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Beginning Friday May 12th we will have day to day coverage of the 2023 gmR grand prix and the indianapolis 500

The agonizing wait and nagging questions finally are over for Josef Newgarden.

Two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Newgarden passed reigning Indianapolis 500 by Gainbridge winner Marcus Ericsson on the last lap to snare his first career victory in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on Sunday at a packed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Newgarden, from Nashville, Tennessee, earned his spot on the Borg-Warner Trophy and in racing immortality in his 12th career “500” start, extending Team Penske’s event record to 19 victories in the race.

Newgarden, who started 17th, passed Ericsson on the back straightaway with an outside move just before Turn 3 and snaked down the front straightaway to victory in the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet. Ericsson, driving the No. 8 Huski Ice Spritz Honda fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing, fell just .0974 of a second short of becoming the first repeat winner since Helio Castroneves in 2002. It was the fourth-closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history.

SEE: Race Results

“Everyone just kept asking me why I haven’t won this race,” Newgarden said. “They looked at you like you’re a failure if you don’t win it. I wanted to win it so bad. I knew we could. I knew we were capable. It’s a huge team effort, as everybody knows. I’m so glad to be here.”

After his cooldown lap, Newgarden went into the packed front grandstands to celebrate with fans. He disappeared into a joyous throng of humanity before re-emerging to reap congratulations from his family and Team Penske crew at the Yard of Bricks start-finish line. 

Santino Ferrucci finished third in the No. 14 Homes For Our Troops Chevrolet. It was the best “500” finish for AJ Foyt Racing since Eliseo Salazar also finished third in 2000.

Pole sitter Alex Palou rallied from being pinned against the pit wall by Rinus VeeKay early in the race and falling deep into the 33-car field to finish fourth in the No. 10 The American Legion Honda fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing. Palou kept the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship lead, holding a 219-199 lead over Ericsson.

2016 “500” winner Alexander Rossi rounded out the top five in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. His teammate and 2013 “500” winner Tony Kanaan finished 16th in his 22nd and final Indy 500 start in the No. 66 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, also the final INDYCAR SERIES start for the popular Brazilian.

Benjamin Pedersen was the best finisher among the four “500” rookies in the field, 21st in the No. 55 AJ Foyt Racing/Sexton Properties Chevrolet after being eliminated from the race in a late, multicar accident. That incident triggered the last of the event-record three competition-related red flags, all in the last 15 laps of the race.

The scintillating finish came in a one-lap showdown for victory after the third red flag. Pedersen, the No. 33 Bitnile.com Chevrolet of Ed Carpenter and the No. 24 DRR Cusick CareKeepers Chevrolet of Graham Rahal were collected in a chain-reaction collision on a Lap 196 restart after the second red flag.

After the cleanup for that incident, the remaining running cars returned to the track from pit lane on Lap 199 behind the hardtop convertible Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Pace Car, which peeled off the track at the end of that lap to create the last-lap dash for glory.

Ericsson got a big jump on the restart with the green and white flags in the air atop the flag stand and led in Turns 1 and 2 on the 2.5-mile oval. But Newgarden gained ground in Turn 2 and darted to the outside on the back straightaway with the crowd of more than 300,000 on its feet in rapture.

Newgarden powered past Ericsson and was able to clear his rival just before entering Turn 3. It appeared Ericsson looked to return the favor on the front straight, but Newgarden used the same snaking driving maneuver to hold off Ericsson that the Swede used last year to parry Pato O’Ward and earn his first “500” victory. Today was only the third time in Indy 500 history a driver used a last-lap pass to win.

“I was just trying to stay locked in,” Newgarden said. “I was emotional the last 10 laps because I knew we were in a position to fight for this win at the end. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew it was going to come to some last-lap shootout like it always is these days, which is exciting but stressful for us.”

