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Josef Newgarden Wins Second-Consecutive Indy 500 After Lengthy Rain Delay

America’s best open-wheel racer pulled a final-lap, final-corner move to beat Mexico’s Pato O’Ward and claim his second 500 in as many years.

Originally scheduled to start at 12:45 pm Eastern Time, the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 finally got underway at 4:35 pm after a lengthy delay. A storm system brought heavy rain and lightning into central Indiana, canceling all pre-race celebrations and forcing fans to seek shelter—though it didn’t stop some from acting silly. Though it was feared that the poor weather would force officials to run a half-distance race (101 laps instead of 200), Mother Nature ended up cooperating and a full 200 laps were raced. In the end, it was Josef Newgarden who emerged victorious for the second year in a row.

Drivers must’ve suffered from a bit of cabin fever by the time the green flag dropped, judging by the chaos that ensued on the first lap. Tom Blomqvist lost control coming out of turn one, collecting 2022 500 winner Marcus Ericsson on his way to the wall. Around the same time, Callum Ilott made a poor call and rammed his McLaren into Pietro Fittipaldi. Ilott was able to continue the race, but Fittipaldi’s day was done; his 500 only lasted less than a lap.


Racing resumed after a few laps, though the carnage continued. Marcus Armstong’s Honda simply let go, while Katherine Legge’s caught fire. The two Honda engine failures previewed a grim future for Honda Racing Corporation, with Felix Rosenqvist enduring the same fate, and race contender Colton Herta losing control of his car on lap 86 and crashing into the wall.

On lap 86, former 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay misjudged his gap to Scott Dixon and checked up on him, touching the Kiwi’s rear left tire. Hunter-Reay tried to react to it, though it was a bit late and he went into the grass, ultimately crashing and retiring from the race. Similarly, Will Power spun out shortly thereafter and his hopes of winning a second Indy 500 disappeared.

Things stabilized as the race crossed into the 100-lap mark, with the McLarens of O’Ward and Alexander Rossi leading the charge. The Chevy-powered cars of Josef Newgarden and pole-sitter Scott McLaughlin traded blows with the Papaya-orange cars, just as Dixon sneaked into the top four.

As it’s common in the 500, the last 20 laps brought drama, excitement, and the occasional “oh shit,” moments. In the end, it was Newgarden who got to drink the milk and make history with back-to-back wins. O’Ward finished second place yet again after falling victim to the American’s masterful move into Turn 4 on the final lap.

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