Newgarden beats O’Ward for back-to-back wins

Despite a four-hour rain delay, the clouds cleared and an intense battle ended as the sun set on more than 300,000 fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Newgarden, who started third, was forced into a stirring pass on the final lap, completing a thrilling outside move around Arrow McLaren’s O’Ward in Turn 3 to win by 0.3417 seconds. He becomes the first driver to return consecutively since Helio Castroneves with Team Penske in 2001 and 2002.

O’Ward, who held off several late runs before putting in an effort of his own to take the lead at Turn 1 on the final lap, was only able to sit down with his helmet in hand after finishing second.

2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing managed to climb from 20th to third place, ahead of Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi in fourth, with two-time defending series champion Alex Palou IndyCar, fifth.

The 200-lap race featured 16 different leaders, with pole sitter Scott McLaughlin leading a record 66 before finishing sixth.

The battle for victory heated up when Newgarden caught Dixon with 24 laps to go, who found himself at the front of the group with both positioned ahead of Rossi and O’Ward.

Dixon showed signs of struggling as O’Ward passed him for third with 13 laps remaining before Turn 1, behind Newgarden and Rossi. Newgarden held the lead with 10 to go, with Rossi, O’Ward, Dixon and Kyle Kirkwood in the top five.

Patricio O’Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

O’Ward made a late move on Rossi entering Turn 1 for second with seven laps remaining, then caught and passed Newgarden with five laps remaining, only for Newgarden to fight back to regain the lead.

O’Ward fell back several times despite his points over Newgarden, placing second behind the white flag.

The Mexican went to the outside of Newgarden exiting Turn 4 and took the lead into Turn 1. Newgarden then made a strong exit from Turn 2 as the two went wheel to wheel and made an outside pass into turn 3 to charge. to victory.

In a race with high attrition, Tom Blomqvist triggered a multi-car crash on the opening lap that brought together 2022 Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and Pietro Fittipaldi.

Despite a promising charge from 13th to second, Colton Herta’s sixth Indy 500 appearance came to an abrupt end after a crash in Turn 1 on Lap 88.

Although the incident was similar to Blomqvist’s, Herta, who was behind leader McLaughlin, never touched the inside curb before losing his No. 26 Andretti Global Honda. Despite being pushed back to the garage, Herta returned just after the halfway point, several laps down.

Will Power’s charge ended on Lap 147 with a violent crash in Turn 2. His No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet was running around the outside of Ed Carpenter Racing rookie Christian Rasmussen in Turn 1 when the rear broke and collided with the wall.

Kyle Larson finished 18th, but had to miss the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 due to start delays at the Indy 500, depriving him of a true attempt at “The Double.”

Indy 500 – Race Results

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