AS IT HAPPENED
Will Power’s race went off without a spark as his No. 12 Chevy failed to start and leave the grid with the rest of the cars. He rejoined at the back of the field without issue after the car decided to fire.
Cool temperatures in the low 60s meant the cars would make ample downforce in the thicker air, and with 135,000 fans watching, the field of 33 rocketed into Turn 1 with Dixon leading Herta into Turn 1, and by Turn 3, Herta took the lead as VeeKay remained in P3. VeeKay took P2 from Dixon on Lap 2 entering Turn 3 and went after Herta, taking the lead into Turn 1 on Lap 3.
Power was charging, up to P25 from a P32 start on Lap 4.
By Lap 8, VeeKay held 0.4s on Herta and 0.9s on Dixon.
Lap 10 had a top 10 of VeeKay, Herta, Dixon, Carpenter, Kanaan, Castroneves, Hunter-Reay, Palou, Ericsson, and Rossi, 3.8s behind the Dutchman.
At the back of the field Wilson was P28 followed by Bourdais, Karam, de Silvestro, Kellett, and Chilton in P33. By Lap 12, Harvey was in P15 after starting P20.
Lap 20 had a top 10 of VeeKay, Herta, Dixon, Carpenter, a change with Castroneves taking P5 from Kanaan, Hunter-Reay, Palou, Ericsson, and Rossi, 4.0s behind the Dutchman. Simon Pagenaud demoted teammate Power from P25 to P26. On Lap 22, Hunter-Reay took P6 from Kanaan. Herta is doing an excellent job of staying close and drafting off of VeeKay. Dixon hovers between 0.4-0.9s back, doing the same.
Lap 30 had a top 10 of VeeKay, Herta, Dixon, Carpenter, Castroneves, Hunter-Reay, Kanaan, Palou, Ericsson, and Rossi, 4.7s behind the Dutchman. VeeKay was first to pit at the end of Lap 31, locking up a tire while slowing his car at the top of the lane. Carpenter was in on the next lap, the two leading Chevys, along with Hunter-Reay and Ed Jones.
By Lap 33, the majority of the field had pitted as Carpenter stalled and lost crucial time. Dixon stayed out as the caution came out for the first accident as Stefan Wilson went too fast into the pit lane, locked up and speared into the right pit wall, breaking the right-front suspension.
Dixon pitted from the lead on Lap 37 as he ran out of fuel and Castroneves inherited the lead while still needing to make his first stop. Dixon’s car refused to fire, losing a lap as it eventually started. Rossi also required an emergency stop, and dealt with the same failure to fire and delay. Once fired, Rossi nearly spun leaving his pit stall. Dixon pitted the next lap for full service and Rossi would do the same.
Lap 40 had Herta, VeeKay, Daly, Hunter-Reay, Castroneves, Palou, O’Ward, Sato, McLaughlin, and Rahal completing the top 10 under caution. The disaster for Dixon and Rossi was on display with their new homes in P31 and P32, one lap down.
Lap 47 restart sees Castroneves go ham, moving from P5 to P3 to chase VeeKay and Herta. At the back Kanaan was demoted by the series due to taking emergency service, and Hildebrand and Ericsson were there. All by Palou from Ganassi was at the back after being inside the top 10 before Wilson’s crash.
Daly reclaimed P3 from Castroneves and on Lap 50, took P2 from Herta. He took P1 from teammate VeeKay into Turn 3 on Lap 50 as well.
Lap 50 closed with a top 10 of Daly, VeeKay, Herta, Castroneves, Palou, Sato, O’Ward, Hunter-Reay, McLaughlin, and Rahal, 3.2s behind Daly.
Castroneves took P3 from Herta on Lap 55. O’Ward did the same to a weaving Sato on Lap 58, moving into P6.
Lap 60 had a top 10 of Daly, VeeKay, Castroneves, Herta, Palou, O’Ward, Sato, O’Ward, Hunter-Reay, McLaughlin, and Rahal, 3.1s behind Daly. Rossi was P31 and Dixon P32, still one lap down. Lap speeds hovered in the 217-218mph range as not much was happening in the middle of the stint.
Lap 60 had a top 10 of Daly, VeeKay, Castroneves, Herta, Palou, O’Ward, Sato, O’Ward, Hunter-Reay, McLaughlin, and Rahal, 3.1s behind Daly. Rossi was P31 and Dixon P32, still one lap down.
Castroneves improved to P2 on Lap 69 as VeeKay pitted for fuel.
Lap 70 had a top 10 of Daly, Castroneves, Herta, Palou, O’Ward, Sato, O’Ward, Hunter-Reay, McLaughlin, Rahal, and Newgarden 3.7s behind Daly. Rossi were still in P31 and Dixon P32.
Daly pitted from the lead at the end of Lap 71 as Castroneves, Herta, and the train behind kept motoring. Lap 76 started a big wave of pit stops for those behind the leaders. Lap 77 had Herta take the lead from Castroneves as they headed to pit lane. Castroneves’ stop was a little bit slower than Herta’s, which played out when they got back to racing and were separated by four cars.
Lap 80 had a top 10 of Rahal, Sato, Ericsson, Kanaan, Hildebrand, O’Ward, Rosenqvist, Montoya, VeeKay, and Daly as pit stops continued. Rahal pitted from the lead at the end of Lap 81. Rosenqvist’s tough season continued with the announcement of a penalty for speeding on pit lane.