Newgarden only led five laps, taking the top spot for the first time for one lap during pit stop cycles on Lap 157. He climbed into the lead for the second time, with all pit stops done, on Lap 193 when a crash between the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet of Pato O’Ward, the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda of 2019 “500” winner Simon Pagenaud and the No. 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet of rookie Augustin Canapino triggered the second red flag.

Ericsson grabbed the lead from Newgarden on a breathtaking three-wide restart also involving Ferrucci on Lap 196 that was truncated quickly by the incident involving Carpenter, Pedersen and Rahal, setting up the final showdown.

Swedish driver Ericsson expressed dismay with the late red flag and one-lap showdown, hoping instead the race would end under caution with him out front.

“I think we did everything right today,” Ericsson said. “I’m proud of the No. 8 crew and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. I think I did everything right behind the wheel. I did an awesome last restart. I think I caught Josef completely off guard and got the gap and kept the lead into Turn 1.

“I just couldn’t hold it on the back. I was flat. I just couldn’t hold it.”

O’Ward led a race-high 39 laps, one of 14 different drivers to lead today. There were 52 lead changes, the third-highest total in Indianapolis 500 history.

Newgarden will split $20,000 with Team Penske and his chosen charities, SeriousFun Children’s Network and Wags and Walks Nashville, for his victory as part of the PeopleReady Force For Good Challenge.

The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES race is the Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit presented by Lear on Sunday, June 4 on a new circuit on the streets of Detroit. Live coverage starts at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.


 
Historical and event notes from the 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

Josef Newgarden

  • This was the first career Indianapolis 500 victory for Josef Newgarden in his 12th career “500” start. His previous-best finish was third in 2016 for Ed Carpenter Racing. Newgarden joined Team Penske in 2017. Newgarden tied 1957 winner Sam Hanks and 2013 winner Tony Kanaan for the most starts before winning in event history.
  • Josef Newgarden became the first Tennessee native to win the Indianapolis 500. He is a native of Nashville.
  • Team Penske earned its 19th Indianapolis 500 victory, extending its event record.
  • Josef Newgarden started 17th, the lowest starting position for an Indianapolis 500 winner since Ryan Hunter-Reay triumphed from 19th on the starting grid in 2014.
  • This is the third time a driver has won the Indianapolis 500 from the 17th starting position. The others: Eddie Cheever in 1998 and Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose in 1941.
  • Josef Newgarden led five laps. The only winners to lead fewer laps were Joe Dawson, who led two in 1912, and Dan Wheldon, who led one lap in 2011.
  • Josef Newgarden is the first American driver to win the Indianapolis 500 since Alexander Rossi in 2016.
  • Josef Newgarden made the most significant position advancement in the field today, 16 positions, to claim his Indianapolis 500 victory.
  • Josef Newgarden is the ninth driver to win the Indianapolis 500 at age 32. The last was Dan Wheldon in 2011.
  • This is the 10th Indianapolis 500 victory for car No. 2. The last came in 2015, with Juan Pablo Montoya winning for Team Penske.
  • This is the first Indianapolis 500 win for Chevrolet since Simon Pagenaud in 2019, Team Penske’s last Indy 500 victory before today.
  • Fourteen different drivers led at least one lap today, tying with 2013 for the second-highest total in “500” history. The record is 15 drivers in 2017 and 2018.
  • There were 52 lead changes, the third-highest total in “500” history. The record is 68 in 2013, followed by 54 in 2016.
  • The margin of victory was .0974 of a second, the fourth-closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history. Top three: 1992 – .043 of a second Al Unser Jr. over Scott Goodyear; 2014 – .0600 of a second Ryan Hunter-Reay over Helio Castroneves; 2006 – .0635 of a second Sam Hornish Jr. over Marco Andretti.
  • This is only the third time the Indianapolis 500 has been decided by a last-lap pass. The other two times: 2006: Sam Hornish (Team Penske) passed Marco Andretti on the front straightaway; 2011: Dan Wheldon passed JR Hildebrand on the front straightaway.
  • This is the ninth time the reigning Indianapolis 500 winner finished second the following year, with 2022 winner Marcus Ericsson placing second today. The last winner to finish runner-up the year after a win was Helio Castroneves in 2003.
  • Santino Ferrucci finished third, his best career Indianapolis 500 result. His previous best was fourth in 2020. Ferrucci has finished in the top 10 in all five of his career “500” starts.
  • Santino Ferrucci’s third-place finish was the best Indianapolis 500 result for AJ Foyt Racing since Eliseo Salazar also finished third in 2000.
  • This is the first Indianapolis 500 with three competition-related red flags, not related to weather.
  • Benjamin Pedersen was the top-finishing rookie today, in 21st place.
  • Helio Castroneves climbed to second place in Indianapolis 500 career miles completed at 10,995, trailing only A.J. Foyt, who has 12,272.5 career miles.
  • Helio Castroneves completed the full 500-mile distance for the 17th time in his Indianapolis 500 race career, extending his race record. He has been running at the end of the race in 21 of 23 career starts.
  • A record six former winners led the 2023 Indianapolis 500, surpassing the prior race record of five set in 1980, 1981 and 1993. The six former winners to lead today: Marcus Ericsson, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, Will Power and Helio Castroneves.
  • There were 11 lap leaders who finished on the lead lap, beating the event record of nine, set in 2011.

