INDIANAPOLIS — Marcus Ericsson emerged victorious to claim the first Indianapolis 500 win of his career.
It wasn’t without drama for the Chip Ganassi Racing driver. With just laps to go, Jimmie Johnson, racing in his first Indy 500, crashed at Turn 2. This resulted in the race being red flagged and setting the stage for a crucial restart.
Ericsson, who had started fifth, had a solid lead over the field and seemed poised to ride to victory until Johnson’s fall. At the restart he held off a fierce challenge from Pato O’Ward to take the checkered flag.
The Swedish driver said he “couldn’t believe” the red flag came out. Even more surreal? Win the race.
“I can’t believe it,” he said of the win. “I’m so happy.”
He is the second Swedish rider to win the race. Kenny Brack was the other.
Even towards the end, fans saw more drama as Sage Karam fell as Ericsson crossed the finish line.
Dixon falls short
Scott Dixon, the polesitter, ran strong all day but a late pit speed violation ended his hopes of a second Indy 500 win. Dixon was essentially a spectator in the final laps of the race after a penalty was imposed.
He found little solace in becoming the all-time lap leader in Indianapolis 500 history during the race.
“I just screwed it up,” admitted a dejected Dixon after the race.
The Iceman finished 21st after leading for most of the day.
Round 2 claims VeeKay, Ilott
Turn 2 proved to be a bane for some drivers.
The first caution came on lap 38 and affected rider Rinus VeeKay, who started from third position and ran strong for much of the 500.
Flames could be seen when his car crashed into the wall at Turn 2. VeeKay said the car “loosened” and was “upset” that his day ended like this. He walked away unharmed and told reporters he was “fine” after being checked up at the medical center.
The second serious crash was for rookie Callum Ilott, who also crashed at Turn 2. The crash brought out the second warning flag of the race and cost Alex Palou a lot of money. Palou lost his position because he had to make an emergency stop to get gas.
After the restart, fan favorite Conor Daly took the lead before Dixon passed him to retake the lead.
Grosjean out, Herta’s mechanical problem
The third caution of the day also affected Turn 2. Rookie Romain Grosjean suffered the same fate as VeeKay and Ilott. Grosjean was the fastest rookie in the field, starting ninth. The warning flag allowed Dixon and several other drivers to pit.
At the restart, Dixon passed Daly to retake the lead. Santino Ferrucci worked his way up to fourth place, only to hand it over to Felix Rosenqvist shortly afterwards.
Colton Herta retired from the pits after 129 laps. His race team said the car had a mechanical problem which ended its day. Herta said the car “just wasn’t fast enough” and kept lashing out at him, leading to the decision to park it for the rest of the day.
Herta fell during Friday practice on Carb Day. It seemed like his team couldn’t recover. He had qualified for Andretti Autosport as 25th.
Problems in Turn 3 for McLaughlin
The fourth caution was for Scott McLaughlin. The Team Penske rider crashed at Turn 3 and was the fourth rider of the race to retire due to contact. McLaughlin qualified 26th.
He said a gust of wind surprised him and led to the crash.
Unofficial Indy 500 results:
- Marcus Ericsson (winner)
- Pato O’Ward
- Tony Kanaan
- Felix Rosenqvist
- Alexander Rossi
- Conor Daly
- Helio Castroneves
- Simon Pagenaud
- Alex Palou
- Santino Ferrucci
- Juan Pablo Montoya
- JR Hildebrand
- Joseph Neugarten
- Graham Rahal
- David Malukas
- Kyle Kirwood
- Ed Zimmerman
- Devlin DeFrancesco
- Christian Lundgard
- Scott Dixon (polesitter)
- Marco Andretti
- Sage Karam
- Jack Harvey
- Takuma Sato
- Dalton Kellett
- Stephen Wilson
- Jimmie Johnson (retired due to contact)
- Scott McLaughlin (retired due to contact)
- Colton Herta (retired due to mechanical problem)
- Romain Grosjean (retired due to contact)
- Callum Ilott (retired due to contact)
- Rinus VeeKay (retired due to contact)
https://fox2now.com/indy-500/marcus-ericsson-wins-the-106th-indianapolis-500/ “I can’t believe it”: Marcus Ericsson wins Indy 500