Newgarden beats O’Ward for back-to-back wins

Despite a four-hour rain delay, the clouds diminished and an intense battle finished as the sun set on more than 300,000 fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Newgarden, who started third, was forced to pull off a stirring last-lap pass, delivering a thrilling outside move around Arrow McLaren’s O’Ward into Turn 3 to win by 0.3417s. He becomes the first driver to go back-to-back since Helio Castroneves did so with Team Penske in 2001 and 2002.

O’Ward, who held off multiple late runs before delivering his own effort for the lead at Turn 1 on the last lap, could only sit with his helmet in his hands after finishing runner-up.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 winner, managed to climb from 20th to finish third, ahead of Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi in fourth, with reigning and two-time IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou in fifth.

The 200-lap race featured 16 different leaders, with polesitter Scott McLaughlin leading a race-high 66 before finishing sixth.

The battle for victory ignited when Newgarden caught Dixon with 24 laps to go, who cycled to the front of the group as both were positioned ahead of Rossi and O’Ward.

Dixon showed signs of struggle as O’Ward passed him for third with 13 laps to go entering Turn 1, trailing Newgarden and Rossi. Newgarden held the lead with 10 to go, with Rossi, O’Ward, Dixon and Kyle Kirkwood in the top five.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Patricio O’Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

O’Ward made a late move on Rossi entering Turn 1 for second with seven laps left and then caught and went by Newgarden with five laps to go, only for Newgarden to fire back to retake the lead.

O’Ward backed off multiple times despite getting runs on Newgarden, sitting in second coming to the white flag.

The Mexican went to the outside of Newgarden coming out of Turn 4 and took the lead into Turn 1. Newgarden then made a strong run off of Turn 2 as the two went wheel-to-wheel and completed an outside pass into Turn 3 to charge to the win.

In a race of high attrition, Tom Blomqvist ignited a multi-car crash on the opening lap that collected 2022 Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and with Pietro Fittipaldi.

Despite a promising charge from 13th to second, Colton Herta’s sixth Indy 500 bid came to an abrupt end after crashing in Turn 1 on lap 88.

Although the incident was similar to Blomqvist’s, Herta, who was behind leader McLaughlin, never touched the inside curb before losing his #26 Andretti Global Honda. Although he was pushed back to the garage, Herta returned just past the halfway point several laps down.

Will Power’s charge ended on lap 147 with a hard crash in Turn 2. His #12 Team Penske Chevrolet was running on the outside of Ed Carpenter Racing rookie Christian Rasmussen in Turn 1 when the back end snapped and he collided into the wall.

Kyle Larson finished 18th, but had to miss the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 due to the Indy 500 start delays – denying him a proper attempt at ‘The Double’.

Indy 500 – Race results

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