Tony Kanaan
Tony Kanaan ended his NTT INDYCAR SERIES career as a driver exactly as it began: battling Helio Castroneves.

The two Brazilians that competed against each other in go-karts as kids four decades ago once again went wheel-to-wheel, but this was for 15th in the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday.

In the end, Castroneves was able to squeeze out a top-15 finish in the No. 06 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda, while the No. 66 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet of Kanaan crossed the finish line 16th.

“I told the guys before we started, it was either going to be a win, or anything apart from the win we were going to celebrate, regardless,” Kanaan said. “I think I would do a disgrace to almost 400,000 people that were there that made me feel the way they did to say I'm sad. I had a laugh. Helio and I battling for 15th and 16th on the last lap like we're going for the lead. It was like, ‘Who's playing pranks with us?’

“We both went side by side on the backstretch after the checker and we saluted with each other, and I just told him actually I dropped a tear because of that, and he said, ‘I did, too.’

“It was a good day for me, man. What can I say? We cried on the grid.”

While the result was far from what Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 winner, wanted in his 22nd and final start in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” sharing that moment with his longtime friend and rival Castroneves will leave a lasting memory.

“That's what's ironic,” Kanaan said. “We started it in '87, and the last lap of the race we're actually battling -- my last race in INDYCAR, and we're battling like it was for the lead.

“But I wouldn't have it any different, neither to him.”

Rugged Day for Arrow McLaren

It only took nine laps for Arrow McLaren’s day to unravel.

Alexander Rossi delivered a respectable fifth-place finish for the organization, but there was undoubtedly more left on the table.

After starting on the outside of Row 1 in third, Felix Rosenqvist remained a contender for most of the race, with his No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet leading 33 laps. Running in the top five after 183 of 200 laps, the Swede got caught out in Turn 1 as Josef Newgarden made a high-line dive and ended up into the wall, collecting Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood in the No. 27 AutoNation Honda. Rosenqvist finished 27th.

“I got on the wrong side of the wake and just pushed, pushed, pushed, pushed and then I almost got it, but the rear came out right before the exit of the corner and then I just hit the wall,” Rosenqvist said. “I tried to stay up there, but eventually after something broke in the rear and I just came back on the track and unfortunately, Kyle hit me. So, very unfortunate for him, as well.”

Disappointment was magnified when Pato O’Ward, who led a race-high 39 laps in the No. 5 Chevrolet-powered entry, crashed just nine laps later in Turn 3 while battling with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson for second. The Mexican was left fuming with how he was raced by last year’s “500” winner.

“I just think I was a little too nice there,” O’Ward said. “I just feel so bummed for the team. We had four very fast race cars. Now, there's only two in the race. There was seven laps to go. I was going to be going for it. Yeah, that was really way too nice. Next time, he comes with me.”

