for your iPhone
for your iPad
IndyCar

IndyCar Links

2019 Teams

Engineers & Strategists

2019 Schedule

2019 IC Rule Book

2019 Indy Lights Rules

2019 IP2000 Rules

2019 USF2000 Rules

2014 Scanner Freq

Race Car Comparison

History CART/IRL Split


2019 Point Standings
After Laguna Seca
Rank Driver Points

1 Newgarden, Josef 641
2 Pagenaud, Simon 616
3 Rossi, Alexander 608
4 Dixon, Scott 578
5 Power, Will 550
6 Rosenqvist, Felix (R) 425
7 Herta, Colton (R) 420
8 Hunter-Reay, Ryan 420
9 Sato, Takuma 415
10 Rahal, Graham 389
11 Bourdais, Sebastien 387
12 Hinchcliffe, James 370
13 Ferrucci, Santino (R) 351
14 Pigot, Spencer 335
15 Kanaan, Tony 304
16 Andretti, Marco 303
17 Ericsson, Marcus (R) 290
18 Veach, Zach 271
19 Leist, Matheus 261
20 Jones, Ed 217
21 Harvey, Jack 186
22 Chilton, Max 184
23 Carpenter, Ed 161
24 Daly, Conor 149
25 Kimball, Charlie 117
26 O'Ward, Patricio (R) 115
27 Karam, Sage 39
28 Davison, James 36
29 Castroneves, Helio 33
30 Hanley, Ben (R) 31
31 Mann, Pippa 28
32 Kaiser, Kyle (R) 22
33 Hildebrand, JR 20
34 Servia, Oriol 16
35 Enerson, RC (R) 13
36 King, Jordan (R) 12

Rookie of Year Standings
1 Rosenqvist, Felix 425
2 Herta, Colton 420
3 Ferrucci, Santino 351
4 Ericsson, Marcus 290
5 O'Ward, Patricio 115
6 Hanley, Ben 31
7 Kaiser, Kyle 22
8 RC Enerson 13
9 King, Jordan 12

Manufacturer Standings
1. Honda 1436
2. Chevy 1387

Rookie Alexander Rossi wins 100th Indy 500

by Tim Wohlford
Sunday, May 29, 2016

Advertisement

Your 100th Indianapolis 500 winner - Alexander Rossi
Your 100th Indianapolis 500 winner - Alexander Rossi

In the best Indy 500 ever, Alexander Rossi turned the fastest race lap (225.288 mph) and then nursed his car to the start-finish line on fumes to win the 2016 Indy 500. His car didn’t even make it back to pit road, having run out of gas before he crossed the Yard of Bricks.

Teammate Carlos Munoz finished second with Josef Newgarden finished third. Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball rounded out the top-five.

But the big story was Rossi who started his career with an eye on F1, ran out of money, and switched to IndyCar only to win the biggest race in the world on his first try.

****

On the biggest motorsports stage imaginable, Alexander Rossi picked the perfect day to make unimaginable history before a sellout crowd at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a worldwide television audience tuned in.

The 24-year-old Californian and Verizon IndyCar Series rookie literally coasted across the finish line to win the epic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in most memorable fashion.

Driving the No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda, Rossi stretched his last tank of fuel over the final 36 laps around the hallowed 2.5-mile oval, running dry of Sunoco E85R as he entered Turn 4 on the final lap. The car's momentum was enough to carry Rossi across the finish line 4.4975 seconds ahead of teammate Carlos Munoz.

In the process, Rossi became the 10th rookie in Indianapolis 500 history to win the race and the first since Helio Castroneves in 2001. He became a Verizon IndyCar Series winner in just his sixth race and the first to win a race in his debut season since Carlos Huertas in 2014.

"I have no idea how we pulled that off," a stunned Rossi admitted in Victory Circle after drinking and then pouring the celebratory bottle of milk over his head. "We struggled a little bit in the pit stops but Bryan (Herta) came up with an unbelievable strategy. I can't believe we've done this!"