Lap 83 had O’Ward taking P3 from Herta. Sato too P8 from teammate Rahal on Lap 86.
Lap 90 featured a top 10 of Daly, VeeKay, O’Ward, Herta, Hunter-Reay, Palou, Castroneves, Sato, Rahal, and Newgarden, 3.0s behind Daly.
Lap 91 saw Hunter-Reay pass teammate Herta for P4.
The halfway point, Lap 100, featured a top 10 of Daly, VeeKay, O’Ward, Hunter-Reay, Herta, Palou, Castroneves, Sato, Rahal, and Newgarden, 2.9s behind Daly. Newgarden pitted on Lap 101, promoting McLaughlin to P10.
VeeKay took the lead from Daly in Turn 3 on Lap 103 as the two pitted. A slow stop for Daly with the left-rear meant VeeKay pitted with a one-car length advantage and return to the track with 20-plus. More green stops continued as leader O’Ward put Daly a lap down.
Lap 110 had a top 10 of O’Ward, Hunter-Reay, Palou, Castroneves, Rahal, Sato, McLaughlin, Jones, Karam, and Montoya, 6.2s behind O’Ward. Lap 116 saw McLaughlin return to pit lane to perform a drive-through penalty for speeding.
Leading into pit lane, Rahal stops and the car was sent before the left-rear tire was attached. He then crashed coming out of the pits in Turn 2, spinning in front of the leaders.
Palou, Castroneves, O’Ward, VeeKay, Newgarden, Hunter-Reay, Sato, Herta, Daly, Harvey were then the top 10. Rahal’s errant tire clocked Daly’s car in the nose, but Daly’s machine appeared to be mostly unscathed.
By staying out as other pitted, Dixon was able to get his lap back and improved to P26. Rossi wasn’t as fortunate, stuck one lap arrears in P31.
Palou led the field to green on Lap 126 but Castroneves took P1 entering Turn 1. O’Ward was next, pushing Palou to P3. Lap 127 saw O’Ward take the lead in Turn 3. Palou returned the favor on Palou into Turn 1 on Lap 130.
Lap 130 had a top 10 of O’Ward, Palou, Castroneves, VeeKay, Newgarden, Hunter-Reay, Herta, Pagenaud, Sato, Daly, and Harvey.
Palou was on the move again, claiming P1 from O’Ward on Lap 131 into Turn 3. Castroneves took P2 from O’Ward the following lap. An off-strategy Newgarden pitted on Lap 137.
Lap 140 had a top 10 of Palou, Castroneves, O’Ward, VeeKay, Hunter-Reay, Herta, Pagenaud, Sato, Daly, and Harvey, 4.6s behind Palou. Daly dove in for service on Lap 141. A slow right-rear tire change impeded an immediate exit. VeeKay pitted on Lap 144. Dixon had risen to P22. Hunter-Reay and Herta pitted next. Pit stops continued as Lap 150 approached. The Ganassi team called Palou in from the lead after being slowed by Newgarden.
Lap 150’s top 10 was Castroneves, O’Ward, Pagenaud, Sato, Montoya, Power, Andretti, Ericsson, Ferrucci, Hinchcliffe and Rosenqvist, 11.6s back from the leader. Castroneves was in on Lap 151. O’Ward, the new leader, was in at the end of Lap 151. Power’s pit from P11 went wrong on Lap 153 as he spun and stalled while sitting backwards in Pagenaud’s pit box.
Lap 160’s top 10 was Dixon, Palou, Castroneves, O’Ward, Hunter-Reay, VeeKay, Sato, Herta, Pagenaud, and Newgarden, 14.5s behind the leader. Dixon pitted on Lap 163 with a goal of making it to the finish without another stop. He resumed in P24.
Lap 170 had Castroneves take the lead from Palou, and behind them, it was Hunter-Reay, VeeKay, Herta, Sato, and others as pit stop happened and de Silvestro spun on pit lane and remained there. Newgarden also stopped. Castroneves pitted from the lead on Lap 173. Palou was in at the end of the lap as Hunter-Reay locked a brake and sailed past O’Ward in avoidance. Castroneves passed Palou on Lap 176. Hunter-Rear would lose a lap after being called in for a pit lane speeding violation. He’d resume in P27, a lap down.
Lap 180 had Palou move ahead of Castroneves as others ahead needed to pit. Castroneves passed Palou on Lap 183 as Rosenqvist, Hildebrand, and Sato held P1-3 while needing to make their final stops. Palou went back ahead of Castroneves on Lap 184 with O’Ward behind the Brazilian. Castroneves went past Palou on Lap 186 into Turn 1 and Palou went back in front in Turn 3.
Lap 190 had Rosenqvist, Sato, Palou, Castroneves, O’Ward, Pagenaud, McLaughlin, Carpenter, Karam, and Montoya in the top 10. It’s on.
Dixon is in P15, but is running super slow to save fuel and falling back.
Lap 194 and Helio takes the lead from Palou as Sato pits from P1. Palou goes to P1 on Lap 196. Palou sets the fastest lap of the race on Lap 197 with a 225.931mph. Another pit lane drive-through for Rosenqvist.
Castroneves takes the lead into Turn 1 on Lap 199! Big traffic ahead of them entering the last lap….
HELIO CASTRONEVES AND MEYER SHANK RACING HAVE WON THE INDY 500!