Then O’Ward added, “I got onto an apron to give him room. I got squeezed, and yeah, I won't forget that.”

Dixon Nets Solid Points Despite Frustrating ‘500’

Scott Dixon wasn’t in the fight for the victory like in previous years at IMS, but the tenacity to maximize the performance was certainly there.

Dixon wanted more than a sixth-place finish, and while it might not look spectacular at first glance, it was a strong, under-the-radar type of result. He was fourth on the opening lap after starting sixth in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. However, the first pit stop on Lap 26 couldn’t come soon enough as he was dealing with an ill-handling car and came out running 32nd.

While progress was slow and methodical, he navigated his way forward but didn’t quite have the same pace as his teammates Ericsson and pole sitter Alex Palou, who recovered from a mid-race collision on pit road to finish fourth. Dixon went on to record his fifth top-10 finish through six races this season.

“We just struggled with like speed all day,” Dixon said. “The first set of tires, whatever happened, but it just screwed us. It went so loose and the vibration 15 or 20 laps in was undrivable. So, we're not really sure what happened then because then we had never had it any other since. That put us in a pretty deep hole, man. We were 26th or something at one point. We just struggled with balance. One minute we were understeering, next minute we were loose again. I don't know if we were under downforce, just didn't seem to have enough grip.”

Visibly upset with the lack of pace, there was still some solace in gathering good points for the six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion.

“Obviously, a lot better than the last couple of years, that's for sure,” said Dixon, noting results of 17th (2021) and 21st (2022). “Great result for the team: two, four, six, seven, but only one counts, and that's winning. It's frustrating, man, but we just weren't good enough today.”

Odds & Ends

  • Stefan Wilson left the hospital and arrived at the track on Race Day morning to surprise Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. The Briton was originally supposed to drive the team’s No. 24 DRR Cusick CareKeepers Chevrolet, but that was derailed after sustaining a vertebrae fracture in a practice crash last Monday.
  • The Willard Agajanian Watson that Parnelli Jones drove to the 1963 Indy 500 victory was driven by his grandson Jagger Jones, a rookie in INDY NXT by Firestone for Cape Motorsports, during the historic race cars laps before the race.
  • Newgarden drove for Sarah Fisher from 2012-15 to start his INDYCAR career, and it is a connection that remains ever-present: “I saw Sarah's daughter, Zoey, in Victory Circle. Actually, fun note: Zoey texted me this month and said, I just have a feeling this is your year. She's never said that before, and she was very adamant. She said, ‘I don’t know why, but this is your year.’ I've heard that from a lot of people, OK, many times, so it's hard to react to any of that stuff, but she made a good call this year. Maybe she's my good luck charm.”
  • Santino Ferrucci’s third-place finish is the highest of his INDYCAR SERIES career and best “500” finish for AJ Foyt Racing since 2000, by Eliseo Salazar.
  • Simon Pagenaud came into this year’s race having completed 2,197 of 2,200 laps in the Indy 500, which spanned 11 starts. Today, though, that near-perfect mark took a hit as a crash (finishing 25th) left him eight laps short of going the full distance. Now, he has completed 2,389 of 2,400 laps across 12 starts.
  • 2014 “500” winner Ryan Hunter-Reay finished 11th in his Indy-only run for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and said, “I hope so” when asked about returning for another shot next year.

