These Are the 5 Most Exhilarating Moments of the 2019 Indianapolis 500

From flipping out on pit lane to pure elation after the checkered flag, there was drama of all sorts at The Brickyard on Sunday.

byCaleb Jacobs| PUBLISHED May 27, 2019 8:00 AM
These Are the 5 Most Exhilarating Moments of the 2019 Indianapolis 500

Greatness tends to expose itself at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as it did on Sunday during the Indy 500's 103rd official running. Team Penske veteran Simon Pagenaud walked away covered in milk with a wreath 'round his neck after a battle with Andretti Autosport's Alexander Rossi—winner of the 2016 Indy 500—redeeming himself after years of hard luck at IMS. And while Pagenaud was the hero at the end of 200 laps, there were plenty of other drivers who filled the race with pizzazz and charisma.

From wild on-track passes to passion-sparked enragement, IndyCar put on the most exhilarating show on a day full of racing from Formula 1 as well as NASCAR.

We've compiled the top five moments from the Memorial Day Weekend classic, and you can find them here:

Alexander Rossi's Disastrous Pit Stop

In pursuit of his second Indy 500 victory, Rossi was in hot pursuit of polesitter and eventual race winner Pagenaud. An all-out fight left him needing tires and fuel on l ap 138, but as Rossi pulled into his pit box, there were issues with the fuel probe that led to a 20-plus-second stop.

Rossi, a typically calm and collected driver, lashed out with hand gestures and slapped the steering wheel in frustration. It seemed as if all his work over the last stint had been undone, but a timely caution helped a bit with damage control before a red flag on lap 180.

Rossi Blocked by Oriol Servia Going Into Turn 1

Rossi had charged his No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda to the front pack once again despite his pit stop woes and was fighting traffic when perhaps the race's most electric moment took place. As the Californian went to pass Oriol Servia, who was a lap down in his No. 77 Honda, he was blocked and nearly slammed into the wall.

As Rossi pulled beside Servia going into Turn 1, he let the Spaniard know how upset he was, further elaborating in a post-race press conference. 

"It was one of the most disrespectful things I've ever seen in a race car, to be squeezed into the wall at 230 miles per hour," Rossi explained. "It's unacceptable for him and it's unacceptable that IndyCar let it happen."

Graham Rahal Confronts Sebastien Bourdais After Late-Race Collision

Rahal had been consistently moving toward the front of the field after starting in P17 with a quick and stable Honda Indy car underneath him. He was putting heavy pressure on Sebastien Bourdais when he attempted to sneak inside near Turn 3 on lap 180; however, Bourdais closed the door and the two made contact, sending them both into the wall. Cars further back also felt the pain as a handful of entries crashed out in the process, leading to a momentum-turning red flag.

Rahal exited the car after showing his anger mid-crash, going directly to Bourdais and likely saying a few choice words. A swift smack to Bourdais' helmet reiterated Rahal's emotions sparked by the end of what he expected to be a productive day.

Pagenaud and Rossi Trade Blows in the Closing Laps

When the green flag flew once again on lap 186, it was a two-way fight for first between Pagenaud and Rossi—Turn 1 was a hot-spot for decisive moves, as was the exit of Turn 4 heading down the front straight. 

Rossi started the final 14 laps in P1 and was taking full advantage of his fresh tires and fuel. Pagenaud, though, would ultimately come out on top after making the race-deciding pass with two laps to go.

Pagenaud Parks on the Yard of Bricks to Celebrate

While the celebration of essentially every other Indy 500 has gone as planned—wear the wreath, drink the milk, and so on—Pagenaud threw everyone a curveball by parking his Chevrolet on-track atop the yard of bricks. There, he stood on top of his car and lifted his arms to the pleasure (and surprise) of the crowd. 

The Frenchman had plenty to celebrate, after all, having won his first Indy 500 and effectively solidifying his spot with Team Penske for the foreseeable future.