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Will Power Wins The 2018 Indianapolis 500

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 27 2018

Team Penske driver Will Power finally got to take a milk shower after winning Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. (Photo courtesy of INDYCAR)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

There was a time when Will Power was regarded as a road-circuit ace whose skill on oval tracks was in question. That question was answered for good on Sunday when the Team Penske driver dominated the second half of Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 and got his first victory in auto racing’s biggest event.

“Man, I just can’t believe it,” the Australian driver said covered in milk and wrapped in the winner’s wreath. “I changed my attitude a lot after Barber (the road track in Alabama). Very positive and had a great mind. I just can’t believe it.

“I can’t describe it. I feel like collapsing. I couldn’t stop screaming, ‘I can’t believe it’ ” on the final laps.

Power, 37, is a past series champion who has stacked up piles of wins. But none at the 2.5-mile oval in Indy.

“I was wondering if I would ever win it,” he said, “and thoughts went through my mind during the month that my career, I’ve had so many wins and so many poles but everyone always talked about the 500. I just couldn’t imagine winning a race in front of a crowd like this. This many people. It’s just amazing event. I love it.”

The win was the17th at Indy for team owner Roger Penske.

Owner/driver Ed Carpenter finished second and former 500 winners Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing, Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport and teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top five.

“In a couple days I’ll feel better about this,” Carpenter, who led early and had a car

Aussie driver Will Power used to hate oval tracks. Now, after winning Sunday’s Indy 500, he kisses them. (Photo Courtesy of INDYCAR)

capable of winning on the Indy native’s home track. “But I’m still extremely proud of the whole Ed Carpenter Racing team. We had to one of two guys who were most consistent day in and day, different conditions this month so proud of that.”

Carpenter congratulated Power, saying, “Really happy for Will. He and I talk quite a bit for competitors. When he first came here after the reunification (of CART and IndyCar series), he hated ovals and now he loves them.”

Rossi may have had the most impressive day. After nearly not qualifying for the race and, as a result, starting from P32, the 2016 winner had a solid shot to win in 2018.

“I feel like we did what we could,” Rossi said, “and we maximized what we had. The NAPA Andretti Honda team did everything right. I don’t look back on anything and wish we’d done anything different. Despite, it was a good day from a championship perspective. We didn’t have enough to win.”

Pole-sitter Carpenter brought the field to green on a race day that was the hottest in the event’s history and had a perfect start. From there, he moved out to a lead that reached 2.5 seconds over Team Penske’s Pagenaud at the 25-lap mark.

Pitting began for the first time on Lap 30 as Danica Patrick of Ed Carpenter Racing

Ed Carpenter dominated the early going Sunday but at the end, had to settle for second place. (Photo courtesy of INDYCAR)

headed in. Carpenter came in a lap later from the lead. When pitting cycled through, Carpenter had the lead and Tony Kanaan of A.J. Foyt Racing was second. Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden was third and teammate Pagenaud fourth.

On Lap 47, the first wreck occurred. It started when James Davison, well off the pace, was hit from behind by 2017 500 winner Takuma Sato of Andretti Autosport. Both cars were taken out of the race.

“Too much closing speed,” Sato said. “By the time I realized it, I backed off everything and even hit the brake, but once you get in air pocket like that, really unfortunate situation for both of us.”

Carpenter led most of the lead-lap cars into the pits during the ensuing yellow.  Carpenter led the field out of the pits and Kanaan was second.

On Lap 58, Ed Jones spun in Turn 2 and brought out another yellow.

The race restarted on Lap 64. On that restart, Kanaan got a big run and took the lead from Carpenter on the front stretch. But on the next lap, Carpenter came back and re-captured the lead.

On Lap 68, Patrick’s day and career ended when she lost control and spun in Turn 2 and hit the wall. She was running 17 in her final big-time series race.

“I’m not sure what happened,” she said. “It just seemed to come around. I don’t know. Today was really disappointing for what we were hoping for. Not what you want for your last race.”

Danica Patrick career ended with a wreck at Indy.

On the Lap 74 restart, Kanaan again jumped past Carpenter but this time, the Brazilian driver pulled away from Carpenter and held it.

Behind Kanaan, Carpenter, Power, Pagenaud, Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay pulled away from the peloton.

On Lap 91, Kanaan headed into the pits as scheduled stops began.

After a good stop, Kanaan headed back to the pits for an unscheduled stop after eight laps with a punctured tire.

When pitting cycled through, Power had the lead, Carpenter was second – 4 seconds back – and Pagenaud third. Kanaan had dropped to 22nd.

On Lap 128, Carpenter headed into the pits as drivers began making scheduled stops. Two laps later, Power headed in from the lead.

On Lap 139, Bourdais, who had spent the race among the leaders, saw his day end when he lost control of his Dale Coyne Honda and crashed in Turn 4.

The race restarted on Lap 146. Power restarted clean and kept the lead.

On Lap 147, another of the day’s big story lines came to a sad ending when Helio Castroneves, hoping  to win his fourth 500, crashed coming out of Turn 4. Castroneves wreck looked very similar to those of Jones, Patrick and Bourdais as his car lost grip and spun.

