Alexander Rossi wins the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500
IndyCar rookie Alexander Rossi sensationally wins the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Except 25-year-old Californian, who was driving the Andretti Autosport #98 Honda, the man who is responsible for this historic victory is the Rossi’s race strategist Bryan Herta, who risked all with the final 36-lap run despite the predicted distance for one tank of maximum 32 laps.
Rossi managed to stretch the fuel for the last lap and won the race with 4.4975sec advantage ahead of teammate Carlos Munoz. After he crossed the finish line Rossi was out of fuel, so he was dragged to the Victory Lane. He was the first rookie winner of the Indy 500 since 2001 when Helio Castroneves won the race. This is fourth Indy 500 victory for Michael Andretti’s team.
Carlos Munoz and Josef Newgarden were fighting for the lead until the Lap 195 but they had to pit for the splash of the fuel. Everybody expected that the fight will continue after they would leave the pits, but Alexander Rossi and Bryan Herta didn’t think so. They had nothing to lose, so the decision was – let’s try. And they succeeded! Rossi was dramatically slow in the closing laps, with an average of 179.784 mph in the last lap, what is nearly 40 mph slower than the last lap of Carlos Munoz. But, it was enough to reach the finish line.
Behind two Andretti’s cars, Josef Newgarden finished third, followed by Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, JR Hildebrand, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Sebastian Bourdais and Will Power. IndyCar Series points leader Simon Pagenaud finished in 19th place. Ryan Hunter-Reay, who led the most laps (52), finished a disappointing 24th after a few problems, including a pit road incident on Lap 115 with Townsend Bell and Helio Castroneves.
The defending Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya ended the race on Lap 64, crashing into the wall exiting Turn 2. He was classified last of 33 drivers. The other drivers who crashed during the race were Sage Karam, Mikhail Aleshin, Buddy Lazier and Takuma Sato.
Video: Alexander Rossi talks about his victory