Josef Newgarden repeats last year’s victory after four hours delay

Josef Newgarden has won the 108th edition of the famous Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, repeating his victory from last year. The Penske-Chevrolet driver is only the sixth driver in the history of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ to achieve this feat. Newgarden follows IndyCar legend Helio Castroneves, who last triumphed for Penske in 2001 and 2002.

Due to a thunderstorm, the more than 300,000 spectators at the track experienced a four-hour delay in the start of the race, which was supposed to have taken place at 12:45 p.m. local time. The 200-lap race ended at 7:45 p.m., or at 1:45 a.m. German time on Monday night due to the time difference.

Indy 500 2024: Summary and highlights from the race (07:54 min.)

Josef Newgarden wins Indy 500 on the last lap

Newgarden gave his Penske team its 20th victory at the Indianpolis 500 with a spectacular overtaking maneuver on the last lap: The two-time IndyCar champion prevailed on the outside of turn 4 against rival Pato O’Ward in the Arrow-McLaren. In the last eight laps, the lead changed between the two drivers four times until Newgarden finally crossed the finish line with a lead of 0.341 seconds.

For only the fourth time in the history of the US classic, the race was decided by an overtaking maneuver on the last lap. This also happened in 2023, when Newgarden overtook former Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson shortly before the end. For his repeat victory, he received an additional bonus payment of 440,000 US dollars (approx. 405,000 euros) from sponsor BorgWarner.

Newgarden wins after rule scandal in IndyCar series

The latest Indy 500 victory for the team led by US legend ‘Captain’ Roger Penske followed turbulent weeks after the team suspended both team president Tim Cindric and Newgarden’s engineer Luke Mason following a push-to-pass scandal. Jonathan Diuguid, who also heads Porsche’s Penske campaign in the WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, stepped in as a substitute.

“From this point on, they can say whatever they want, I don’t care,” Newgarden said to his critics after the rule violations were revealed. “I’m just so proud of this team. They showed everybody! Luke, Tim – they’re not here today, but they’re a big part of it. I’m just so proud of everyone on Team Penske. This is exactly how I wanted to win this thing!”

Numerous accidents at the Indy 500

The race, which started late, began turbulently with numerous accidents and seven caution phases in the first 117 of the 200 laps alone. Among others, the 2022 Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson was caught on the opening lap after a collision with former DTM driver Tom Blomqvist and racing driver’s son Pietro Fittipaldi. Colton Herta and Will Power also lost any chance of victory after early crashes.

Behind Newgarden and O’Ward, six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon in the Ganassi-Honda took third place on the podium. Alexander Rossi (Arrow-McLaren-Chevrolet) and reigning champion Alex Palou (Ganassi-Honda) completed the top five in the classification. Only 1.5 seconds separated the five best-placed drivers, although the last 46 laps were run without a caution phase.

In the last 70 laps on the oval track, the lead changed 32 times. In total, 18 of the 33 eligible drivers secured at least one lead lap. Pole-setter Scott McLaughlin (Penske-Chevrolet) led the most of all starters with 64 laps and ultimately finished the race in sixth place. Kyle Kirkwood and Santino Ferrucci followed in seventh and eighth positions.

From Indy 500 to NASCAR: Kyle Larson misses the double

On Sunday, many eyes were also on Kyle Larson, who was preparing to achieve the rare ‘The Double’: first competing in the Indy 500 and immediately afterwards competing in the NASCAR race in Charlotte at the Coca-Cola 600.

The four-hour delay in Indianapolis put a stop to this ambitious plan. Larson finished the Indianapolis 500 in 18th place after a penalty and flew to the track in Charlotte, but was unable to take part in the NASCAR race: the Coca-Cola 600 was canceled early due to a storm. Larson was supposed to take over the Chevrolet from Justin Allgaier, who was in 13th place when the race was canceled.

IndyCar, Indy 500, Newgarden, Penske
Indy 500 winner 2023 and 2024: Josef Newgarden, photo: LAT Images

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