Sunday marked the 98th running of the Indy 500 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The weather was absolutely beautiful (76 degrees Fahrenheit, not a cloud in the sky), and for the first three-quarters of the race, it was business as usual. Despite the absolutely insane speeds (in excess of 200 miles per hour, constantly), some find it easy to write off a race on an oval track as being less exciting as events that involve both left and right turns, as well as elevation changes. But Sunday's race proved to be a truly thrilling affair – especially the last quarter.

This year's 500 started without issue, and the first 150 of the 200-lap race were caution-free. Out of the gate, places one, two, and three were held by Chevy driver Ed Carpenter in the No. 20 car, Honda driver James Hinchcliffe in the No. 27 car, and Will Power in the Chevy-powered No. 12 car. However, it was Brazilian Helio Castroneves, in the Chevy-powered No. 3 car, who led the majority of the first half of the race – 36 of the first 100 laps.

American driver Charlie Kimball spun in Turn 2, creating the day's first yellow flag, 150 laps in. Following that, it was an all-out battle for first place, right up to the very last lap.
Indy 500
Indy 500Indy 500

Kimball spun in Turn 2, creating the day's first yellow flag, 150 laps in. Following that, it was an all-out battle for first place.

The 500's second yellow flag was waved when Scott Dixon, in the No. 9 car, hit the wall with just 40 laps to go (pictured above, top), taking him out of commission for the rest of the race. Almost immediately after restarting, Hinchcliffe made a risky, three-wide maneuver that caused him to get tangled up with pole-sitter Ed Carpenter, resulting in a crash (above, lower right). Carpenter was seen throwing his hands in the air on the track, as he confronted Hinchcliffe, reportedly calling it an "amateur" move, according to ESPN. "The moment when Hinch decided to make it three-wide was more than any of us could handle," Carpenter said. "Let's just say it was good thing he already had a concussion last week."

A red flag was flown after Townsend Bell in the No. 6 Chevy crashed into the wall at Turn 2 (above, lower left), bringing the cars to a halt in pit lane with just eight laps remaining. This, folks, is where things got interesting.

Upon restarting, Ryan Hunter-Reay in the No. 28, Honda-powered car was leading the pack, with Castroneves right on his tail. Marco Andretti in the No. 25 Honda also danced in the top three, but couldn't keep up with Hunter-Reay and Castroneves, who exchanged the lead spot several times over the last couple laps, including a particularly daring maneuver by Hunter-Reay, almost going off into the grass while darting left of Castroneves, allowing him to take the lead on the inside of the turn.

IndyCar Indy 500 Auto Racing

Hunter-Reay passed Castroneves for a final time as the two cars flew under the white flag, and it would be the American driver who would ultimately kiss the bricks (and drank the milk, as is tradition) when the race came to a close. Castroneves took second place with the second-tightest gap in Indy 500 history, Hunter-Reay only edging him out by 0.060 seconds. Andretti rounded off the top three, 0.257 seconds behind Castroneves.

"I've watched this race since I was sitting in diapers on the floor in front of the TV," Hunter-Reay said while celebrating in Victory Lane, according to ESPN. "My son did it today. He watched me here. I'm thrilled. This is American history, this race, this is American tradition."


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  • 16 Comments
      _M7_
      • 7 Months Ago
      360 Km/h + ....plus thats hell of an end....the cooles race of the day :)
      Tomob
      • 7 Months Ago
      I think the hard thing to appreciate about this race is the extreme level of concentration it takes to circle that oval at 220 MPH without putting it in the wall. Even a momentary lapse of concentration or the smallest wiggle is likely to lead to disaster. The cars are UGLY though.
      bleexeo
      • 7 Months Ago
      ABC is run by the devil. Proof of that is the Dreaded Split Screen. May they burn in Hell forever!
        Tomob
        • 7 Months Ago
        @bleexeo
        Agreed - Helio and Ryan are passing each other 4 times in the last few laps and ABC gives this action on about 20% of the available screen real-estate. It was awful. I'd be OK with a "wife/model/gf" PIP in the lower left corner, but really?
        Jonathan
        • 7 Months Ago
        @bleexeo
        I agree with your comment but they've been doing that for years. I remember the first Indy 500 I ever watched in '92 they had Unser Jr. and Goodyear's wives on split screen the whole ending.
      Mr Sled
      • 7 Months Ago
      I've been skeptical that this race, this series, would ever re-emerge from the "split". My hat is off to this new generation. Had a great time watching that race.
      carguy1701
      • 7 Months Ago
      Pretty good race, though there definitely wasn't as much passing as the last two years. Was really hoping to see Helio win his 4th 500, but congrats to Hunter-Reay for a well fought finish.
        Jonathan
        • 7 Months Ago
        @carguy1701
        I thought this year's amount of passing was "just right." In the past couple of years, passing was way too easy- you would have guys flip flopping positions at the end of consecutive straightaways. Not much strategy involved that way.
          Jason
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Jonathan
          You could actually tell Helio was backing off of the runs on the front straight as to avoid the slingshot passing that defined last year's race. The guys are figuring it out and making the racing more intelligent than before. I personally would like to see the boost turned up a bit to eliminate the late bombs into turn one, that would have never worked before (you'd both end up in the wall if the pass was started at pit exit like they do now... there is not enough difference between the turn and straight speeds at the moment). But it was good to watch and the drivers enjoyed it, which tells me it's getting back to real driving again.
      mary.keana
      • 7 Months Ago
      Congrats on another win Honda.
      MotionDesigner
      • 7 Months Ago
      Great finish. If you have a Roku or Apple TV with ESPN, you were able to get an in-car view from Marco Andretti's car and see the two drivers in front of him swapping places during the final laps. That was pretty damn cool.
      Rubiken
      • 7 Months Ago
      Well, I don't pay attention to this like I used to, and my thoughts will prove it...but it seems to me that I am seeing 33 identical cars with different paint jobs...but with different engines? As I say, it has been a long time since I have read or watched anything to do with the Indy 500. It used to be fun to catch all the different approaches to racing at this track, not so much anymore.
        Jake
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Rubiken
        Kind of like how it is boring to watch football because it is two different kinds of identical jerseys?
        Jason
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Rubiken
        Unless you are more than 50 years old I don't think I buy that as a reason for the diminished interest. Since the mid-80's there were only two, sometimes three chassis makers and engines each, and they weren't so different that most could tell them apart. You won't see revolutions in any given year anymore because long-term investment by big $$ means you can't subject people to having no chance when something shows up that is 2% faster than everything else. The new formula is to have very close competition and I think it's starting to work very well if you look at the last three races.
      Jaybird248
      • 7 Months Ago
      We need another Andy Granatelli turbine car or Colin Chapman Lotus 25 to get this thing off the spec racing dime.
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