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Newgarden Prevails in Second Consecutive Indy 500 Win; “Two Corners Short” for O’Ward

Josef Newgarden takes the checkered flag in the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

Josef Newgarden takes the checkered flag in the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. The torrential mid-day downpour may have delayed the start of the 108th Indianapolis 500, but it did not dampen Josef Newgarden’s spirit in pursuit of his second consecutive win in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. 

Newgarden wheeled his No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet to the team’s 20th Indy 500 victory by a slim .3417-second margin over Pato O’Ward’s No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. Newgarden became the first repeat Indianapolis 500 winner since Penske alum Helio Castroneves won in 2001 and 2002.

After a software violation in St. Petersburg, the No. 2 crew came to Indianapolis for the Month of May missing a couple of important team members, including team president and strategist Tim Cindric and race engineer Luke Mason. Despite not having these crucial voices in the garage, teammates Newgarden, Will Power and Scott McLaughlin swept the front row in qualifying for the second time in INDYCAR history, with McLaughlin setting a new four-lap average pole speed record of 234.220 miles per hour. 

The momentum continued for the Team Penske Chevrolets on Sunday as the green flag waved following a four-hour rain delay. McLaughlin shot to the lead with Power and Newgarden following closely behind. Chaos immediately ensued towards the back of the field as Tom Blomqvist ran too deep into Turn 1, hitting the apex of the corner and spinning out, collecting 2022 Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and Pietro Fittipaldi.

This was not the only caution of the day, however. Two more cautions plagued the first 30 laps alone; a surprise to the crowd since last year’s race went green for 90 laps before the first yellow flag waved. 

Newgarden and McLaughlin continued to hit their marks throughout the 200-lap event, giving up the lead only a handful of times when pit strategies differed and the Arrow McLaren Chevrolets of O’Ward and Alexander Rossi raced into the picture. Unfortunately, the dream of a 1-2-3 Penske sweep was dashed when Power spun out and crashed on Lap 147, ending his day. Despite the team’s setback, Newgarden’s incredibly fast race car persisted and showed up to battle O’Ward for the lead in the closing laps.

Both drivers passed each other multiple times, with the final pass occurring on the last lap, when Newgarden pushed his car to the limit and overtook O’Ward in Turn 3 to seize the checkered flag in his 30th INDYCAR series victory.

Just like last year, Newgarden hopped the fence and celebrated with the fans in the grandstands. “Unbelievable. I love this crowd,” Newgarden said as he struggled to catch his breath. “Honestly, that wore me out more than the race.

“I’m just proud of this team. They crushed it, I mean crushed it. They came here with the fastest cars. We worked our tails off. Team Chevy brought it.”

Josef Newgarden won his second consecutive Indianapolis 500, the first driver to do so since Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

Josef Newgarden won his second consecutive Indianapolis 500, becoming the first driver to do so since Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

On the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, O’Ward parked his car in his pit stall, heartbroken. He had to take some time to process the overwhelming disappointment of another runner-up finish before exiting the cockpit, with his head in his hands. 

“Oh man, it’s just so painful when you put so much into it and then two laps short, I guess. Or two corners short,” O’Ward said in his post-race interview with tears in his eyes. “We had so many near-race enders. So close again. So (expletive) close.

“It’s always a heartbreak whenever you’re so close, especially when it’s not the first time. You just don’t know how many opportunities like that you may have.”

Pato O'Ward raced his heart out in Sunday's Indianapolis 500, only to end up as a runner-up once again. (Photo: Katherine Miller | The Podium Finish)

Pato O’Ward raced his heart out in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, only to finish as a runner-up once again. (Photo: Katherine Miller | The Podium Finish)

Scott Dixon’s No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Alexander Rossi’s No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet and Alex Palou’s No. 10 DHL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda rounded out the top five. Even though the cameras mainly focused on the tight battle for the lead in the last few laps, the top five drivers were only separated by a total of 1.5079 seconds at the start/finish line. 

Next week, the NTT INDYCAR Series hits the streets of the Motor City in Detroit, Michigan. Race coverage will begin on Sunday, June 2nd at 12:00 PM on USA Network and Peacock.

Finish Start Car No. Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Status
1 3 2 Josef Newgarden (W) Shell Chevrolet 200 Running
2 8 5 Pato O’Ward ARROW/VELO Chevrolet 200 Running
3 21 9 Scott Dixon (W) PNC Bank Honda 200 Running
4 4 7 Alexander Rossi (W) VELO/ARROW Chevrolet 200 Running
5 14 10 Alex Palou DHL Honda 200 Running
6 1 3 Scott McLaughlin Pennzoil Chevrolet 200 Running
7 11 27 Kyle Kirkwood AutoNation Honda 200 Running
8 6 14 Santino Ferrucci Homes For Our Troops Chevrolet 200 Running
9 7 21 Rinus VeeKay Chevrolet 200 Running
10 29 24 Conor Daly Polkadot Chevrolet 200 Running
11 15 6 Callum Ilott NTT Data Chevrolet 200 Running
12 24 33 Christian Rasmussen (R) Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 200 Running
13 28 45 Christian Lundgaard Hy-Vee Honda 200 Running
14 10 75 Takuma Sato (W) MADA/Panasonic Honda 200 Running
15 33 15 Graham Rahal United Rentals Honda 200 Running
16 23 41 Sting Ray Robb Goodheart Animal Health Center Chevrolet 200 Running
17 17 20 Ed Capenter GuyCare Performance Health Chevrolet 200 Running
18 5 17 Kyle Larson (R) Chevrolet 200 Running
19 26 77 Romain Grosjean Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet 200 Running
20 20 06 Helio Castroneves (W) CLIFFS Honda 200 Running
21 18 4 Kyffin Simpson (R) Journie Rewards Honda 200 Running
22 22 78 Agustin Canapino Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet 199 -1 Lap
23 13 26 Colton Herta Gainbridge Honda 170 Accident
24 2 12 Will Power (W) Verizon Chevrolet 145 Accident
25 19 98 Marco Andretti MAPEI Honda 113 Accident
26 12 23 Ryan Hunter-Reay (W) 6666 Ranch/Vensure Employer Services Chevrolet 106 Accident
27 9 60 Felix Rosenqvist SiriusXM/AutoNation Honda 55 Mechanical
28 27 8 Linus Lundqvist (R) The American Legion Honda 27 Accident
29 31 51 Katherine Legge e.l.f. Cosmetics Honda 22 Mechanical
30 16 11 Marcus Armstrong (R) Ridgeline Honda 6 Mechanical
31 25 66 Tom Blomqvist (R) Artic Wolf/AutoNation Honda 0 Accident
32 30 30 Pietro Fittipaldi 5-Hour Energy Honda 0 Accident
33 32 28 Marcus Ericsson (W) Delaware Life Honda 0 Accident


Jordan DeWitt is a Co-Managing Editor for The Podium Finish and a graduate of the University of Northwestern Ohio with a dual degree in Automotive and Alternate Fuels Technology. Jordan works as an office manager for a fencing company in Michigan, but outside of work, she lives and breathes motorsports. She hopes to play a role in paving the way for women in motorsports, as well to help people chase their dreams.

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