Rookie Rossi claims victory in 100th Indianapolis 500


Alexander Rossi - Credit: Chris Owens / IndyCar

Alexander Rossi etched his name in history as the American racer secured victory in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 after making his fuel strategy work for him as others floundered around him.

The Andretti Herta Autosport driver was conserving fuel in the closing stages of the 200-lap race, having last pitted on lap 164, but came to the front as each of his rivals were forced to pit for fuel in the final ten laps.

It was by no means a fluke victory however, with Rossi having spent sometime earlier in the race battling for the race lead, but the final two laps of the race were his slowest of the race as he made the most of the fuel he had left in his car, with his final lap speed being 179.784mph, almost 40mph slower than the chasing pack.

Such was the tightness on fuel, Rossi ran out on the slowing down lap following the chequered flag, and required a tow-in to victory lane so he could receive the winner’s laurels and the traditional pint of milk.

Carlos Munoz had been leading the race until he was forced to pit with just a handful of laps remaining, but despite being considerably fastest than Rossi, the Andretti Autosport driver was forced to settle for second at the Indianapolis 500 for the second time in his career by 4.4975s.

The top three was completed by Josef Newgarden, who was also in contention for the victory throughout the 500-mile race but was also denied by fuel strategy and a late splash and dash trip to the pit lane in his Ed Carpenter Racing entry.

The same could be said for Tony Kanaan, who claimed fourth for Chip Ganassi Racing, with the popular Brazilian once again showing good race speed and leading on a number of occasions.

Charlie Kimball drove a quiet race, also for Chip Ganassi Racing, but the pit stops in the closing laps enabled the American to claim a top five finish, just ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing’s JR Hildebrand, who also spent some time at the front of the field after running an alternative pit strategy to most of the field.

Pole sitter James Hinchcliffe could only finish seventh for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, but his battle with Ryan Hunter-Reay in the opening phase of the race was thoroughly exciting, with the two drivers passing each other regularly.

Unfortunately for Hunter-Reay, the Andretti Autosport driver was the unfortunate victim of a pit lane incident instigated by team-mate Townsend Bell, which eliminated both out of contention for the race win having been frontrunners up until that moment.

Scott Dixon was never a contender but was able to take an eighth place finish for Chip Ganassi Racing, with Sebastien Bourdais of KVSH Racing and Will Power of Team Penske completing the top ten.

Championship leader Simon Pagenaud saw his three-race victory run come to an end, with the Team Penske driver finishing down in nineteenth after suffering with a misfiring engine in the last quarter of the race that meant the Frenchman was running with reduced power on his #22 machine.

The race was interrupted with caution periods after single-car crashes for Takuma Sato, Mikhail Aleshin (with Conor Daly spinning out in avoidance), Sage Karam and Juan Pablo Montoya, while there was another caution period when Buddy Lazier lost his left-front wheel on exiting the pits. The first caution period of the six was the only one just to clear up debris on the circuit.

Indianapolis 500 Race Result

POSNO.DRIVERNATTEAMTIME
198Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport200 Laps
226Carlos MunozCOLAndretti Autosport+4.4975
321Josef NewgardenUSAEd Carpenter Racing+4.9304
410Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing+10.4963
542Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing+10.5218
66JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing+11.3459
75James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports+12.7744
89Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing+15.1607
911Sebastien BourdaisFRAKVSH Racing+21.0613
1012Will PowerAUSTeam Penske+21.5171
113Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske+22.1015
1277Oriol ServiaESPSchmidt Peterson Motorsports+23.8140
1327Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport+24.9700
1415Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing+28.2494
158Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing+28.7589
1641Jack HawksworthGBRAJ Foyt Enterprises+32.1748
1735Alex TaglianiCANAJ Foyt Enterprises+32.1993
1863Pippa MannGBRDale Coyne Racing+1 Lap
1922Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske+1 Lap
2019Gabby ChavesCOLDale Coyne Racing+1 Lap
2129Townsend BellUSAAndretti Autosport+1 Lap
2261Matt BrabhamAUSKV Racing/Pirtek Team Murray+1 Lap
2388Bryan ClausonUSADale Coyne Racing/Jonathan Byrd's Racing+2 Laps
2428Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport+2 Laps
2516Spencer PigotUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing+5 Laps
2614Takuma SatoJAPAJ Foyt EnterprisesRetired
277Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsRetired
2825Stefan WilsonGBRKV Racing TechnologyRetired
2918Conor DalyUSADale Coyne RacingRetired
304Buddy LazierUSALazier/Burns RacingRetired
3120Ed CarpenterUSAEd Carpenter RacingRetired
3224Sage KaramUSADreyer & Reinbold RacingRetired
332Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLTeam PenskeRetired