In yet another thrilling Indianapolis 500 that saw 13 drivers swap the lead 54 times - the second most changes in Indy 500 history (68 in 2013) and seventh most for any Indy car race - Rossi led just 14 laps. The majority of the field, including Rossi, stopped for fuel and tires on Lap 164 during the caution period caused when Takuma Sato's No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda made light contact with the Turn 4 wall.

Rossi sat seventh on the Lap 167 restart and bided his time as those ahead of him began to peel off for a splash of fuel in the final 10 laps. When race leader Munoz had to stop four laps from the completion of the 200-lap event, Rossi inherited the lead and nursed his car home with help of a tow from another Andretti teammate, Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Rossi's final lap averaged 179.784 mph, nearly 40 mph slower than the charging Munoz, but he had cushion enough to coast across the famous yard of bricks by the largest margin of victory since the 1996 race.

"This is unbelievable," said Herta, whose team merged with Andretti's this year to form Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian and field Rossi, who left the American open-wheel junior ranks for Europe and made five Formula One starts in 2015 before returning to race on home soil.

"Man, it was so close at the end," added Herta, Rossi's race strategist. "For a rookie to drive with the poise he did in such a tough situation - I was telling him, 'Don't let anybody pass you but save fuel' - and he did it."

Munoz cries over tough loss
Munoz cries over tough loss

Rossi's deal with Andretti Herta wasn't formalized until a few weeks before the 2016 season opener. His best finish before today was 10th at the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14. Now Rossi is an Indianapolis 500 champion and he continues a trend of rookies winning landmark Indy 500s started by Ray Harroun at the first race in 1911 and Graham Hill at the 50th in 1966.

"I don't even know where to begin," Rossi said. "In February I wasn't even thinking about Indy car, and now we've just won the Indy 500. Thanks to an amazing group of people who gave me an opportunity to come here this year."

The Indy 500 win was the fourth for Andretti Autosport (Dan Wheldon, 2005; Dario Franchitti, 2007; Hunter-Reay, 2014) and the second for Herta (Wheldon, 2011).

"After that last pit stop, I knew that Alex was going to try it," co-owner Michael Andretti said. "We knew then, all right, if he's going to try it, we're going to try different strategies. It really worked out. We had two cars that had a shot at winning with two different strategies.

"To be a part of history, to win the 100th running, to win it with a 1-2 finish is incredible. I'm a bit speechless."

For Munoz, it marked his second runner-up Indy 500 finish in four tries. The Colombian placed second to Tony Kanaan in 2013 to earn rookie of the year honors.

"I was really disappointed when it comes to fuel (strategy) and you lose the race because of that," the 24-year-old said. "I was really disappointed to get second. Half a lap short, that's what it took."

Josef Newgarden finished third in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing.

"Today's gut-wrenching just because I think I had a winning car," Newgarden said. "And when you know you have a winning car and you know you can win the thing and you go for it and it doesn't happen because of a strategy call, it's kind of tough."

Kanaan was fourth in the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, leading 19 laps. It was the 12th Indy 500 that Kanaan has led, second only to A.J. Foyt's 13. Charlie Kimball, also driving for Ganassi, finished fifth in the No. 42 Tresiba Chevrolet.

Defending Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya finished 33rd after crashing his No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet into the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier on his own on Lap 64. Montoya became just the third reigning winner to finish last at Indy, joining Jimmy Bryan in 1959 and Johnny Rutherford in 1977.

"I started making up some ground again and the car was actually pretty good," said Montoya, who started 17th. "I went into (Turn) 2 with a big push and, when I got on the gas, it just came around. It's just disappointing. Our Verizon Chevy was really good. Just a tough day."

Hunter-Reay led a race-high 52 laps but had his bid for victory stifled following an incident on pit lane. Teammate Townsend Bell ran into Helio Castroneves on pit road and Bell's car caromed into that of Hunter-Reay, who finished 24th.

Championship leader Simon Pagenaud finished 19th to end a three-race win streak. The Team Penske driver saw his points lead trimmed to 57 over Scott Dixon, who finished eighth. With double points awarded for the race in addition to qualifying points, Pagenaud has 292 to Dixon's 235 after six of 16 races.

