Simon Pagenaud wins his first Indy 500
INDIANAPOLIS — Simon Pagenaud has won his first Indianapolis 500, making an audacious pass of Alexander Rossi before taking the white flag and holding off the hard-charging driver from Andretti Autosport.
Pagenaud’s victory after an incredible duel with Rossi completed a sweep of the Month of May for him. He came into the season trying to hang onto his job with Team Penske, and a brazen move near the end of the Indianapolis Grand Prix gave him a win two weeks ago.
His latest win gave team owner Roger Penske his 18th victory in his 50th year at the track.
Takuma Sato was third, Josef Newgarden fourth and defending champion Will Power was fifth.
Previous updates from the race (all times Eastern) continue below:
Graham Rahal and Sebastien Bourdais brought out the red flag with 23 laps to go in the Indianapolis 500 when they touched wheels down the backstretch and triggered a heavy five-car wreck.
Felix Rosenqvist, Charlie Kimball and Zach Veach also were involved.
Rahal had gone low to pass Bourdais when he got squeezed heading into Turn 3, and the brief touch of tires sent both into the fence. Rahal already was gesturing wildly at Bourdais before the cars came to rest next to each other, and he quickly jumped from his car to get in his face.
James Hinchcliffe neatly avoided the wreck, slipping through a crack between sliding cars as his spotter shared rapid-fire guidance over the radio.
Chris Minot, a crew member with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, has been transferred to Indiana University Methodist Hospital for evaluation of a leg injury.
He was injured when rookie Jordan King hit him along pit lane.
Minot initially was taken to the track’s infield medical center and then was transported to the nearby hospital.
Minot’s injury was the only one stemming from a series of pit-lane miscues, which included defending champion Will Power being sent to the rear of the field on a restart for hitting one of his crew members.
Simon Pagenaud headed to the pits on Lap 99 of the Indianapolis 500, leaving local boy Ed Carpenter in the lead as the race hit the midway point and became official.
Most of the drama so far has been on pit road.
Helio Castroneves was penalized for hitting James Davison, Jordan King hit a crew member and Will Power bumped his own fueler on a stop. Power was ordered to the back of the field.
Pagenaud has dominated the race from the pole after leading just 36 laps total in his seven previous Indy 500 starts. But he’s been struggling with fuel mileage, which could play a factor later in the race.
Kyle Kaiser of feel-good story Juncos Racing has brought out the caution flag in the Indianapolis 500 after spinning in Turn 4 and hitting the outside wall.
Kaiser was in a higher line with Sage Karam below him and went up the track, hitting the outside wall.
The wreck came moments after Jordan King locked up entering the pits and slid into his right-front tire changer. The pit crew member was helped over the wall and checked by medical staff.
Rookies Ben Hanley and Colton Herta are already out of the race.
Hanley slowed abruptly as he detected a suspension problem before navigating his way across the 2.5-mile oval and into pit lane. The DragonSpeed team’s crew replaced the tires and sent him back onto the track but one tire was not spinning and the crew ended up pushing him back into the pit box.
Herta was the first driver out of the race. He was towed in with a gearbox problem after completing just four laps of the 200-lap race.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves was assessed a drive-through penalty after hitting James Davison on pit lane early in the race.
The Brazilian damaged Team Penske’s No. 3 car while the incident spun Davison sideways and sent a tire bouncing across pit lane. Davison’s crew pushed the car back into the proper pit box.
Pole winner Simon Pagenaud and defending race winner Will Power, both teammates of Castroneves, continued to hold the top two after 45 laps of the 200-lap race.
Rookie Colton Herta is the first driver out of the Indianapolis 500.
The 19-year-old Herta started fifth in Sunday’s race for Harding Steinbrenner Racing and hopes were high for the young driver who won at Texas.
But a gearbox problem on the fourth lap ended his day early, and he has now failed to finish any of the four races since he found victory lane.
The Indianapolis 500 has begun on time amid concerns rain might impact the 103rd running of the showcase race.
Retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the pace car, Mario Andretti was honored before the race on the 50th anniversary of his win and Simon Pagenaud started from the pole for Team Penske on the 50th anniversary of the team’s first Indy 500 start.
Colton Herta’s car rolled to a stop with smoke billowing out from the back of his car after just six laps, bringing out the first yellow flag of the race.
Mario Andretti celebrated the 50th anniversary of his only Indianapolis 500 win by receiving a new trophy: the baby Borg-Warner, which each 500 winner receives today.
When Andretti won in 1969 the baby Borg was not part of the tradition. Instead, the winners received a plaque with a photo of the winning car. Andretti’s oldest son, Michael, remembers his father hanging the plaque on an office wall in the family home.
After Mario Andretti was honored with a parade lap in a convertible just before Sunday’s race, Michael Andretti presented his father with the trophy — one Mario Andretti said he would cherish.
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