 

 

row 1
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Alex Palou

Warmup: 222.595

Lap 1: 235.131

Lap 2: 234.399

Lap 3: 233.93

Lap 4: 233.415

4 Lap Average: 234.217


 
 
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Rinus VeeKay

Warmup: 220.089

Lap 1: 235.019

Lap 2: 234.403

Lap 3: 233.982

Lap 4: 233.444

4 Lap Average: 234.211


 
 
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Felix Rosenqvist

Warmup: 219.484

Lap 1: 234.602

Lap 2: 234.233

Lap 3: 233.93

Lap 4: 233.693

4 Lap Average: 234.114


Row 2

 
 
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Santino Ferrucci

Warmup: 215.755

Lap 1: 234.332

Lap 2: 233.778

Lap 3: 233.288

Lap 4: 233.249

4 Lap Average: 233.661


 
 
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Pato O'Ward

Warmup: 219.148

Lap 1: 233.756

Lap 2: 233.49

Lap 3: 232.962

Lap 4: 232.43

4 Lap Average: 233.158


 
 
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Scott Dixon

Warmup: 221.344

Lap 1: 234.184

Lap 2: 233.135

Lap 3: 232.808

Lap 4: 232.483

4 Lap Average: 233.151


Row 3

 
 
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Alexander Rossi

Warmup: 219.667

Lap 1: 234.041

Lap 2: 233.559

Lap 3: 233.013

Lap 4: 231.84

4 Lap Average: 233.11


 
 
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Takuma Sato

Warmup: 220.58

Lap 1: 233.907

Lap 2: 233.411

Lap 3: 232.817

Lap 4: 232.262

4 Lap Average: 233.098


 
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Tony Kanaan

Warmup: 219.072

Lap 1: 234.001

Lap 2: 233.543

Lap 3: 232.967

Lap 4: 231.806

4 Lap Average: 233.076


Row 4

 
 
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Marcus Ericsson

Warmup: 219.959

Lap 1: 233.825

Lap 2: 233.272

Lap 3: 232.529

Lap 4: 231.94

4 Lap Average: 232.889


 
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Benjamin Pedersen

Warmup: 218.197

Lap 1: 233.137

Lap 2: 232.869

Lap 3: 232.657

Lap 4: 232.026

4 Lap Average: 232.671


 
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Will Power

Warmup: 218.322

Lap 1: 233.297

Lap 2: 232.518

Lap 3: 232.64

Lap 4: 232.089

4 Lap Average: 232.635


Row 5

 
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Ed Carpenter

Warmup: 217.534

Lap 1: 233.628

Lap 2: 232.396

Lap 3: 232.605

Lap 4: 232.133

4 Lap Average: 232.689


 
 
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Scott McLaughlin

Warmup: 217.063

Lap 1: 232.914

Lap 2: 232.783

Lap 3: 232.508

Lap 4: 232.506

4 Lap Average: 232.677


 
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Kyle Kirkwood

Warmup: 223.347

Lap 1: 233.476

Lap 2: 233.062

Lap 3: 232.391

Lap 4: 231.726

4 Lap Average: 232.662


Row 6

 
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Conor Daly

Warmup: 218.174

Lap 1: 233.129

Lap 2: 232.703

Lap 3: 232.153

Lap 4: 231.752

4 Lap Average: 232.433


 
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Josef Newgarden

Warmup: 216.275

Lap 1: 232.64

Lap 2: 232.379

Lap 3: 232.401

Lap 4: 232.189

4 Lap Average: 232.402


 
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Ryan Hunter-Reay

Warmup: 215.601

Lap 1: 232.445

Lap 2: 232.338

Lap 3: 232.008

Lap 4: 231.741

4 Lap Average: 232.133


Row 7

 
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Romain Grosjean

Warmup: 223.608

Lap 1: 232.58

Lap 2: 232.099

Lap 3: 231.758

Lap 4: 231.554

4 Lap Average: 231.997


 
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Helio Castroneves

Warmup: 222.271

Lap 1: 232.343

Lap 2: 231.97

Lap 3: 231.832

Lap 4: 231.672

4 Lap Average: 231.954


 
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Colton Herta

Warmup: 222.84

Lap 1: 232.469

Lap 2: 231.873

Lap 3: 231.753

Lap 4: 231.708

4 Lap Average: 231.951


Row 8

 
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Simon Pagenaud

Warmup: 222.191

Lap 1: 231.916

Lap 2: 231.984

Lap 3: 231.97

Lap 4: 231.643

4 Lap Average: 231.878