Castroneves failed for the seventh time to become a four-time Indy 500 winner, finishing 11th and retaining third place in the standings with 224 points. Newgarden vaulted from eighth to fourth in the championship with 211 points.

The next event on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, featuring the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, the only doubleheader race weekend on the 2016 calendar. The June 4 and 5 races air at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

****

I grew up in Indy. Indy 500 drivers were my heroes, even more than the ABA basketball players. It’s not like I’m prone to hyperbole – I’m a card-carrying members of the Cynic club. But I must say, this will go down as the best Indy 500 ever. Let me explain....

First, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway spent the last 5 years promoting this race. They put $100 million into the venerable facility, and God only knows how much into promotion. Today, the Speedway announced that they had over 350,000 fans, the most ever. Rumors of 400,000 circa 1995 abound -- IMS didn’t release those numbers -- but this race was on par with the legendary crowds of the past. On top of that was near-perfect weather, a line up that included 14 American drivers, two manufacturers who seemed to be running strong, new safety measures were tested, and yeah, they work great. Throw in a 100 to 1 long shot American driver won the race, and yea, it was one helluva race!

Early on, the trend was set – James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Josef Newgarden all took off, competing for the lead. The draft was considerable – cars were routinely passed at the end of the long front- and back-stretches. After the first round of pit stops, Helio Castroneves and Townsend Bell also joined that party, and the crowd was treated to some serious green flag racing early.

A debris caution came out on lap 47, and in the pit stops Will Power managed to come out and squeeze Tony Kanaan into the pit road wall. Power was sent to the back of the field, and ultimately finished a disappointing 10th.

When the race restarted, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Townsend Bell engaged in a classic duel at the lead, with Hinchcliffe stalking their every move. Finally, Hinchcliffe moved to the lead for a couple of laps on lap 58, only to have Hunter-Reay overtake him on lap 60.

On lap 64, 2015 winner Juan Pablo Montoya lost control of his car and spun into the turn 2 wall. Notable in this accident (and another later on) was that the new tethers kept the wings attached to his car. Indeed, there wasn’t a hint of cars leaving the track all day either, and the IndyCar people have to feel good about the rules changes. JPM was credited with 33rd on the day, the first driver since 1971 to go from first to last in consecutive years. He was okay, but obviously glad to end the day.

At roughly the same time, Ed Carpenter’s engine started “going soft”. After chasing some electronic gremlins he rejoined the race, but finished a disappointing 31st, 2 laps down.

When the green flag flew again on lap 75, Power led the pack having not pit during the caution. Prior to this the Hondas had held the top-3 spots for most of the day. And 3 laps later, the Hondas of Hinchcliffe and Hunter-Reay reasserted themselves until lap 90, when three-time 500 Helio Castroneves made a move to the front.

On lap 94, Sage Karam went high into turn 1 trying to battle while running sixth and battling with Townsend Bell and Josef Newgarden. Prior to this they were running 3-wide until Josef thought better of it. A few moments later former IndyCar driver (and current NBCSN commentator) Paul Tracy tweeted that Townsend “stuffed it in balls deep” to send Sage high. Bell indeed drove the car like he stole it all day, and if not for a quirk of fate (more on that later) that seems to happen at Indy, he would’ve been a contender for the win. Karam was uninjured and finished 32nd.

Another oddity was that local small track driver Bryan Clauson lead a few laps due to the way that the cautions fell. He ended up 23rd on the day, 2 laps down.

When the flag flew, the usual suspects were at the lead – Castroneves, Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan and Townsend Bell. And when the yellow flew for a Mikhail Aleshin spin on lap 115, they all pitted together (more on that in a second). On track Aleshin collected Conor Daly. Both were okay, but Daly’s day was done and he finished 29th. Aleshin – who had fast all month – made repairs and finished 27th.

During the pit stops, the lead trio of Castroneves, Townsend Bell and Ryan Hunter-Reay got together exiting pit road. The Brazilian continued on, but the Andretti duo of Bell and Hunter-Reay were forced to make repairs. Both lost laps and would never contend again. Bell th up 21st, and Hunter-Reay th up 24th.

Bell was found at fault for the incident, but it hardly mattered now.

