Photo: Penske Entertainment: Chris Owens

Indy 500: Newgarden takes victory after final-lap overtake on Ericsson

Josef Newgarden has won the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500, his first victory in the race after a last-lap overtake on Marcus Ericsson as the race was red-flagged multiple times late in the race.

Graham Rahal, who failed to qualify and was given a reprieve after being drafted in as a replacement for the injured Stefan Wilson at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing struggled to get off the grid and was wheeled behind the wall as the rest of the field completed the parade laps.

Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing), Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing), and Felix Rosenqivst (Arrow McLaren) lead the drivers away from the start of the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500, with Palou holding the lead through the very first left turn.

Rahal then rejoined the field but was two laps down before Veekay went into the race lead, the first overtake for first place in the race.

Katherine Legge stepped out of her car with an issue but was optimistic that she would get back 0ut, although she would be multiple laps down.

It took 92 laps for the first caution to come out as String Ray Robb after going high and into the marbles, resulting in his slamming into the wall. He became the second rookie to retire after R.C. Enerson also had to retire earlier in the race.

As the drivers entered the pitlane, it was chaos as drivers exited, with VeeKay spinning and colliding with Palou, giving him front-wing damage. VeeKay was given a drive-through penalty for the incident.

Reigning Champion, Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing) was impressive on the restart, rising to fourth place as Rosenqvist and Pato O’Ward (Arrow McLaren) overtook Callum Ilott (Juncos Hollinger Racing) who cycled around to the lead after pitting shortly before the yellow caution period.

As the race entered the final 50 laps, it wouldn’t be long before the caution was out once again as Romain Grosjean went high and crashed out of the race.

Santino Ferrucci (A.J Foyt Enterprises) was at his best on the restart after going from fifth to third as Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) took the lead of the race, ahead of Ericsson.

Ericsson then overtook Newgarden and the Team Penske driver would drop down to third as Ferrucci moved all the way to first place with 41 laps remaining in the race.

As the drivers made their final pit stops, Ferrucci boxed earlier than the rest and when the other pit stops took place, he only dropped to a net second place as Ericsson took the lead of the race. Rosenqvist would then overtake Ferrucci, with O’Ward leading the race out front but still needing to pit.

After his pit stop, O’Ward rejoined in third place, meaning that there were three Arrow McLaren cars in the top five of the race, with O’Ward then passing his team-mate Rosenqvist and then Ericcson to take the net lead of the race.

Then there was a massive crash between Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti Autosport) and Rosenqivst, with the Swedish driver losing control of his car after tagging the wall. Kirkwood was conscious and moving in his car but was left upside down as the red flag was brought out a few minutes later.

The race resumed with an eight-lap sprint to the finish with O’Ward leading Ericsson and Newgarden, but it was Newgarden who managed to get into the lead before O’Ward smashed into the wall aggressively. He wasn’t the only driver to be eliminated from the race at the restart with Agustín Canapino (Juncos Hollinger Racing) and Simon Pagenaud (Meyer Shank Racing) also both crashing out, with the red flag out once again.

It was then time for yet another restart and another crash as Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing) and Benjamin Pedersen (A.J Foyt Enterprises) both were eliminated from the race as the red flag came out once again, with five drivers involved in the incident.

With the yellow flags originally thrown, it was Ericsson leading from Ferrucci and Rossi. However, Newgarden who was down in fourth on the leaderboard, was in second at the time of the caution, just narrowly ahead of Ferrucci.

The race would restart with a one-lap shootout, with the drivers not even getting a full pace lap to prepare for the restart.

After a late overtake on Ericsson, Josef Newgarden would win his first Indy 500 in the most dramatic of circumstances, with Ferrucci in third. The Penske driver’s milk of choice was whole milk, which proudly poured over himself in victory lane.

Palou finished in an impressive fourth place following his earlier pitlane incident, with Rossi rounding out the top five.

The 2023 Indy 500 also marked the final time that Tony Kannan would take part in the race, finishing 16th for Arrow McLaren.


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