Indianapolis 500
Speedway, IN
May 26, 2024
Indianapolis 500
RACE RUNDOWN: Josef Newgarden has long been considered the best oval racer in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, and likely one of the best in the series’ history. He cemented that legacy on Sunday afternoon in the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 after winning the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” for the second consecutive year. Newgarden became the first repeat winner of the race since Helio Castroneves won in 2001 and 2002 for Team Penske. Newgarden also achieved the record-extending 20th victory in the Indianapolis 500 for car owner Roger Penske. After starting the race from the third position to help Team Penske lockout the front row, Newgarden methodically worked on the handling of his No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Chevrolet over the majority of the race to set himself up for when it mattered the most. Over the last 25 laps of the 200-lap event, Newgarden, Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward threw punches and counterpunches at each other at over 220 mph with the race inevitably roaring to a last-lap pass for the win. That is exactly what the fans that stuck through the heavy rain earlier in the day were treated to when Newgarden – seemingly left with no more moves after O’Ward raced around him on the last lap – kept his foot to the floor in the third corner of the final lap to move back around the No. 5 Chevrolet and race to the checkered flag. For Newgarden, it is the 30th win in an illustrious career that now counts two Indianapolis 500 wins and two series championships among his accolades. 

NEWGARDEN’S THOUGHTS: “I knew we could win this race again; it was just a matter of getting it right. There’s no better way to win a race than that. I got to give it up to Pato (O’Ward) as well. He’s an incredibly clean driver. It takes two people to make that work. It’s not just a good pass, it’s also someone that you’re working with that’s incredibly clean. I have to give hat’s off to Pato (O’Ward). He could have easily won this race, too, but it just fell our way. I’m just so proud of everybody. I’m proud of this Shell Powering Progress team. Everyone that partners with us, Team Chevy. Just a great day.”
RACE RUNDOWN: Scott McLaughlin led a race-high 64 laps in the No. 3 Pennzoil Chevrolet in Sunday’s 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 before finishing sixth, his career-best finish in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” The New Zealander started the 200-lap race from the pole position – his first Indianapolis 500 pole position and 19th for Team Penske – as he looked to become the second Kiwi to win the race. McLaughlin was able to maintain his track position at the front of the field through the first 150 laps, routinely overcoming differing pit strategies with powerful passes back to the lead after several restarts. Unfortunately, a Lap 147 caution period saw him get shuffled further back in the pack than he had been previously following a trip to pit lane. The ensuing restart saw McLaughlin lose a few more positions before settling in at the back of the top 10. On the strength of his Chevrolet, McLaughlin was able to fight his way back through the field to the sixth position before running out of laps.  

MCLAUGHLIN’S THOUGHTS: “I am happy to be frustrated with a sixth-place finish in the biggest race in the world. This Pennzoil Chevrolet was definitely good enough to win the race. I think we showed that to everyone, but you need a bit of good fortune to win the Indianapolis 500. To run up front and lead the most laps was a big step in my Indianapolis 500 career. Everyone at Team Penske and Chevrolet worked tirelessly to make sure we were in the game this month, and I can’t thank them enough. Congratulations to Josef and the No. 2 team. To do something that hasn’t been done since 2002 is unbelievable.”
RACE RUNDOWN: Will Power started second and finished 24th in Sunday’s 108th edition of the Indianapolis 500. Following a relatively dry couple of weeks in the Midwest, rain forced a four-hour delay of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Once the track conditions were dry and racing got underway – the 2018 champion of the 500 settled into second place behind Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin. Power made his first stop on lap 25 for four tires and fuel. Differing strategies would see Power restart ninth. Unfortunately, the Australian veteran would struggle with the balance of the Verizon Chevrolet and would fall as low as 15th on lap 41. Power and crew would make improvements to the balance of the Verizon Chevrolet and the two-time INDYCAR champion would begin to work his way back toward the top 10. Unfortunately – with just 55 laps remaining, Power would contact the outside wall in Turn 1 ending a day that was both promising and challenging. 

POWER’S THOUGHTS: “Not the day we had in mind for the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet team. We just could never get the car to where it was comfortable. Not sure if that had to do with all of the rain we had earlier in the day that washed the rubber off the track, but we’ll go back and look at it at the shop. We definitely wanted to capitalize on our strong qualifying position, but we were fortunate that there was a lot of attrition so we didn’t take a big hit in points. Josef and the No. 2 team deserve a big congratulations for winning back-to-back Indy 500s. That is quite an accomplishment.”