Josef Newgarden held off Marcus Ericsson in a one-lap battle to win the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. Newgarden, leading just five of the 200 circuits in his No. 2 Chevrolet with Shell Powering Progress as the sponsor, served Team Penske their 19th Indianapolis 500 victory.
“Just so thankful to be here. You have no idea! I started out as a kid in the crowd” said an emotional Josef Newgarden to NBC. “This place – it’s amazing! Regardless of where you’re sitting. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a car, you’re working on it, or you’re out in the crowd, you’re a part of this event and the energy.”
Team owner Roger Penske spoke with NBC after earning his 19th Indianapolis 500 victory as an owner.
“What a great day. All these wonderful fans. For us, to get number 19 racing my guy Chip Ganassi, my best friend in this business, terrific effort by Josef,” said Penske. “Tim Cindric called a perfect race. I’ll never forget it.”
Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson took home the runner-up by sitting just 0.0974 seconds behind Newgarden. Ericsson was the leader when the field went back green in a one-lap dash to the checkered. The driver of the No. 8 Huski Ice Spritz Honda had strong opinions regarding the red flag to force a one-lap shootout.
“I feel like it was an unfair and dangerous end to the race,” Ericsson told NBC. “I don’t think it was enough laps to do what we did. We’ve never done a restart right out of the pits where we don’t get the tires up to temperature.”
Santino Ferrucci rounded out the podium at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The driver from Connecticut earned his first career podium finish after starting fourth in his No. 14 Homes For Our Troops Chevrolet.
Newgarden scored his first Indianapolis 500 victory and his 27th career INDYCAR win. Afterward, he ran into the crowd to celebrate amongst the fans sitting in the frontstretch grandstand.
“I’ve always wanted to go into the crowd here at Indianapolis. I’ve seen people go up into the fence – I wanted to go through the fence and celebrate with the people,” Newgarden later said.
Pole winner Alex Palou and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top five.
Taking home top 10 finishes were Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato, Conor Daly, Colton Herta, and Rinus VeeKay.
Five cautions slowed the 500-mile race with three red flag periods.
The first caution came out just shy of halfway on lap 92 for Sting Ray Robb in turn one. Driving the No. 51 entry, Robb finished 31st out of 33 cars as a result of this crash.
The race went green over the next 51 laps until Romain Grosjean brought out the yellow with 50 to go in turn two. Grosjean fell out of the race and finished 30th.
With 15 laps to go, Felix Rosenqvist and Kyle Kirkwood made contact to bring out the third yellow flag of the day in turn two. During the crash, a wheel from one of the cars came off and flew over the catch fence damaging a parked car and settling down on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway golf course outside of the facility. Kirkwood’s car ended up upside down and slid down the track before coming to a stop.
INDYCAR later reported that one fan was taken to the infield care center as a result of debris from the incident and released. Luckily the tire that flew over the catch fence did not injure any workers or spectators.
Rosenqvist, leader of 33 circuits, finished 27th while Kirkwood finished 28th.
Both drivers were evaluated and released.
On lap 193, Pato O’ward, Simon Pagenaud, and Agustin Canapino came together in turn three to draw the fourth yellow flag of the race. O’Ward, leader of the most laps of 39, finishes 24th. Pagenaud takes home 25th while Canapino finished 26th in his debut.
With four to go, Ed Carpenter and Benjamin Pedersen came together on a restart to draw the fifth and final caution of the race. The two drivers finished 20th and 21st respectively.
The race had 52 lead changes and 14 leaders with an average speed of 168.193 mph.
The series heads to Detroit for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on June 4th. Fans can catch the event live on NBC or INDYCAR Radio at 3:00 p.m. ET.