race.”

Snider on Newgarden: “It took him 12 years to get his first Indianapolis 500. It took him 12 months to get his second.”

Bell: “As you hear the satisfaction in Newgarden’s voice, it’s from a racer, because he had to pass for the win. He had to compete for the win. It was straight-up awesome, wheel-to-wheel racing.”

Diffey: “For the first time in 22 years, a driver has won back-to-back Indy 500s and it’s Josef Newgarden! And Pato O’Ward’s heart has been broken again.”

O’Ward to reporter Dave Burns following his second-place finish: “Hard to put it into words. I’m proud of the work we did today. We recovered…some people were driving like maniacs. We had so many near race-enders and were so close again…so close…I put that car through things I never thought it was going to be able to do…somehow I came out the other side of the corner…it’s just so painful when you put so much into it and were two corners short.”

Kyle Larson (18th place) to Kevin Lee: “I would definitely love to be back next year. I feel like I learned a lot throughout the race. I made a couple of mistakes early with the restart…proud to finish, but pretty upset at myself. Just could have executed a better race and you never know what could have happened.”

Bell: “One of the most dramatic and skillful Indy 500s that I can remember…this one was a race for the ages.”


Diffey on final lap: “Josef Newgarden around the outside of Pato O’Ward! This is mind-blowing! Josef Newgarden had to wait 12 years to win it and he’s going to do it back to back! Josef Newgarden is a two-time Indy 500 winner!”

Bell on Pato O’Ward lifting into turn 3 with two laps to go: “That shocks me.”

Diffey with five laps to go: “This final stint has been fascinating – the movement, the strategy, the timing, the decision-making.”

Hinchcliffe on Kyle Larson with 19 laps to go: “He’s leading laps at the Indy 500 and that’s going to be on the resume after today.”

Bell on the racing action on Lap 138: “You have to be so careful as a driver in these situations not to get sucked into psycho. Calm down, stay big picture. You have over 60 laps to the end. Protect your car and keep it together. Don’t go overboard.”

Patrick on the Peacock Pit Box on Larson’s pit lane speeding penalty: “It was always going to be race day that was going to test him the most, being put in situations he hasn’t seen yet. There’s not a lot of pitting to do leading into this…these are the things you have to eliminate if you’re going to win the Indy 500, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to make him pretty hungry to come back again.”

Hinchcliffe on Kyle Larson’s pit lane speeding penalty: “We knew this was something they were going to have to work on…and this was their first pit stop under green flag conditions.”

Hinchcliffe on caution for Ryan Hunter-Reay on Lap 108: “A 360-degree spin through the grass in front of traffic at over 200 m.p.h. That’s a terrifying moment for a driver.”

Diffey: “That was one of the wildest rides that Ryan Hunter-Reay has ever had.”

Diffey on Lap 86 caution for Colton Herta: “What has happened for one of the pre-race favorites? And he was running in second place!”

Patrick on the Peacock Pit Box on Herta: “I’ve been thinking that Colton was due for a good day here…hard to identify exactly what happened there…he’s at this point in his career where he really needs to pull it together and eliminate mistakes because the speed was there and he was running well.”

Bell: “That is a disaster for Colton Herta.”

Hinchcliffe on Lap 58 under caution: “These guys just want to get into a rhythm and they really haven’t been able to do that. It makes things so much harder on these drivers.”

Hinchcliffe following Felix Rosenqvist’s caution on Lap 56 and potential larger issues for other cars in the field: “Something to remember – a lot of these motors went into these cars for the first time on Friday, we had two hours of running that day and conditions were quite a bit different…any change in condition, humidity, barometric pressure can really throw things off.”

Bell following Lap 28 wreck involving rookie Linus Lundqvist: “I don’t know if it’s the four-hour delay, but it is way too aggressive right now and way too gnarly for 28 laps in, the way that mid-pack is driving. I don’t know how much caffeine they had to stay jacked up for this afternoon, but in many cases, it was too much.”


Patrick on Kyle Larson: “As a driver, you are required to push the limit of comfort all of the time, to live on that edge. For him to jump from car to car so often…I’m not going to say it surprises me that he’s been this fast, but he’s definitely cut out for this job.”

Hinchcliffe: “I don’t think anybody truly understands Indy until you come here and see it in person. We talk about how it’s the biggest race in the world, the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ …I was a huge fan of this sport, but it wasn’t until I was here competing and came here on race day for the first day that I really understood the gravity of this event.”

Pre-race coverage highlights included:

Oscar-nominated actor Austin Butler and Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress Jodie Comer of the upcoming Focus Features film The Bikeriders served as the Indy 500 honorary starters. Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. served as honorary Pace Car driver, with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jordin Sparks singing the National Anthem and American Idol winner Phillip Phillips performing “God Bless America.”

NBC Sports PR