When the green flew once again, rookie Alexander Rossi – the American who returned from an F1 circus that hasn’t respected any American since Mario drove – challenged for the lead, Jim it briefly on lap 121 and then more permanently on lap 128. This was only the second oval race for Rossi – he didn’t even get to test at Phoenix prior to that race – but during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis it was obvious that he and his team figured things out in a big way, as he set fast lap of the race.

And it’s good that Andretti Autosport had that good news. Not only did Bell and Hunter-Reay's mess ruin their Sat, but Marco Andretti’s car mysteriously got the wrong air pressure in his tires. A frustrated Marco was said to be screaming into the radio as he pitted. He finished 13th.

Green flag stops were just starting on lap 149 when 1996 winner Buddy Lazier lost a tire after his pit stop, necessitating a yellow flag. Lazier started shotgun on the field, didn’t even make it a lap before he had a long pit stop in the pits, and only completed 100 laps (was 49 laps down) on the day. When the scoring chaos was cleared up, contenders Graham Rahal and Simon Pagenaud were sent to the back of the pack, along with Max Chilton, Townsend Bell and Bryan Clauson. Rahal finished 14th, Chilton 15th, Pagenaud 19th.

The restart on lap 158, with Tony Kanaan and Josef Newgarden starting a duel that had the fans on their feet, cheering on their favorite driver. And that would’ve been a great way to run the last bit of the race, but the Indy racing gods had other things in mind.

On lap 162, JR Hildebrand – who had worked his way to the top 5 – made contact with the rear wing (“butt piece”) of Helio Castroneves. The Brazilian soldiered on, th why the tethers were a great idea. Castroneves also go a nicely-timed caution, as Takuma Sato smacked the wall in turn 4. Sato was uninjured, and finished 26th.

When the field went back to green on lap 167, Kanaan resumed his battle with Newgarden. Every couple of laps the lead would change as one would execute a drafting maneuver to slingshot around the other. The crowd was on its feet cheering, and then...

...and then, it started to occur to people that this might be a mileage race. Initially, it looked like Gabby Chaves might be in the position to make a mileage run, but his car needed fuel with 3 laps to go, and he finished 20th. Then – and I’m not making this up – it honestly looked like Pippa Mann might have a shot of if not winning, then a top-five. However, Mann pitted with 2 laps to go before finishing 18th.

In the end 3 cars ran 36 laps to end the race. Normally cars had been stopping after 28 laps. Scott Dixon had a horrible day, fighting vibrations in his car all day, and finished 8th. Charlie Kimball th up 5th Jim the same strategy. And Alexander Rossi, finished first. His car was out of gas when he hit the Yard of Bricks, and his last lap was run at 180 mph (second place team mate Carlos Munoz did 223 by comparison). His car didn’t make it back to the pits, but it didn’t matter... The rookie, in his second oval race, had just won the Indy 500.

******

With the notable exception of Helio Castroneves, Team Penske was notoriously quiet today. Will Power finished 10th, Castroneves 11th, Pagenaud 19th (1 lap down), and Juan Pablo Montoya crashed out and finished dead last. Simon Pagenaud still has a Sat lead over Scott Dixon in the points though – 292 to 235. Castroneves is this with 224 points.