He was running in the top five when he wrecked.

Castroneves, who is racing full-time only in the WeatherTech Sports Car Series this season, said he went high into Turn 3, collected debris on his tires and that may have cost him grip.

“Probably went wide in Turn 3 and probably was a little of dust in the tires and then as soon as I came to 3 and I tried to pass Simon (Pagenaud) but the rear just gave out,” he said. “I was not expecting; I never had a sign. The car was good. It was definitely tough out there. Please, Roger, let me go back.”

The race went green on Lap 154.

A lap later, another wreck brought out another yellow when Sage Karam took his turn at losing control.

With 40 to go, Dixon pitted under yellow to take a fuel-mileage gamble.

“We were trying to save fuel at the end and we knew we had to take a gamble with the PNC Bank car,” Dixon, the winner of the 2008 500, said. “We just didn’t have the speed today and the restarts were tough for us. That [finish] was all due to my team, though. They made that great strategy call and all I did was get the fuel number they gave me. Huge congrats to [race winner] Will Power. I know he’s been very hungry for this and congratulations to him.”

After the restart, the top six drivers – Power, Carpenter, Rossi, Pagenaud, Hunter-

Will Power celebrates his Indy 500 Sunday in Victory Circle. (Photo courtesy of IndyCar)

Reay and Rahal – separated from the field.

With 28 laps to go, lead-lap cars began pitting for their final scheduled stops. Not pitting on that sequence was a small group who restarted in front of the powerhouse drivers. Among them were Oriol Servia, Stefan Wilson and Jack Harvey.

With 12 laps to go, Kanaan lost it in Turn 2. He spun and his day was over.

The race restarted with seven laps to go. Servia had the lead, Wilson was second, Harvey was third and Power fourth.

Wilson jumped past Servia and grabbed the lead on the restart.

With four laps to go, both Wilson and Harvey pitted for fuel and Power took the lead. From there, he cruised home to get the win.

(This story will be updated shortly)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Results Sunday of the 102nd Running of Indianapolis 500-Mile Race presented by PennGrade Motor Oil Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (3) Will Power, Chevrolet, 200, Running
2. (1) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 200, Running
3. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 200, Running
4. (32) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 200, Running
5. (14) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 200, Running
6. (2) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 200, Running
7. (21) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 200, Running
8. (4) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 200, Running
9. (18) Robert Wickens, Honda, 200, Running
10. (30) Graham Rahal, Honda, 200, Running
11. (27) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 200, Running
12. (12) Marco Andretti, Honda, 200, Running
13. (11) Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 200, Running
14. (22) Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, 200, Running
15. (23) Stefan Wilson, Honda, 200, Running
16. (31) Jack Harvey, Honda, 200, Running
17. (26) Oriol Servia, Honda, 200, Running
18. (15) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 200, Running
19. (13) Zachary Claman De Melo, Honda, 199, Running
20. (6) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 199, Running
21. (33) Conor Daly, Honda, 199, Running
22. (20) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 198, Running
23. (25) Zach Veach, Honda, 198, Running
24. (28) Jay Howard, Honda, 193, Running
25. (10) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 187, Contact
26. (24) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 154, Contact
27. (8) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 145, Contact
28. (5) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 137, Contact
29. (17) Kyle Kaiser, Chevrolet, 110, Mechanical
30. (7) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 67, Contact
31. (29) Ed Jones, Honda, 57, Contact
32. (16) Takuma Sato, Honda, 46, Contact
33. (19) James Davison, Chevrolet, 45, Contact

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 166.935 mph
Time of Race: 2:59:42.6365
Margin of victory: 3.1589 seconds
Cautions: 7 for 41 laps
Lead changes: 30 among 15 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Carpenter, Ed 1 – 30
Newgarden, Josef 31
Pigot, Spencer 32 – 34
Carpenter, Ed 35 – 50
Claman De Melo, Zachary 51 – 55
Carpenter, Ed 56 – 62
Kanaan, Tony 63 – 64
Carpenter, Ed 65 – 72
Kanaan, Tony 73 – 89
Carpenter, Ed 90 – 91
Power, Will 92 – 94
Servia, Oriol 95
Bourdais, Sebastien 96
Rahal, Graham 97 – 105
Claman De Melo, Zachary 106 – 107
Power, Will 108 – 128
Hunter-Reay, Ryan 129
Bourdais, Sebastien 130 – 132
Newgarden, Josef 133 – 134
Rahal, Graham 135 – 137
Munoz, Carlos 138 – 140
Power, Will 141 – 170
Carpenter, Ed 171 – 172
Rossi, Alexander 173
Pagenaud, Simon 174
Munoz, Carlos 175
Servia, Oriol 176 – 177
Wickens, Robert 178 – 179
Servia, Oriol 180 – 192
Wilson, Stefan 193 – 195
Power, Will 196 – 200

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings:
Power 243, Rossi 241, Newgarden 233, Dixon 218, Hunter-Reay 186, Rahal 183, Wickens 178, Bourdais 168, Pagenaud 155, James Hinchliffe 144.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 27 2018
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