*****

Results

PNoNameLapsDiffGapPitsLPitFLFTimeLedSTFSpeedEngine
198Alexander Rossi (R)200----816410639.9491411225.288Honda
226Carlos Munoz2004.49754.4975819616040.313105223.252Honda
321Josef Newgarden2004.93040.4329819516940.324142223.190Chevy
410Tony Kanaan20010.49635.565981925640.3801918222.881Chevy
542Charlie Kimball20010.52180.025591643440.118 16224.338Chevy
66JR Hildebrand20011.34590.8241718519640.324415223.191Chevy
75James Hinchcliffe20012.77441.428581955640.366271222.958Honda
89Scott Dixon20015.16072.3863819120040.326 13223.179Chevy
911Sebastien Bourdais20021.06135.90069198340.493 19222.260Chevy
1012Will Power20021.51710.4558816413840.53686222.025Chevy
113Helio Castroneves20022.10150.584491973540.172249224.038Chevy
1277Oriol Servia20023.81401.712591945840.387 10222.842Honda
1327Marco Andretti20024.97001.156091966340.041 14224.772Honda
1415Graham Rahal20028.24943.279491903540.313 26223.255Honda
158Max Chilton20028.75890.50951018719040.391 22222.820Chevy
1641Jack Hawksworth20032.17483.4159917316140.543 31221.985Honda
1735Alex Tagliani20032.19930.0245718812340.4081133222.729Honda
1863Pippa Mann1991 LAPS16.438281963240.641 25221.450Honda
1922Simon Pagenaud1991 LAPS0.5749101946140.412 8222.707Chevy
2019Gabby Chaves1991 LAPS6.3354111946140.529 21222.066Honda
2129Townsend Bell1991 LAPS0.0102111803240.148124224.169Honda
2261Matt Brabham1991 LAPS0.81268191540.721 27221.018Chevy
2388Bryan Clauson1982 LAPS33.387810195740.976328219.639Honda
2428Ryan Hunter-Reay1982 LAPS44.2957816815840.525523222.084Honda
2516Spencer Pigot1955 LAPS2 LAPS719312640.819 29220.487Honda
2614Takuma Sato16364.046234.9159716313140.169 12224.052Honda
277Mikhail Aleshin12649 LAPS37 LAPS51266040.351 7223.042Honda
2825Stefan Wilson11957 LAPS7 LAPS61096340.827 30220.445Chevy
2918Conor Daly1154 LAPS2 LAPS51156340.426 24222.630Honda
304Buddy Lazier10050 LAPS6 LAPS61003341.515 32216.790Chevy
3120Ed Carpenter9856 LAPS2 LAPS6984040.346 20223.068Chevy
3224Sage Karam931.15341.03163666040.478223222.344Chevy
332Juan Pablo Montoya636.30110.23732486040.250 17223.604Chevy


Race Statistics
Fastest Race Lap: Alexander Rossi on lap 106 - 225.288 mph
Winners average speed: 166.634
Time of Race: 3:00:02.0872
Margin of victory: 4.4975 seconds
Cautions: 6 for 46 laps
Lead changes: 54 among 13 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Hunter-Reay 1 - 2
Hinchcliffe 3
Hunter-Reay 4
Hinchcliffe 5
Hunter-Reay 6 - 8
Hinchcliffe 9
Hunter-Reay 10
Hinchcliffe 11
Hunter-Reay 12 - 13
Hinchcliffe 14 - 16
Hunter-Reay 17
Hinchcliffe 18 - 23
Hunter-Reay 24 - 27
Newgarden 28 - 29
Munoz 30
Karam 31 - 32
Hunter-Reay 33 - 41
Bell 42 - 48
Hunter-Reay 49 - 56
Bell 57
Hunter-Reay 58
Hinchcliffe 59 - 60
Hunter-Reay 61 - 66
Power 67 - 74
Hinchcliffe 75 - 77
Hunter-Reay 78 - 80
Hinchcliffe 81 - 84
Hunter-Reay 85 - 87
Hinchcliffe 88 - 91
Castroneves 92 - 96
Clauson 97 - 99
Castroneves 100 - 103
Hunter-Reay 104 - 108
Kanaan 109
Hunter-Reay 110 - 112
Bell 113 - 116
Tagliani 117 - 121
Rossi 122
Tagliani 123 - 128
Rossi 129 - 137
Castroneves 138 -148
Munoz 149 - 153
Castroneves 154 -157
Kanaan 158 - 160
Hinchcliffe 161
Kanaan 162 - 163
Hildebrand 164 - 167
Kanaan 168 - 178
Newgarden 179 - 181
Kanaan 182 - 183
Newgarden 184 - 190
Munoz 191
Newgarden 192 - 193
Munoz 194 - 196
Rossi 197 - 200

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings: 1. Pagenaud 292, Dixon 235, Castroneves 224, Newgarden 211, Hinchcliffe 205, Rossi 203, Munoz 199, Kanaan 192, Kimball 189, Montoya 187.

 

Feedback can be sent to feedback@autoracing1.com

Go to our forums to discuss this article